5 Outdoor Plants You Can Grow Indoors

Steph Matthiesen
Sep 26 · 3 min read

That’s it. You’ve done it. You’ve exhausted your houseplant options. Your varieties of pothos hug the walls with their viney arms. ZZ plants and snake plants thrive in the dark corners of your home — you might want to dust those off at some point. A small army of succulents has you tactically surrounded from every windowsill. And your spider plant? It has somehow become sixty-two spider plants. You’re starting to feel like you own every houseplant in existence.

But that is, of course, nonsense.

The category of “house plant” is a man-made construct. While certain plants are indeed difficult to grow indoors, plenty aren’t! Here are five so-called “outdoor” plants that will spice up your houseplant collection.


Varieties of coleus are often planted in outdoor containers or as the focal point of a garden bed, and it’s easy to see why. They come in stunning colors and combinations: bright scarlet, sultry purple, shocking pink.

Bringing a coleus indoors is the perfect way to add that statement pop of color to your space. Its handsome, full foliage is sure to draw attention. They love light, and do well in brighter spaces. Put it near a window and it will thrive! Just be sure to let the soil dry out before its next watering.

Wax Begonia

These extremely popular flowering plants are annuals in most climates. While they are normally used in flower beds outdoors, you can bring them inside to enjoy their waxy, shiny foliage year-round. Their blooms come in a whole spectrum of bright shades, and their foliage varies in tint as well, giving you a lot of options.

Wax begonias need bright, indirect light, and their soil should be kept moist — But put it near a window, check the soil weekly, and it’ll reward you with beautiful growth!


The hosta (or plantain lily) family includes several varieties of foliage, each a different shade of green or blue-green. These plants are typically used as accent plants for flower borders, but they are beautiful in and of themselves.

Each type of hosta has an interesting leaf texture that sets it apart. And whether it’s the dimples of the ‘Afterglow’ or the ruffled leaves of the ‘Apple Pie,’ the unique leaves of a hosta will add interest to your room. They don’t need extremely bright light, but prefer moist soil.


Hypoestes (or polka dot plant) is gaining popularity as an indoor plant. Its markings are bewitching: dainty constellations of pink, red, or white freckles cover its leaves, adding color and life to your space.

Because their leaves stay on the small side, these plants are perfect for small spaces — and better yet, they thrive in medium to low light! Perfect for your one-windowed studio apartment. Direct light is its worst enemy. Keep the soil moist, and it will live peacefully on your bookshelf or tabletop.


The tall caladium is used as a landscaping accent for shaded areas. In other words, it will do great in your medium-light indoor space! They come in a variety of intoxicating patterns and colors. The ‘White Star’ cultivar, for example, features a mesmerizing gradient that begins with pink, dissolves to white, and then fades to green.

Caladiums are tall and slender, and will add an unmatched elegance to your home. But one word of caution: If you don’t water them consistently, their long stems will droop!

There are many other garden plants that can be grown indoors successfully. Don’t restrict yourself to someone else’s ideas of what a houseplant should be. Take a risk, think out of the pot — and go buy that beautiful outdoor annual you saw!

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Steph Matthiesen

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Steph Matthiesen is a freelance writer for hire, and helps businesses create gripping content. She loves writing about art, plants, and mental health.

The Startup

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