Usually indoor plants are chosen for their ability to tolerate particular indoor conditions such as low light, high temperature, and low humidity. Plants that are very tolerant of these relatively adverse indoor environmental conditions make good indoor plants. If plants other than these rugged types are to be grown indoors, the environment must be altered to meet their needs or they must be put in a microclimate that is suited to their requirements. Light and humidity are commonly the limiting factors. A large number of indoor plants can be found in a few plant families. By learning about a few members of each of these plant families, one knows a good deal about other family members. The plant families that will be studied are the Agavaceae, Araceae, Begoniaceae, Bromeliaceae, Cactaceae, Crassulaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Gesneriaceae, Liliaceae, Moraceae, Orchidaceae, Piperaceae, and Polypodiaceae.


Review the general care of indoor plants and learn representative members from each of the major plant families that represent most of the houseplants.

  • Study the major groups of indoor plants.
  • Learn to identify a few key houseplants in each plant family.
  • Learn the cultural practices used with each major group of houseplants.
  • Compare the groups of plants in the greenhouse and the conditions under which each group is managed.
  • Propagate members from the various families for your houseplant collection.