||Marbled foliage on a small, elegant, tough plant.
||Many varieties are chronic hosts for spider mites, but Tropic Snow doesn't get them. Name refers to the fact that the juice will paralyze your focal chords.
||The easiest house plant of all! Great for college dorm rooms. Climbing or trailing vine. Philodendron cordatum (Heartleaf philodendron) and Nephthytis (Butterfly vine) are similar.
||Leaves will be small under low light, huge in bright conditions. Species name refers to the edible fruit, which may be produced under ideal conditions.
||One of the few easy indoor plants which flowers, sporting white calla-lily blooms in summer.
||Croton: Leaves are mottled with bright colors. Always get spider mites, so wash them regularly, but otherwise unfussy.
||Graceful habit is kind of desert-like. Allow to go dry between waterings. Some are prone to spider mites.
|Ficus decora and lyrata
||Two types of ornamental figs. Big, bold leaves. Easier to grow than their better known cousin, below. Eventually huge.
|Maranta, Calathea, and Ctenanthe
||Prayer plants and their cousins. These have stripes or blotches on the leaves. Marantas close their leaves at night, as if in prayer--perhaps that they won't be overwatered.
||Snake plant, Mother-in-law's tongue. Tough, desert-looking plants which can take very low light and can go weeks without water.
|Schefflera arboricola'Hawaiian Elf'
||Dwarf Umbrella tree. Cute shiny tropical leaves, dark green or variegated. The big Schefflera is very prone to mites; these are resistant. Will even survive most winters outdoors.
|Ferns: Adiantum, Nephrolepis, Pellaea, Pteris.
||The indoor environment is too dry for ferns. Boston fern (Nephrolepis) is tolerant, but it gets rootbound incredibly fast. Other ferns can be difficult to manage.
||Should be called Tree That Dies Indoors. What it really does is drop its leaves if you move it, repot it, over water it, or generally irritate it. Do best in the brightest light you have (direct sun through a window is fine) and are watered as seldom as possible. Will survive most winters outdoors.
||Weeping Chinese Banyan
|Palms: Chrysalidocarpus, Neanthe bella, Phoenix roebelinii
||Most are very prone to spider mites. Their leaves burn on the edges if there is salt in the water (which there is in Davis!), or if they are underwatered, but they rot readily if overwatered. Add pumice or perlite to the potting soil to improve soil aeration.
||Areca palm, Parlor palm, pygmy Date palm
|Various tropical trees: Coffea arabica, Dizygotheca elegantissima, Radermachera, Polyscias fruticosa
||These elegant indoor trees require bright light and even moisture. They will drop leaves suddenly if underwatered, but mustn't be kept soggy. Tricky.
||Coffee tree, Threadleaf false aralia, China doll, Ming aralia