House plants can brighten a room and even help purify the air, but often take time to mature. However, there are a number of indoor plants that grow at an exceptionally fast rate and can provide the homeowner with a lush, green, healthy environment in a matter of just a few weeks.
The spider plant is one of the fastest-growing houseplants available and can reach lengths of 2 to 3 feet at maturity. This plant is best presented in a hanging basket, where its many leaves hang down like the legs of a spider. The plant is green with yellow or white highlights along the edges of each leaf. It produces small white flowers that take root almost immediately after touching the soil that must be detached from the main plant's container, or they will steal nutrients. Spider plants prefer indirect sunlight over direct exposure; they thrive in temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 55 degrees at night. White flies, spider mites, scales and aphids can infest this plant if left unattended. Keep the soil well drained and change often to eliminate pests.
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Pothos, or devil's ivy, is a vine plant that tolerates the partial shade of indoors, and makeS an interesting and offbeat indoor addition when draped over a bit of lattice work. The plant features heart-shaped green leaves and long tendrils that grow quickly to more than 6 feet. New shoots grow rapidly, but only appear after old ones have been pruned. This plant can be planted with philodendrons if the planter is large enough.
Aloe vera is a fast-growing, useful houseplant. A succulent from the lily family, the plant features spiky, fleshy, fast-growing leaves and white or yellow flowers that bloom in the winter in mild climates. The aloe plant requires repotting often. Aloe needs full, but not necessarily direct, sunlight, and thrives when placed near a window.
Jade plants are succulents that grow quickly to 5 feet tall and can live for a very long time. These plants store water in their fleshy leaves; they are accustomed to dry climates but prefer full sun and mild, day time temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees. Mealy bugs, which look like light, miniature cotton balls, can sometimes infest jade plants. The bugs can be removed using rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab.
- North Dakota State University: House Plant Selection
- Clemson University; Spider Plant; Karen Russ, et al; March 1999
- You Grow Girl; Dorm Plants: Beyond Their Beauty or Pleasing Appearance; Beate Schwirtlich
- "Emmitsburg News Journal"; Easy Houseplants to Grow; Devra Boesch
- University of Arkansas; Plant of the Week Medicine Plant, Burn Plant Latin: Aloe Vera; Gerald Klingaman; January 2002
- Clemson University; Jade Plant; Karen Russ, et al; March 1999