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Quick Growing Indoor Plants for Home or Classroom

Quick Growing Indoor Plants for your Home, Classroom, or Office

The following are some lovely quick-growing indoor plants that are perfect for homes, classrooms and offices. There have been many claims that indoor plants have beneficial air filtering powers based on NASA’s research in the 1980’s. Unfortunately, more recent research shows that indoor plants’ ability to filter air was hugely overestimated (Cummings & Warring, 2019). 

However, indoor plants are beneficial to people’s health and happiness. Lee et al. (2015) found that working with plants reduces psychological and physiological stress and improves wellbeing. Research also demonstrates that plants in the classroom improve student’s learning, performance, and concentration (Daly et al. 2010, Raanaas et al. 2011). For these reasons, this list of quick-growing indoor plants is ideal for helping you pick plants for your home, office, or classroom. 


Golden Pothos

Pothos are a fast-growing plant that is also easy to grow. They are poisonous but are perfect for growing in hanging pots or up high on a shelf with the vines trailing down. They are best grown in indirect sunlight. Their leaves will turn yellow if they get too much sun, so avoid placing them in a sunny window. They grow quickly and are easy to propagate by cutting off their vines and replanting, which is very easy for children to do. 

You can buy one here (USA) or here (UK).


Philodendron

Philodendron looks very similar to golden pothos, so people often confuse them. They are another plant that is ideal for growing high on a shelf or in a hanging pot. They are also reasonably easy to look after and are best in indirect sunlight. These plants are also easy to grow from cuttings, just like golden pothos. 

You may buy a philodendron here (USA) or here (UK).


Spider Plant

Spider plants are easy to grow and look after. 

They are quick growing indoor plants that also grow offshoots or runners that can be propagated and grown into new plants if desired. Spider plants like sunlight, and they grow well near windows or on windowsills. If the tips of their leaves begin to turn brown, it means you’re not watering them enough. 

You can buy spider plants here (USA) or here (UK).


Tradescantia 

Tradescantia is a very fast-growing indoor plant that loves plenty of sunlight. They are best kept in a sunny spot like a windowsill. They don’t need lots of water, but like humidity, so they are happy in bathrooms or having regularly misted leaves.


English Ivy

Ivy is a relatively easy plant to grow indoors, but the soil needs to be kept a bit moist. You may want to consider this if there are times that you won’t be able to regularly water this plant. Like spider plants, they are also runner plants and can be cut and propagated to grow new plants. They are slightly more challenging to grow from cuttings, but it’s still possible for children to do this. I have grown ivy for our home by taking cuttings from plants growing wild or in friend’s gardens. 


Ficus (e.g. Fiddle Leaf Fig, Weeping Fig)

The fiddle leaf fig and weeping fig both like to be in a sunny room but away from direct sunlight. They can grow into large plants and are great for making a statement in a room. Both versions like to be kept well-watered, and fiddle leaf figs also like their leaves misted regularly.


Dragon Tree (Dracaena)

There are several dracaena house plant varieties, and they can grow to different sizes. Pruning helps keep them from growing too tall. They are a fairly easy house plants to care for and like to have moist but well-drained soil.


Cane Plant (Dieffenbachia)

Dieffenbachia is a beautiful plant that likes lots of indirect sunlight. They also like a lot of moisture, so regularly misting will help keep them healthy. This plant drips a liquid that can cause temporary loss of speech, so they aren’t great in a house with young children.


Arrowhead Plant (Syngonium)

Arrowhead Plants can be kept compact by trimming them, but if you let them continue to grow, they will vine and trail. For this reason, they can be nice to grow in a hanging pot or up on a shelf. They grow best in a bright space but out of direct sunlight.


Jade plants

Jade plants are relatively easy plants to grow and care for. They like full sunlight, so grow best by a window. They need to be watered regularly when the top of the soil feels dry.  It is possible to propagate jade plants by cutting off the stems or by using their leaves.


Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that people like to grow for its healing/medicinal properties. It is a relatively low maintenance plant, but if you overwater it and the roots are left damp, it can get root rot, which will kill it. It needs to dry out between waterings, and in the winter months, it will need very little water. Keep in mind that it’s harmful if eaten and must be kept out of reach of very young children. 

Aloe vera also reproduces asexually, so it is possible to grow them without having to buy more. This is my preference as they can be expensive. Unfortunately, it’s not a guarantee that your aloes will produce ‘offsets’ or ‘pups’. If they do, you can pull them out, separate them, and replant them in separate pots. See my post Top Tips for Propagating Plants in Water or Soil for tips on how to do this. 

You can buy some aloe vera plants here (USA) or here (UK).


Peace Lily

Peace lilies are a fairly easy plant to grow because they wilt when they need water. This makes it easier to keep from under watering them. If they get enough light they will flower. They are also poisonous, so they need to be kept out of reach of very young children. 

You can buy a Peace Lily here (USA) or here (UK).


Orchids


Orchids are a great choice if you would like a flowering plant. There are many different varieties to suit peoples different styles and color preferences. Some of them grow pretty quickly and will need to be repotted yearly.

You can buy some here (USA) or here (UK).


Snake Plant

This is a straightforward plant to grow and is an excellent choice if you don’t have a lot of time for watering or maintenance. People often say that snake plants ‘thrive on neglect’ because they don’t like too much water. They get root rot if their soil is too damp or if they are watered too often. They can be put in smaller pots for a windowsill or else quickly grown in large floor pots.

You can buy it here (USA) or here (UK).


I hope that you found this list of quick-growing indoor plants helpful! The following are a few simple ways to help your plants grow bigger and faster.

Ways to help plants grow faster

Water plants properly 

The amount you need to water plants can vary from plant to plant and change throughout the year.  Make sure to check how to care for each plant. You will also need to water plants more frequently in the summer and less so in the winter. I usually water my plants about once per week in the summer and once every 2-3 weeks in the winter.

Use fertilizer

Using fertilizer in the growing season (typically spring & summer) will help keep plants healthy and growing faster. I prefer using liquid fertilizers because you mix them in the watering can or just add them to the soil separately.  They are also suitable to use for propagating plants in water.

Re-pot

Repotting plants in larger pots will also help them to grow faster and bigger. Doing this will give plants the room to grow a more extensive root structure to support a larger plant. The early spring is the best time of year to repot plants.

References

Cummings, B. & Waring, M. (6 November 2019). Potted plants do not improve indoor air quality: a review and analysis of reported VOC removal efficiencies. Journal of Exposure Science Environmental Epidemiology. Retrieved from https://www.nature.com/articles/s41370-019-0175-9.

Daly, J., Burchett, M. & Torpy, F. (2010). Plants in the Classroom can Improve Student Perforance. Centre for Environmental Sustainability, University of Technology, Sydney.

Lee, M.-S., Lee, J., Park, B.-J., and Miyazaki, Y. (2015).  Interaction with indoor plants may reduce psychological and physiological stress by suppressing autonomic nervous system activity in young adults: a randomized crossover study.  Journal of Physiological Anthropology 34(21). 

Raanaas, R., Evensen, K. H., Rich, D., Sjostrom, G. & Patil, G. (March 2011). Benefits of indoor plants on attention capacity in an office setting. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 31(1), pp. 99-105.

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