How to grow and care for indoor plants

View the video

How to grow and care for indoor plants

View the video

Indoor plants not only bring a touch of the outdoors inside, they also improve air quality and the overall wellbeing of those surrounded by them. For people unable to garden outdoors, growing indoor plants allows them to indulge in a hobby that gives great pleasure.

What you need to know about indoor plants:

Plants: foliage and flowering plants that happily grow in pots you can easily carry.

Height: variable, but should not exceed ceiling height.

Foliage: evergreen.

Climate: temperature range that is comfortable for people.

Soil: premium-quality potting mixes appropriate to the types of plants being grown; free-draining.

Position: good ambient light; avoid draughts and direct sun through glass.

Flowering: some indoor plants are grown just for their leaves, others for their flowers, such as cyclamen, African violets.

Feeding: apply a controlled-release fertiliser every six months; supplement with a water-soluble or liquid fertiliser.

Watering: understand what each plant needs and don't overwater; allow excess to drain freely; empty saucers after 30 minutes.

Humidity: mist plants to improve humidity, especially in fully air-conditioned/heated spaces; place bowls of water among pots.

Which plants to grow indoors

Almost any plant that can be grown successfully in a pot could become an indoor plant. Large shrubs and trees are not usually considered, but some expansive interior spaces even include mature trees in very large containers!

Indoor plants, or house plants, as they are sometimes called, are mostly warmth-loving plants that prefer a temperature range that is also comfortably warm for us—around 20°C. They include monsteras, philodendrons, ficus, dracaenas and mother-in-law’s tongue (among many), with a few flowering types thrown in—cyclamen in season, tuberous begonias and African violets. We've picked 13 of the best to get you started.

plant pots

Choosing pots for indoor plants

Indoor plants rely completely on the potting mix and pots you choose for them. After choosing the plant, the second most important decision is the pot. There are thousands to choose from!  Check out our collection, starting with plain plastic through to lightweight-but-strong fibreglass to the top-of-the-range imported ceramics.

It’s important to pick a pot that complements the plant in colour and shape.  It should also suit your personal style—but don’t let that overshadow its functionality.

The ideal pot should be light enough to carry, stable on its base, sealed/non-porous so it won’t leak, and should come with a matching saucer. Check that there are plenty of drainage holes—most indoor plants hate wet feet!

Sometimes a decorative “outer” pot is all that’s necessary to dress up an indoor plant growing in an ordinary nursery pot. For people who love a bit of greenery in their living space but forget to give plants regular attention, self-watering pots are a terrific solution!

Indoor plant potting mixes

Always use a premium-quality potting mix—the best you can afford. There are specialty mixes available for particular types of plants. For example, a cactus and succulent mix for succulents and other plants needing a coarse, sandy soil that drains very well, an African Violet mix for these flowering plants and their relatives (“gesneriads”) as well as cyclamen or a bonsai mix for these delightful miniature shrubs.

If in doubt, choose a terracotta and pot mix, which will suit most plants.

Re-pot indoor plants every two to three years in spring to keep them strong and healthy.


Wondering where to put your indoor plants? Read the labels of all your plants—there’s usually plenty of information about where to place your plants for best results. Most like good ambient light. Don't put them on windowsills or tables where they will cop direct sun through the glass—they will almost certainly burn.

When it comes to temperature, if you are comfortable, then your plants will be too. Don’t be tempted to put warmth-loving plants in your bathroom. It might be warm and humid while you’re in there showering, but an hour or so later the room will be cold and damp.

Keep plants away from heating or cooling vents where the temperature will fluctuate. and keep them out of draughts.

Watering and feeding indoor plants

Indoor plants often die when they receive too much attention! Again, read the labels to see whether your plants like being kept moist or if they prefer to dry out between waterings.

As a rule, water only when the top 5cm or so of potting mix feels quite dry to the touch, then give enough water that the excess flows freely out through the drainage holes. Empty the saucers about 30 minutes after watering, or stand the pots (without saucers) on the sink to water them, and then leave them there for a few minutes to drain before replacing them on the saucers.

A premium potting mix will contain enough food for the plant for up to six months. Reapply a controlled-release fertiliser twice yearly after that, in late summer and early spring.

From spring to autumn, use a water-soluble or liquid plant food every four weeks or so for an extra boost (make sure it has the right nutrients for your plant).

Diseases and pests affecting indoor plants

Indoor plants are more protected from pests than those in our gardens, but they may still be attacked by insects from time to time. If necessary, take plants outside to a shady spot and spray lightly with a natural insecticidal soap or pyrethrum.

Keep leaves clean by wiping occasionally with a soft damp cloth—don't use detergents! If the air is too humid, mildew may be a problem. Make sure pots are well spaced, and that the room is ventilated.

If you like indoor plants with flowers, then try:

African violet: velvety leaves in rosettes and with clusters of flowers from white to deep purple; loves a warm, well-lit room.

Moth orchid: a popular indoor plant that flowers for months and enjoys warmth and light.

Peace lily (spathiphyllum): glossy green leaves and white flowers; very hardy and does well in medium to well lit areas.

Start planting today!

Check out our huge range of indoor plants now and get your garden growing!

Cherry Plant

Planting & Growing How to plant and grow a cherry tree Sweet or sour, cherries are a popular summer treat around the world. Lovely and narrow, the cherry tree is suited to areas with cold winters, creating a stunning display of blossom in spring followed by the much-loved fruit.

plant pots 03:15

Planting & Growing How to grow and care for indoor plants For people unable to garden outdoors, growing indoor plants allows them to indulge in a hobby that gives great pleasure.

bird of paradise plant

Planting & Growing How to grow and prune a bird of paradise Hardy, easy to grow and architecturally dramatic with some of the most stunning and bizarre flowers you will ever see—that’s the awesome bird of paradise.

Apple Tree

Planting & Growing How to grow and prune an apple tree Nothing beats the crunch and taste of a fresh apple. So why not grow your own? An apple tree can be so much more than just a fruit tree.


Planting & Growing How to plant grow and harvest basil An attractive garden plant that’s easy to grow and is an essential ingredient in a multitude of dishes. That’s basil!


Planting & Growing How to plant grow and prune bougainvillea If you’re looking for a plant with vibrant colours to bring a tropical look to your garden, then you can’t go past bougainvillea.

How to design a herb garden 01:23

Planting & Growing How to design a herb garden Turn your back or front yard into a beautiful, productive space by creating an edible garden that looks good and will tastes even better. For this project, we’re grouping our herbs into three pots – one for tea, one for smoothies and one for cocktai...

Choose a sunny spot and watch 01:40

Planting & Growing How to grow strawberries You’ll love the taste of home-grown strawberries. It’s a great activity the whole family will have fun doing.

low water garden

Planning & Projects How to create a low-water garden ‘Dry’ or ‘low-water’ gardening is a real art and, when done right, will provide you with an inviting landscape that uses very little water.

Finished artificial green garden wall behind garden bench 02:05

Planning & Projects How to create a green wall using artificial hedge Green walls are all the rage at the moment, but buying and maintaining one can be costly. Why not have a go at creating your own using pieces of artificial hedge – it looks great and will last the distance. Here’s how.

reducing water

How To Save Water How to reduce water usage Whether indoor or outdoor, there are lots of ways to be smart about water usage. And there are some simple actions that can make a big difference to your water bill.

doorbell 02:04

Doors How to install a ring doorbell The Ring video doorbell is a wireless doorbell which allows you to see who is at your front door. Find out how to install the Ring video doorbell yourself.

a tree lit up with solar lights around it 01:46

Garden Lighting How to install solar lights in your garden Solar lights are a great way to illuminate your pathways and highlight your garden beds at night. Install them yourself with these easy steps.

how to organise your pantry 02:52

Shelving & Storage How to organise your pantry Create an organisational system in your pantry with these handy storage hints. Trust us – its life changing!

front door 01:31

How To Paint How to paint your front door Make an entrance every darn day of the week by painting your front door a bold, enticing colour!

how to hang pictures

Walls The best way to hang pictures on a wall Learn the tricks to hanging your wall decor so it looks good – and doesn’t damage the plasterboard. Create an effortless-looking display by taking the time to consider spacing, proportion, frame styles and colour palettes.

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
Top of the content