20 Plants with Eye-Catching Waxy Leaves

20 Plants with Eye-Catching Waxy Leaves

Looking for an eye-catching plant to give your space a fresh and Instagrammable vibe? Plants with waxy leaves are the way to go!

Not only are these plants great for any room’s aesthetic, but they’re also low-maintenance. Hence, they’re great for those who don’t have a green thumb.

Check out these 20 beautiful plants with waxy leaves for you to choose from!

20 Plants with Waxy Leaves

Plants with waxy leaves are popular indoor houseplants. What makes the leaves shiny is the presence of cuticles. 

But cuticles are not only for aesthetic purposes. This layer also prevents excessive water loss and protects the plant from UV radiation, insects, and pollution. 

Here are the 20 plants with waxy leaves for you to consider

  1. Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)
  2. Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa)
  3. Rubber Fig (Ficus elastica)
  4. ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
  5. Swedish Ivy (Plectranthus parviflorus)
  6. Mistletoe Fig (Ficus deltoidea)
  7. Radiator Plant (Peperomias)
  8. Tailflower (Anthurium)
  9. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
  10. Bromeliad (Guzmania)
  11. Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa)
  12. Heartleaf Ice Plant (Mesembryanthemum cordifolium)
  13. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
  14. Carissa Holly (Ilex cornuta ‘Carissa’)
  15. Mexican Gem (Echeveria elegans)
  16. Desert Rose (Adenium obesum)
  17. Flaming Katy (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)
  18. Alocasia Polly (Alocasia × amazonica)
  19. Dwarf Umbrella Tree (Schefflera arboricola)
  20. Heart Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum var. hederaceum)

Read on to learn about them one by one.

1. Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)

Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)
Image: Gardeners’ Path
Scientific NameCrassula ovata
Common NameBaby JadeChinese rubber plantDwarf rubber plantJade PlantJade treeJapanese rubber plantMoney plantMoney treeLucky plant
FamilyCrassulaceae
Life CyclePerennial
MaintenanceLow
Growth RateMedium
Soil TypeLoam (Silt)Good DrainageOccasionally DryVery Dry
LightFull Sun Partial Shade 
WateringOnce or twice a month
Landscape LocationContainer Houseplant
Indoor/OutdoorIndoor

Wondering if you’ve seen this plant before? That’s because you probably have it at a friend’s house or a receptionist’s desk.

It goes by many different names depending on where you’re from. Some call it the Chinese or Japanese rubber plant, while in most places, they’re usually called the Jade plant.

Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)
Image: Garden Goods Direct

The Jade plant is one of the most common houseplants in the world because of its adorable tree-like appearance. 

It’s an evergreen succulent native to South Africa and is well-known for its glossy, oval-shaped, jade-green leaves, hence its name.

When grown indoors, it tends to grow only to about 6 feet tall. In the wild or outdoors, on the other hand, it can reach heights of up to 10 feet tall in the right conditions.

Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)
Image: My Tasteful Space

The Jade plant is well-known for being a low-maintenance succulent. Hence, it’s best for owners who forget to water their plants since it only requires watering once or twice a month. 

While they’re not too keen on getting water, they do love getting full sun daily, so be sure to place your Jade plant in a sunny area. Otherwise, its growth could get stunted, and its leaves may turn squishy.

2. Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa)

Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa)
Image: Gardening Know How
Scientific NameMonstera deliciosa
Common NameCerimanCutleaf PhilodendronHurricane PlantMexican BreadfruitMother-in-LawSplit-leaf PhilodendronSwiss Cheese PlantSwiss cheese vineFruit Salad PlantDelicious MonsterFruit Salad Tree
FamilyAraceae
Life CyclePerennial
MaintenanceMedium
Growth RateRapid
Soil TypeLoam (Silt)High Organic MatterGood DrainageMoist
LightDappled SunlightPartial Shade
WateringEvery 1 to 2 weeks
Landscape LocationContainerHouseplants
Indoor/OutdoorIndoor

Before you skip this plant, we’d like to clear up any confusion – the Swiss Cheese plant doesn’t actually smell like Swiss cheese! 

It got its name because its leaves develop holes like its namesake, Swiss Cheese.

Comedic name aside, the Swiss Cheese plant is actually believed to bring fortune and prosperity, according to Chinese Feng Shui. 

Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa)
Image: The Jungle Collective

The Swiss Cheese is a common evergreen houseplant. It is usually placed in large halls or living rooms since it can grow up to 30 feet high. 

The leaves of the Swiss Cheese plant are known for being glossy and heart-shaped. As a result, it’s incredibly popular among decorators, often appearing in interior design magazines

This plant also has air purifying capacities, making it great for removing indoor pollutants. In fact, there’s a 1989 NASA study that can prove it!

Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa)
Image: MyDomaine

Isn’t the Swiss Cheese plant such a great conversation starter? They’re also easy to care for with regular maintenance, to boot!

It prefers light and airy soil, such as loam, with good drainage, as you’ll need to let the soil dry a bit in between waterings. Speaking of, you only need to water it every 1 to 2 weeks.

As for its sunlight requirements, the Swiss Cheese plant prefers bright yet indirect sun. You can even get away with putting it outside in warmer climates since it loves the high humidity levels.

3. Rubber Fig (Ficus elastica)

Rubber Fig (Ficus elastica)
Image: The Plant Society
Scientific NameFicus elastica
Common NameRubber plantRubber fig
FamilyMoraceae
Life CyclePerennial
MaintenanceLow
Growth RateRapid
Soil TypeDry soil
LightIndirect Sunlight
WateringWeekly
Landscape LocationHouseplants
Indoor/OutdoorIndoor

The rubber fig is perfect if you are looking for a tough yet tall accent plant in your room. 

Did you know it can grow up to 115 feet tall in the wild? The first rubber fig species were found in Southern China, Indonesia, and Southeast Asia. 

Don’t worry, though, because it only reaches 6 to 10 feet when domesticated or when you place it inside your house. 

This plant is widely known for it has broad, glossy oval leaves. 

Rubber Fig (Ficus elastica)
Image: Vintage Revivals

That’s not the only thing special about this plant. The reason why it’s called rubber fig is because of its unique feature, where its leaves contain milky white latex or rubber sap.

But make sure to keep your children and pets away from the milky sap because they are poisonous when consumed. 

On the bright side, the rubber fig is an easy-going plant. It even grows best in dry soils; you can even water it once a week. 

If you live in a hot and humid area, that’s alright because the rubber fig is native to warm climates. It will definitely thrive with indoor lighting and the humidity conditions of your home. 

4. ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
Image: The Spruce
Scientific NameZamioculcas zamiifolia
Common NameAroid PalmAroid PlantEmerald PalmEternity PlantZanzibar GemZuzu PlantZZ Plant
FamilyAraceae
Life CyclePerennial
MaintenanceLow
Growth RateSlow
Soil TypeSandHigh Organic MatterGood DrainageWell-drained potting mix
LightDeep ShadePartial Shade
WateringEvery 2 to 3 weeks
Landscape LocationHouseplants
Indoor/OutdoorIndoor

The ZZ plant is a common fixture in most houses. You can easily spot this plant for its thick, elliptical, and glossy green leaves, making it an eye-catching gem in every room. 

This upright evergreen perennial plant grows slowly until it reaches 4 feet high. So don’t fret at its slow growth rate and just let it do its thing.

But, we must warn you that as much as its leaves are thick and juicy-looking, these are toxic to humans and animals, so make sure to keep the unsuspecting kids away.

The ZZ plant is also a great indoor plant because of its purifying capacity to remove toxins from the air. It’s so low-maintenance that it can tolerate indoor lighting, as well as requires watering only once every 2 weeks.

ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
Image: Housing

It’s best to place the ZZ plant in a pot, preferably with holes in the bottom. Along with that, use well-draining potting mix with lots of perlite. 

To keep its size according to your liking, simply prune the leaflets and stems at the tip of the ZZ plant. You can repot it once a year during the spring season. 

5. Swedish Ivy (Plectranthus parviflorus)

Swedish Ivy (Plectranthus parviflorus)
Image: Barbara Pleasant
Scientific NamePlectranthus parviflorus
Common NameCockspur FlowerCreeping CharlieLittle SpurflowerSpurflowerSwedish IvyWhite Edged Swedish Ivy
FamilyLamiaceae
Life CyclePerennial
MaintenanceLow
Growth RateMedium
Soil TypeClaySandHigh Organic MatterShallow RockyGood DrainageMoist
LightPartial Shade
WateringOnce a week
Landscape LocationContainerHanging Baskets
Indoor/OutdoorIndoor

If you want to place a hanging basket plant, the Swedish Ivy plant is an excellent choice. It is an upright perennial plant commonly found in Hawaii, Australia, and Polynesia. 

Did you know that the Swedish Ivy is also widely believed to provide good fortune to homes? That’s why it’s also called the “money” plant!

The Swedish Ivy is also known as the “Creeping Charlie,” – although there’s certainly nothing creepy about it!

It got its nickname from its long, green, or purple stems that effortlessly trail down its basket, making it a natural indoor curtain when hung beside windows.

Swedish Ivy (Plectranthus parviflorus)
Image: Barbara Pleasant

Apart from hanging them, you can also use the Swedish Ivy plant as a ground cover in your garden. 

It’s great that they’re easy to propagate, so you can have an endless supply of Swedish Ivy. Simply gather a few cuttings and plant them in the moist soil in the ground. 

You can simply plant the Swedish Ivy in moist, well-drained soil and place it in a partially shaded location in your house. 

Swedish Ivy prefers minimal watering, so you can get away with doing it once a week. 

You’ll want to be careful not to overwater it because it’s prone to developing root rot and discolored leaves.

Swedish Ivy loves the hot weather and doesn’t do well in extremely cold seasons. So during winter, it’s best that you keep this plant safe and sound indoors. 

6. Mistletoe Fig (Ficus deltoidea)

Mistletoe Fig (Ficus deltoidea)
Image: Bulbs and Blooms
Scientific NameFicus deltoidea
Common NameDelta FigFig ShrubMistletoe Fig
FamilyMoraceae
Life CycleWoody
MaintenanceLow
Growth RateSlow
Soil TypeGood DrainageOccasionally DryVery Dry
LightFull SunPartial Shade
WateringOnce a week or every ten days
Landscape LocationContainerPatio
Indoor/OutdoorIndoor

A quick disclaimner: the mistletoe fig is not the same as the Christmas mistletoe we all know. Sorry to disappoint the holiday-loving folks out there!

This plant is only named after it because of its white berries that later turn red, which resemble the mistletoe plant. But sadly, these berries are inedible. 

Native to Southeast Asia, the mistletoe fig is a small tree that spreads and grows with a rounded habit. 

You can identify it easily through its waxy leaves, yellow undersides, and glands between the leaf veins. 

Its species name, “deltoidea,” was given because the shape of the leaves of mistletoe fig trees resembles the Greek letter “delta.” That’s why it is also known as “Delta Fig.”

Mistletoe Fig (Ficus deltoidea)
Image: North Carolina Plant Toolbox Extension Gardener

Still, this plant will definitely give a fresher vibe in the corners of your house since it can tolerate low-light conditions. 

You can use it as a bonsai tree, container, or patio plant since it can reach only 3 to 18 feet high. Just plant it in dry soil with good drainage and water it once a week, and it’s good to go. 

7. Radiator Plant (Peperomias)

Radiator Plant (Peperomias)
Image: Gardeners’ Path
Scientific NamePeperomia obtusifolia
Common NameAmerican Rubber PlantBaby RubberplantBaby Rubber PlantOval Leaf PeperomiaPepper FaceRhynchophorumRadiator Plant
FamilyPiperaceae
Life CyclePerennial
MaintenanceLow
Growth RateMedium
Soil TypeClayLoam (Silt)SandGood DrainageMoist
LightDappled SunlightPartial Shade
WateringOnce a week or less
Landscape LocationContainerHanging BasketHouseplant
Indoor/OutdoorIndoor

A radiator plant is like a compact ball of dark green heart-shaped leaves. An evergreen herbaceous shrub with a round habit, this makes a perfect plant for your table, desktop, or indoor shelves.

Some of its thick, cupped, bright green leaves are striped or marbled. These leaves emerge from branched stems and grow only up to 2 feet tall. 

You can plant them in well-drained potting mix soil. We recommend that you use a terracotta pot since they are effective in preventing water-clogged roots. 

They’re so well-liked because they don’t need that much attention. They grow incredibly fast even without fertilizers. 

Radiator Plant (Peperomias)
Image: Bloombox Club

You only need to water them once the soil is dried, usually once a week or less. Avoid overwatering radiator plants so their leaves won’t turn yellow and dry out.

Radiator plants love warm, humid, and low-light conditions like their low-growing native counterparts in the jungle. 

Just because we’re feeling nice today, here’s a great life hack: place radiator plants beside other humidity-loving plants in your home. This helps increase the moisture in the surrounding air as the humidity-loving plants release water through their leaves! 

8. Tailflower (Anthurium)

Tailflower (Anthurium)
Image: Bloomscape
Scientific NameAnthurium 
Common NameAnthuriumFlamingo FlowerFlamingo LilyTailflower
FamilyAraceae
Life CyclePerennial
MaintenanceLow
Growth RateMedium
Soil TypeSandGood DrainageMoist
LightFull SunPartial Shade
WateringOnce a week
Landscape LocationContainerHouseplants
Indoor/OutdoorIndoor

The tailflower is a great indoor plant to give your space a pop of color. It’s a tropical evergreen shrub with multi-stemmed spathes that grow up to 3 feet tall. 

On those spathes, its brightly colored red flowers and shiny green leaves grow, adding a colorful tropical vibe to the space. 

When growing tailflowers, it’s best to plant them in loose, permeable, sandy soil. You can even use orchid soil for them. 

Tailflowers only need a low concentration of fertilizers like those also used for orchids. It’s best to fertilize them during spring and fall. 

Image: Plantquility

You don’t need to worry much about where to place it because it can tolerate low-light conditions indoors. 

It also only needs watering once a week, so that’s one thing off your list.

However, tailflowers hate extreme weather conditions, so don’t place them in rooms that are too hot or too cold. 

9. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
Image: Southern Living
Scientific NameSpathiphyllum
Common NameMauna Loa Peace LilyPeace LilySpathe FlowerWhite Sails
FamilyAraceae
Life CyclePerennial
MaintenanceLow
Growth RateMedium
Soil TypeHigh Organic MatterMoist
LightDeep Shade Partial Shade
WateringOnce a week
Landscape LocationContainerHouseplants
Indoor/OutdoorIndoor

Contrary to popular belief, the Peace Lily is not a true lily but actually a tropical evergreen plant from the Arum family. Even then, it’s just as beautiful.

Peace Lily is the best choice if you have limited space. This plant doesn’t grow too big and has dense, shiny green leaves that can automatically give a room a fresh vibe. 

During summer, Peace Lilies catch almost everyone’s eyes with their white flowers that look like the hood of a cobra. Others say the flowers resemble a white flag, symbolizing surrender and peace. 

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
Image: Wikipedia

Taking the plant as a whole, the Peace Lily perfectly harmonizes the creamy white flowers, greatly contrasting the surrounding glossy green leaves. 

Before entering our homes and hearts, Peace Lilies grew on the forest floors of Central and South America. 

They enjoy growing in dark and humid places, so you can actually use them to spruce up dark corners of your house. 

Make sure to keep them away from direct sunlight to prevent damaging the vibrant and luscious waxy leaves of Peace Lilies. 

They’re also best planted in moist soil rich in organic matter and you’ll only need to water them only once a week. 

Unfortunately, this plant is slightly toxic because it contains calcium oxalate. This chemical causes respiratory and stomach irritation, so it’s better to keep it out of reach from children and pets. 

10. Bromeliad (Guzmania)

Bromeliad (Guzmania)
Image: Lively Root
Scientific NameGuzmania
Common NameBromeliad
FamilyBromeliaceae
Life CyclePerennial
MaintenanceMedium
Growth RateSlow
Soil TypeGood Drainage
LightFull Sun
WateringOnce every 1 to 2 weeks
Landscape LocationContainerHouseplants
Indoor/OutdoorIndoor

Bromeliads are colorful fountain plants indigenous to Florida and South America, growing up to 3 feet. 

The long waxy leaves of the Bromeliad are unique for their green-red ombre shade. Balancing this color pattern, it also has a torch-like inflorescence, carrying small white flowers. 

Bromeliad (Guzmania)
Image: Gardening Know How

You can simply plant the Bromeliad in pots, ceramics, or other containers. Then, add some decorative stones on top of the soil to make them feel cozier.

We’d recommend that you use a potting mix used for orchids in planting your Bromeliads.

They also love tropical climates and high humidity. If the Bromeliad is exposed to cold weather, you can pour warm water to rebalance the plant temperature. 

So just place these colorful Bromeliads in indirect sunlight, water them once or twice a week, and you’re good to go. 

11. Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa)

Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa)
Image: Lazy Flora
Scientific NameHoya carnosa
Common NameHoney PlantPorcelain FlowerWax Plant
FamilyAsclepiadaceae
Life CycleWoody
MaintenanceMedium
Growth RateRapid
Soil TypeHigh Organic MatterGood Drainage
LightPartial Shade
WateringOnce a week
Landscape LocationContainerHanging BasketsHouseplantsPatio
Indoor/OutdoorIndoor and Outdoor

The wax plant is not only visually appealing but also keeps rooms smelling like chocolate vanilla, especially at night. 

It was first native to Australia and Eastern Asia before being widely domesticated in households everywhere. 

The leaves of the wax plant itself are already eye-catching. They’re thick, waxy and form hoops like a wire. 

During spring, it blooms with a parachute of star-shaped light pink flowers. These flowers even have their own name – the Porcelain Flower. 

Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa)
Image: Guide to Houseplants

So why do they smell like chocolate vanilla? It’s because of the sticky drops of nectar they produce. 

Nowadays, anyone can plant it as long as the soil is well-drained and rich in organic matter. Then just place the wax plant in pots and even patios and water it once a week. 

You can take advantage of it being a fast-growing plant by placing them in a hanging basket and letting the climbing vines crawl on a wall or border in your home garden. 

12. Heartleaf Ice Plant (Mesembryanthemum cordifolium)

Heartleaf Ice Plant (Mesembryanthemum cordifolium)
Image: Fine Gardening
Scientific NameMesembryanthemum cordifolium
Common NameBaby sun roseHeart-leafRed apteniaAptenia
FamilyAizoaceae
Life CyclePerennial
MaintenanceLow
Growth RateSlow
Soil TypeSandyWell Drained
LightFull SunPartial Shade
WateringOnce every 12 days
Landscape LocationHouseplantEscaped Gardens
Indoor/OutdoorIndoor

The Heartleaf Ice is a creeping succulent plant that’s easily identifiable for its thick glossy heart-shaped leaves. These leaves are stalkless and always forming inwards. 

More than aesthetics, its leaves can also be used as a poultice on wounds or as a gentle enema for babies. 

Another unique characteristic of this plant is that its magenta-colored flowers open in the morning and close at night time.

But ironically, the Heartleaf Ice plant cannot tolerate cold temperatures. They prefer desert or arid climates, being endemic to South Africa.

The Heartleaf Ice plant is commonly used as a container or hanging basket plant. 

A mat-forming plant, the Heartleaf Ice also makes a great ground cover in drought-tolerant and tropical gardens. Plant them there, and they’ll definitely thrive without much attention. 

Heartleaf Ice Plant (Mesembryanthemum cordifolium)
Image: Gardenia

In some cultures, the Heartleaf Ice plant is a good luck charm for love life and protection against dark elements. If you believe them too, then definitely get this plant for your home!

13. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
Image: Houseplant Resource Center
Scientific NameEpipremnum aureum
Common NameDevil’s IvyDevil’s VineGolden PothosIvy ArumMarble QueenPothosTaro Vine
FamilyAraceae
Life CyclePerennial
MaintenanceLow
Growth RateMedium
Soil TypeLoam (Silt)Shallow RockyGood DrainageOccasionally Dry
LightDappled SunlightDeep ShadePartial Shade
WateringEvery 1 to 2 weeks
Landscape LocationContainerHanging BasketsHouseplantsVertical Spaces
Indoor/OutdoorIndoor 

Here’s another hanging basket plant choice – Pothos. It’s an evergreen climbing vine with glossy heart-shaped leaves and light green marbled patterns. 

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
Image: Wikipedia

Before being welcomed to everyone’s homes, the pothos was first endemic to Southeast Asia. It had an aerial root system, so it was commonly seen in tree trunks and forest floors. 

Pothos is now a low-maintenance plant where you can turn its cascading stems into a natural curtain. Its trailing vine can actually grow as long as 40 feet! 

Another great thing about it is that you can place them almost anywhere since they can tolerate low-light and humid conditions and thrive in different soils. 

This plant is as versatile as it gets because you can also use it as a ground cover in your garden, where it can spread from 6 to 8 feet wide. 

More than an ornament, Pothos is proven to be very efficient in removing indoor pollutants, adding to the long list of perks of having this in your household. 

Be careful, though, because they contain calcium oxalates which can cause rashes to skin-sensitive people. So, keep them out of reach of pets and children.

14. Carissa Holly (Ilex cornuta ‘Carissa’)

Carissa Holly (Ilex cornuta 'Carissa')
Image: Planting Tree
Scientific NameIlex cornuta ‘Carissa’
Common NameCarissa Chinese HollyCarissa HollyDwarf Chinese Holly
FamilyAquifoliaceae
Life CycleWoody
MaintenanceLow
Growth RateSlow
Soil TypeClayHigh Organic MatterLoam (Silt)SandGood DrainageOccasionally DryOccasionally Wet
LightFull SunPartial Shade
WateringDaily
Landscape LocationCoastalLawnDrought Tolerant GardenEnglish GardenWinter Garden
Indoor/OutdoorOutdoor

Carissa Hollies are packed with waxy sharp-edged leaves and sweetly fragrant flowers. It’s actually a compact broadleaf evergreen shrub that grows 3 to 4 feet tall.  

The leaves of the Carissa Holly grow alternately with a single spine at the tip of every leaf. They’re thick and folding inwards like their own cluster of flowers. 

During spring, it blooms clusters of fragrant white flowers. Later, these turn to edible bright red berries.  

This shrub grows best in full sun or partial shade, moist soils, and daily watering. 

They’re also disease, drought, and wind resistant, making them worthy of their tough-as-nails reputation. 

In designing your landscape, you can use the Carissa Holly in forming hedges, screens, borders, or foundation planting. 

Carissa Holly (Ilex cornuta 'Carissa')
Image: North Carolina Plant Toolbox Extension Gardener

A trademark feature of this plant is its five to nine spines on the margin, making them a great natural substitute for barbed wires. 

Gardeners also describe them as well-mannered because they really keep their rounded shape with less pruning. 

With this, you can definitely use the Carissa Holly as a low foundation plant layered with the backdrop of a flowering plant. 

15. Mexican Gem (Echeveria elegans)

Mexican Gem (Echeveria elegans)
Image: The Spruce
Scientific NameEcheveria elegans
Common NameMexican GemMexican Hens and ChicksMexican Snow BallWhite Mexican Rose
FamilyCrassulaceae
Life CyclePerennial
MaintenanceLow
Growth RateSlow
Soil TypeLoam (Silt)SandShallow RockyGood DrainageOccasionally Dry
LightFull SunPartial Shade
WateringOnce every month
Landscape LocationContainerPatioDrought Tolerant GardenRock Garden
Indoor/OutdoorIndoor and Outdoor

The Mexican Gem is the perfect desktop table plant for your home office. 

It’s a perennial succulent plant indigenous to Northeastern Mexico and later naturalized in Southern California. 

Commercially, they’re a staple in floral arrangements. It’s so versatile that it was bestowed the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society.

This plant grows a rosette of spoon-shaped leaves, making it look like a “(Mexican) snowball,” hence its nickname.

During spring, it blooms pink flowers, which adds a wow factor to this award-winning succulent. 

Mexican Gem (Echeveria elegans)
Image: North Carolina Plant Toolbox Extension Gardener

Mexican Gems need at least 6 hours of full sun or partial shade every day so it’s best if you place them near your window. 

Make sure to plant them in well-drained soil to prevent root rot. Then, just water them at least once a month or whenever the soil feels dry to touch. 

You can also plant the Mexican Gem in shallow containers or use it to decorate rock gardens, decks, and patios. 

If you need more of them, you can propagate the Mexican gem from its leaves. Just twist off one leaf from the node, plant it in well-drained soil, and mist it daily until new leaves emerge from the soil.

16. Desert Rose (Adenium obesum)

Desert Rose (Adenium obesum)
Image: My Domaine
Scientific NameAdenium obesum
Common NameDesert AzaleaDesert RoseImpala LilyKudu LilyMock AzaleaSabi Star
FamilyApocynaceae
Life CyclePerennial
MaintenanceLow
Growth RateSlow
Soil TypeLoam (Silt)SandGood DrainageOccasionally DryVery Dry
LightFull Sun
WateringEvery 2 to 3 weeks
Landscape LocationContainerHouseplantsPatioDrought Tolerant GardenPollinator Garden
Indoor/OutdoorIndoor and Outdoor

If you want a “mini tree” inside your house, then you should consider the Desert Rose. It’s actually not a rose nor a bonsai but an evergreen succulent indigenous to Africa and Asia. 

It has a swollen woody stem with waxy green leaves that grow in spirals. During spring, you will enjoy the sight of small flowers with a color combination of pink, white, and red. 

This slow-growing plant is native to the Arabic peninsula. That’s why it thrives in warm climates. 

We recommend that you plant the Desert Rose in succulent potting soil. You can add crushed pumice or granite so there’s a lot of space for water drainage. 

Like other succulents, you only need to water it when the soil is dry to touch, so that’s once every 2 to 3 weeks. 

The Desert Rose loves bright sunny days so make sure they get full sun daily.

Desert Rose (Adenium obesum)
Image: World of Succulents

To make sure that you get those pink blooms, add a high-nitrogen fertilizer to the soil before the spring season. 

The Desert Rose makes a great accent plant in your room, patios, and drought-tolerant gardens. 

Unfortunately, the Desert Rose is toxic when ingested so keep them away from your pets and especially children. Even by licking the plant, the toxins are transferred in the body, so beware. 

17. Flaming Katy (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)

Flaming Katy (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)
Image: My Garden
Scientific NameKalanchoe blossfeldiana
Common NameFlaming KatyChristmas kalanchoeFlorist kalanchoeMadagascar widow’s-thrill
FamilyCrassulaceae
Life CyclePerennial
MaintenanceLow
Growth RateSlow
Soil TypePotting soilSandyWell DrainedWell Aerated
LightFull SunPartial Shade
WateringOnce every 14 days
Landscape LocationContainerHouseplants
Indoor/OutdoorIndoor

No, the Flaming Katy is not a plant on fire. It’s actually got its name for its colorful and vibrant flowers. 

This plant produces show-stopping bright tubular white, red, pink, yellow, or orange flowers during late autumn to early winter. 

Flaming Katy (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)
Image: Gardenia

Indigenous to Madagascar, the Flaming Katy is a bushy succulent with thick, shiny leaves with ovate and scalloped edges. 

The good thing about the Flaming Katy is that it stays green throughout the year, making it a reliable indoor ornamental plant.

You can plant it in a well-aerated potting soil and water it only once every 14 days. 

Don’t overwater the Flaming Katy. As a succulent, it already stores water in its thick fleshy leaves so overwatering them will only cause its root to rot. 

It loves the full bright sun and warm climates. So, during cold seasons, it’s best you bring it inside your house to keep it safe and warm. 

Pro tip: If you decide to buy this plant from a store, choose ones with unopened buds because this is a great sign that the plant is healthy.

18. Alocasia Polly (Alocasia × amazonica)

Image: Garden Betty
Scientific NameAlocasia × amazonica
Common NameAlocasia PollyAfrican Mask PlantAmazonian Elephant’s Ear
FamilyAraceae
Life CyclePerennial
MaintenanceLow
Growth RateRapid
Soil TypePotting SoilLooseSlightly Acidic
LightIndirect Sunlight
WateringOnce a week
Landscape LocationContainerHouseplant
Indoor/OutdoorIndoor

If you’re looking for an eye-catching accent plant, consider the Alocasia Polly. 

It’s a hybrid plant. It was produced by crossing other Alocasia species – the Alocasia watsoniana from Southeast Asia and Alocasia sanderiana from the Philippines.

Because of this spectacular mix, scientists were able to produce a smaller version of the Alocasia plant, suitable for smaller places.

Alocasia Polly is unique for its shiny leathery leaves shaped like an arrowhead and prominent light green veins. 

Others say the leaves look like the ear of an elephant that’s why it’s also known as the “African Mask Plant” or “Amazonian Elephant’s Ear.”

Image: Outside In Co.

They are great container houseplants. Simply use loose potting soil on them and water once a week. 

Alocasia Pollies love bright but indirect sunlight and a warm, humid, and moist environment. This makes it a great indoor plant for houses in tropical or subtropical regions.

If you see browning of the edges of its leaves, it means it’s been exposed to too much sunlight or is underwatered. So, you’ll need to adjust accordingly. 

Just a fair warning, Alocasia Polly is toxic so make sure they’re out of reach of your pets and especially children. 

19. Dwarf Umbrella Tree (Schefflera arboricola)

Dwarf Umbrella Tree (Schefflera arboricola)
Image: The Spruce
Scientific NameSchefflera arboricola
Common NameAustralian Ivy PalmDwarf Hawaiian ScheffleraDwarf ScheffleraHawaiian Umbrella TreeParasol plantUmbrella Plant
FamilyAraliaceae
Life CycleWoody
MaintenanceLow
Growth RateMedium
Soil TypeLoam (Silt)Good DrainageMoistOccasionally Dry
LightFull SunPartial Shade
WateringOnce the topsoil is dry to touch
Landscape LocationContainerHouseplantsPatio
Indoor/OutdoorIndoor and Outdoor

The Dwarf Umbrella tree makes its shiny leaves look like flowers themselves. It has clusters of shiny oval leaves, each shaped like an open umbrella, hence its name. 

In the wild, this perennial shrub grows from 10 up to 20 feet tall. But you can cultivate Dwarf Umbrella trees as a tree, bush, or bonsai for 4 to 8 feet tall only so you can use them indoors. 

This plant usually grows with one trunk and many branches. On those branches, the glossy palmate and whorled leaves emerge looking like a flower. 

Dwarf Umbrella Tree (Schefflera arboricola)
Image: Houseplant Resource Center

When planting them, you can use a peat moss-based potting mix. We recommend that you mix 2 parts peat moss and 1 part perlite for its soil.

It can also tolerate average room temperatures and full sun or partial shade. Water the plant only when the topsoil feels dry to touch. 

Make sure that the Dwarf Umbrella tree is beyond reach of your household pets because it is mildly toxic and can cause sickness.

20. Heart Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum var. hederaceum)

Heart Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum var. hederaceum)
Image: By Brittany Goldwyn
Scientific NamePhilodendron hederaceum var. hederaceum
Common NameHeart-leaf PhilodendronParlor IvyPhilodendronSweetheart Plant
FamilyAraceae
Life CyclePerennial
MaintenanceLow
Growth RateRapid
Soil TypeGood DrainageMoist
LightDeep ShadePartial Shade
WateringEvery 1 to 3 weeks
Landscape LocationContainerHanging BasketsVertical Spaces
Indoor/OutdoorIndoor

Make it Valentine’s Day every day with the Heart Leaf Philodendron! Because of its unique heart-shaped leaves, it’s also called the “sweetheart” plant. 

It’s a flowering evergreen plant native to the Caribbean and Central America. Hence, it loves tropical climates.

We love that it’s easy to manage this low-maintenance plant by watering it once every 1 to 3 weeks and placing it in deep to partially shaded locations.

You can use it as a decorative hanging basket to fill in vertical spaces in your house. Its vines grow from 10 to 20 feet.

Depending on how long you want to keep its trail, you can prune it to size. Their leaves also tend to accumulate dust, so they may need a wipe with a damp cloth every now and then.

Heart Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum var. hederaceum)
Image: By Brittany Goldwyn

When the leaves turn yellow, it’s a sign of overwatering. To fix this, always let the soil dry out before watering this plant again.

Diluted fertilizers are also recommended for Heart Leaf Philodendrons. Make sure to apply them during the active growing seasons, like summer and spring, but never during winter. 

Unfortunately, the Heart Leaf Philodendron contains calcium oxalates which can cause digestive irritations to pets and humans. So we suggest hanging your baskets higher so they’re out of reach.


Which of these plants with waxy leaves will you place in your home or backyard? Let us know in the comments below!

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