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Top 8 Native South African Indoor House Plants for Your Home

By · December 8, 2023
Top 8 Native South African Indoor House Plants for Your Home

If you’ve got green fingers and a love for South Africa, you’re on the right page! In this article, we look at the top 8 native indoor plants to liven up your space and clean your air. Imagine transforming your living space into a lush indoor garden, brimming with the vivid colours and unique textures of South Africa's native flora.

From the air-purifying Spekboom to the dazzling Clivia, each plant in this curated collection not only adds aesthetic value to your home but also brings a piece of South Africa's rich botanical heritage indoors.

The Top Indoor House Plants Every South African Needs

  1. Spekboom (Portulacaria afra)

The Spekboom has been trending hard the last few years. It’s been branded the wonder plant of South Africa that can actually help remove carbon from the atmosphere! South Africans have taken this to heart and everyone from nurseries to DIY propagation enthusiasts and even scientists have made an effort to get these little suckers into every field, garden and home!

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A post shared by The Spekboom Co (@thespekboomco)

South African Common names

Afrikaans: Spekboom

Zulu: iNtelezi

  1. Clivia (Clivia miniata)

The Clivia is like a burst of sunshine in the shade. It's a showstopper with its bright, trumpet-shaped flowers that light up any corner of your home. Beloved for its low maintenance and striking blooms, Clivia is a favourite among South Africans. Its resilience and ability to thrive in lower light conditions have made it a popular choice for bringing a touch of the wild into urban homes.

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South African Common names

Afrikaans: Boslelie

Zulu: Umayime

  1. Natal Mahogany (Trichilia emetica)

Natal Mahogany, with its lush, glossy leaves, is the unsung hero of the indoor plant world. Thriving in the warmer parts of South Africa, this plant brings a tropical feel to any space. It's perfect for those looking to add a touch of green elegance to their home. Its ability to grow in low light and its air-purifying qualities make it a popular choice for both homes and offices.

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South African Common names

Afrikaans: Natal-Mahonie

Zulu: UmKhuhlu

  1. Mother-in-law's Tongue (Sansevieria aethiopica)

Also known as the 'Skoonma-se-tong' in Afrikaans, Mother-in-law's Tongue is the rugged survivor of the houseplant world. This plant is almost indestructible and can thrive in a wide range of conditions, making it a favourite for both seasoned gardeners and forgetful plant owners. Its vertical, sword-like leaves add an architectural element to any room, and its air-purifying abilities are a welcome bonus.

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South African Common names

Afrikaans: Skoonma-se-tong

Zulu: Isibopho

  1. Cape Primrose (Streptocarpus)

The Cape Primrose, a charming beauty of South African origin, is a delightful addition to any indoor plant collection. Its velvety leaves and vibrant blooms, ranging in shades from deep blues to soft pinks, bring a splash of colour to shaded indoor spaces.

Known for its long flowering period and ease of care, the Cape Primrose is perfect for adding a continuous floral display to your home. Whether perched on a windowsill or brightening a tabletop, this plant's captivating presence makes it a favourite among houseplant enthusiasts.

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South African Common names

Afrikaans: Kaapse Primula

  1. Wild Garlic (Tulbaghia violacea)

Wild Garlic is not just a plant; it's a multipurpose marvel. This indigenous gem is known for its beautiful lilac-pink flowers and its culinary and medicinal uses. Easy to grow and maintain, it's perfect for adding a splash of colour to your garden or balcony. Whether used in cooking or simply admired for its beauty, Wild Garlic is a testament to the versatility of South African plants.

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A post shared by Manjusha Mohamed (@manjushamohamed)

South African Common names

Afrikaans: Wildeknoffel

Zulu: Isihaqa

  1. Spurflower (Plectranthus species)

Plectranthus, also known as 'muishondblaar' in Afrikaans (literally translating to 'skunk leaf'), is a true delight for any indoor gardener. While its Afrikaans name might suggest a pungent aroma, rest assured, these leaves only release their unique scent when touched, remaining pleasantly neutral otherwise. Its adaptability and attractive greenery make it an effortless choice for anyone looking to infuse their living space with a lush, vibrant touch.

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South African Common names

Afrikaans: Muishondblaar

Zulu: There are many species of Plectranthus, and each may have different local names.

  1. Arum Lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica)

The Arum Lily, or Varkoor as it’s known in Afrikaans, is not just a marvel of the outdoor garden but also a striking indoor plant. Its elegant white spathes and lush green foliage bring a sophisticated and tranquil ambience to any indoor setting.

As an indoor plant, it thrives in well-lit areas but away from direct sunlight, making it perfect for brightening up those partially shaded spots in your home. This plant is ideal for those who appreciate the serene beauty of lilies and want to add a touch of elegance to their indoor space.

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A post shared by Alta van Huyssteen (@altipooh)

South African Common names

Afrikaans: Varkoor

Zulu: ihlukwe

Get planting, South Africa!

​​Whether you're a seasoned green thumb or a budding plant enthusiast, incorporating these native gems into your home can transform it into a vibrant, green oasis. So, embrace the joy of indoor gardening with these South African beauties, and let the natural world bring a sense of peace and vitality into your everyday life.

And remember, when life's journey takes you to a new home, your leafy friends can come along. With Wise Move, transitioning your cherished plants to your new space is not only possible, it’s seamless.

We’ll ensure that your green haven is preserved, making your new house a home in no time 🏡✨

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