Quirky but elegant, ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata) blends effortlessly into any style décor, from contemporary to country. It’s a slow grower, but logs quickest progress when placed in bright light (although it tolerates low light just fine). Water only occasionally, because the bulbous base acts like a water reservoir.
When putting houseplants outdoors for summer, try combining ones with similar growing needs into larger pots to create a garden display. These container gardens feature a pot of gold-leafed bromeliads, a duet of bromeliads and silver palm, and Xanadu philodendron skirted with silver satin pothos.
Problem: Bumps on plant leaves and stems. Solution: Scale, insects with hard shells, often infest houseplants; a sooty, black mold can signal their presence. Try scraping them off with your fingernail or the edge of a butter knife. If your plant is badly infested, or the problem persists, try “spot-treating” by touching the scale with a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol. If that doesn’t work, step up to a product labeled for scale.