The African Violet (Saintpaulia) is the first one that always comes to my mind. These plants need lots of indirect sunlight and should be watered once the dirt has dried out some. The downfall of these plants is that they often take over any other flower that is growing in the pot with it. For the African Violet, I recommend picking out a unique pot that willhighlight the beautiful blooms that come from this plant. Most houseplants do not have blooms, but this is one that will consistently bring a pop of color to your room!
You have most likely seen an overgrown Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) hanging precariously in a corner of your grandmother’s home, but have you ever considered using this plant in a container garden? This plant needs indirect light and very little watering (once or twice a week); this tells us that other shade plants will be a great companion plant for this container. Try planting the Spider Plant with an Inchplant or Wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina)to compliment the varigated leaves with another color variation. Adding Sweet Potato vine (Ipomoea batatas)and Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) for a trailing effect truly elevates this plant for your shaded front porch.
If I had to choose the most common gifted plant, it would have to be the Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera). The bright pop of red, pink, or white that comes from these thick plants makes a beautiful plant to look at and an easy plant to share. The Christmas Cactus should be placed in a bright, indirect spot for sunlight and should be watered when the soil feels slightly drier than moist. Since these plants are blooming around Christmas time, the best way to make this plant stand out is planting it with a Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima). A white Christmas Cactus would be the most stunning mixture with a Poinsettia, but the red and pink blooms will also work to create a container. If you only have the red and pink Christmas Cactus, try adding in some white Chrysanthemums with the Poinsettia to make all the colors blend well.
I hope these tips help you in revamping your heirloom plants. I also hope they encourage you continue keeping those beauties thriving for many, many years to come!