7 house plants you cannot kill in Jakarta


In today’s post we hope to inspire you to go buy some house plants this weekend!

Adding greenery to your home is not a new concept, but Jakarta is definitely ‘heaven’ for plants that love to live indoors but we’ve still got to be careful of the houseplant pests that we could welcome into our home. Our warm tropical climate and the extraordinary number of places we have available to us to buy plants, make Jakarta the perfect place to fill our homes with greenery.

I’ve selected 7 robust plants that will take you a hard time killing. I promise! Can you add to this list? Send us a message and let’s talk tropical indoor plants.

Happy reading, Happy house plant shopping and Happy weekend to you all!

I love this one … clean and sculptural, and the care is minimal

1. Sansevieria – Snake Plant – Mother in Law’s Tongue – Lidah Mertua

This incredibly hardy almost indestructible plant has many names. Which one do you know it by? Native to Africa, Sansevieria has long spear-shaped green leaves and requires little watering or light, and takes up little space, and I’m a huge fan!

Why the Sansevieria?
First of all, I think this plant is very cool! It has a great retro feel and for as long as I can remember homes in Australia all had one or 10, but mostly they were found outside. Now that I’m living in Jakarta, I’m excited to say, this cool plant lives happily here too! and with the same cheeky reference to a mother in law’s tongue.

Interesting facts:

  • The Sansevieria is often recommended as a good plant for a bedroom since it absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen at night. This is the opposite of many plants, which release oxygen during the day. So, if you place a Sansevieria in your bedroom, you may enjoy a little extra oxygen intake during the night.
  • Sansevieria has its own hashtag day on Instagram?—?#sansevieriasunday. Check it out!

Where to buy?
Every road-side nursery in Jakarta

The Zanzibar Gem has great shaped, chunky foliage. I bought this plant at a roadside nursery. The pot and stand are from Linoluna, Lippo Mall

2. Zanzibar Gem – Pohon Dolar

I bring you another hardy and formidable indoor plant, The Zanzibar Gem or Pohon Dolar/ Money Tree as it is referred to in Indonesia.

It tolerates low light areas really well ( it still prefers light filled spaces and will thrive in one, but it won’t suddenly die in lower light spots either). The Zanzibar is happy with a light watering roughly every two weeks.

Why the Zanzibar Gem?
This plant literally thrives, with very little effort on your part at all! Perfect, yes?

Important facts:

  • The sap of Zanzibar Gem is toxic and, if ingested, could make you unwell so, after dividing the plant, make sure you wash hands well with soap and water.
  • Just about the ONLY thing that will kill the Zanzibar, is over watering! It DOES NOT enjoy ‘wet feet’ and will slowly die if you kill it with kindness in this way. BE WARNED!

Where to buy? Road-side nurseries and mobile plant sellers

My Devil’s Ivy in a Water hyacinth fibre planter from Rumah Amasti, Lotte Avenue

3. Devil’s Ivy – Golden Pothos – Sirih Gading

The Devil’s Ivy is one of the easiest house plants you can grow. It’s a legend! it really is! The Devil’s Ivy has waxy, yellow-green, heart-shaped leaves, and thrives in the hardest of conditions and tolerates extremes. It was cool back in the 80’s (I remember it well in my family home in Australia, trailing over a black metal indoor archway), and now in Jakarta, the Devil’s Ivy is everywhere! Most commonly seen here grown in a bottle filled with water and hung from a hook on a wall)

Why the Devils Ivy? It’s a fun plant. It works in so many places, but particularly up high; on a shelf, or sideboard, even draped over a water dispenser, where I’ve placed mine. The Devil’s Ivy is an air purifying plant and is believed to clean formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and benzene from the air.

Important tip: Keep your Devil’s Ivy away from direct sunlight.

Where to buy?
Everywhere in Jakarta! This is also the kind of plant you can propagate from a cutting. 😉

I love the big dark green leaves of the rubber tree. Be careful though, they grow tall fast!

4. Rubber tree – Ficus Elastica

I love this gorgeous plant with its large, deep green leaves! From my experience if you’re patient enough to begin with a small to medium-sized plant, they will adapt better to indoor living than starting with a more mature plant. I own two, and they can grow to impressive heights within a few years in Jakarta.

Why the Rubber tree? Rubber trees are a great accent plant and require minimal care. They like bright light and a lot of it, but not direct sunlight. Too easy in Jakarta!


  • You can tell if your rubber plant needs more light if it becomes leggy, its leaves lose their luster, and lower leaves fall off.
  • Keeping the plants in small pots will restrict their growth, if you want to keep them smaller.

Where to buy?
Everywhere in Jakarta! Start with a road-side nursery

A true tropical plant!

5. Elephant’s Ear – Telinga Gajah

This tropical plant originates from Southeast Asia and has large, striking deep green leaves outlined with silver veins that almost glow. Just beautiful!

Why the Elephant’ Ear? This is a true tropical plant, which looks great and requires a minimal effort. All it asks is for its soil to be kept moist.

Where to buy?
Again, nowhere fancy, I would suggest you start at a road-side nursery

Ruffled Fan Palm

6. Ruffled Fan Palm – Palem Sadang

Palms are another symbol of the tropics and are very easy to maintain, requiring only bright, filtered light and a light watering about once a week. Kept in a pot they are slow growing and an added bonus is they are an air purifier. I love that too!

Why the palm? To me palm trees are symbolic of everything tropical. I had to have at least one.

Where to buy? I would suggest start your search at a road-side nursery. You will find many varieties of palm to choose from.

Aloe Vera plant in a terracotta pot from Unearth, 2nd floor 1/15 Coffee Gandaria

7. Aloe Vera – Aloe Barbadensis – Lidah Buaya (crocodile tongue)

Aloe vera is an evergreen succulent plant species that originates from the Arabian Peninsula but grows crazy in tropical climates and I love it! Aloe Vera adores the sun, and care for it is the same whether it is inside or out, water sparingly and provide plenty of drainage. Very simple.

Why Aloe Vera? I love the shape, the easy maintenance, and the Bahasa Indonesia name … Lidah Buaya meaning crocodile tongue. Gorgeous!

Where to buy? This is the kind of plant that is happily exchanged between neighbours and friends. They multiply quickly and can be easily divided.

Where to buy house plants in Jakarta?

  • Roadside nurseries – No tags attached to pots with botanical names here, but rather enjoy a very local experience of browsing the aisles and using your best ‘Bahasa Indonesia.’ Visiting roadside plant shops is one of my favourite things to do in Jakarta. My favourite nursery is next to Carrfour Lebak Bulus. It has everything! Other roadside nurseries are located in Ragunan, Dharmawangsa and Senayan, to name a few.
  • Local Markets – Follow our IG account for updates on Local Markets
  • Concept stores

Jl. Haji Junaedi No. 2A
Jakarta Selatan
Instagram: Living with Lof

Dharmawangsa Square
Plaza Senayan
Grand Indonesia

Instagram: Niu.jkt

Level 2 1/15 Coffee Gandaria


Rumah Amasti
Lotte Avenue, First Floor
Instagram: Rumahamasti

  • Instagram

Plantis et Java
Grow and grow id. catalog
SK garden

Instagram accounts about Plants from around the web to inspire you

Houseplant hoarders
House plant house
Forever planty
The potted jungle

If you enjoyed today’s post we think you will also like:

How to make fresh flowers last longer in Jakarta
How to bring the outside in – including greenery in your home
Growing your own produce in Jakarta
The Bogor Botanical Gardens

Let’s stay in touch : Instagram

Words : Liz McClean Photography : a journey bespoke


  1. Roxana says

    Hi, great article! Where do you buy all these plants? You mentioned road side nurseries but I don’t recall seeing any around. Do you know good areas for some (maybe around Kelapa Gading/Sunter/Kemayoran). Thanks!

    • ajourneybespoke says

      Hi Roxana
      Thanks for your message. Glad you liked the article. The road side nurseries I was thinking about are the one on the road near Carrefour, Lebak Bulis before taking the toll road and next to the Hotel Dharmawangsa. There is also another on the same side of the road and just past Plaza Senayan. I hope this helps. Do let me know if you need more help. Happy plant shopping! Liz

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