Bringing nature into your household is beneficial in more ways than one. Indoor plants keep us close to the pleasantries of nature, helping us feel grounded and giving our living space a zen vibe. They give us something to nurture, without having demands and creating stress. They release oxygen, providing us with our most basic life necessity. They look pretty, and now we know, that they even purify the air.
Studies conducted by scientists at NASA, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Georgia and other respected institutions have come to a unanimous conclusion: Plants really do purify the air in your home.
“Findings proved the air-purification capacities of indoor plants, showing that they absorb gases in addition to carbon dioxide. Other pollutants included a long list of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Benzene (found in some plastics, fabrics, pesticides and cigarette smoke) and formaldehyde (found in some cosmetics, dish detergent, fabric softener and carpet cleaner) are examples of common indoor VOCs that plants help eliminate. These VOCs and other indoor air pollutants (such as ozone) have been linked to numerous acute conditions, including asthma and nausea, as well as chronic diseases such as cancer and respiratory illnesses.” – livescience.com
Indoor plants Nº1: Snake Plant
What the experts say: “This carefree succulent plant tolerates neglect extremely well. If you’ve had no success with houseplants other than plastic ones, give snake plant a try. In addition to the tall form, shorter, bird’s-nest forms are available. All types withstand low light but appreciate brighter conditions. The only problem likely to develop is root rot if you overwater the plant.”
Bonus: It’s nearly indestructible.
Name: Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’
Growing Conditions: Low to bright light, 60-85ºF, allow the soil surface to dry between waterings
Size: Up to 4 feet tall and wide
Indoor plants Nº2: Norfolk Island Pine
What the experts say: “The secret to keeping Norfolk Island pine healthy is to give it ample light and humidity. In low light, the lower branches may turn brown and fall off. If the air is too dry, it becomes a prime target for spider mites, a common houseplant pest. In its native habitat, Norfolk Island pine can reach 200 feet tall, but don’t worry – indoors, it seldom grows taller than 10 feet.”
Name: Araucaria heterophylla
Growing Conditions: Bright light. 60-75 ºF, allow the soil surface to dry between waterings
Size: Up to 10 feet tall and 5 feet wide
Indoor plants Nº3: Grape Ivy
What the experts say: “Regardless of the variety, grape ivy is a vine with tendrils that readily cling to a trellis or stake. It offers shiny, deep green leaves that create a very nice texture. Even though it’s a vine, grape ivy has more of a mounding habit – so it’s a perfect choice for lush, tidy-looking hanging baskets.”
Name: Cissus rhombifolia
Growing Conditions: Medium light, 65-80ºF, keep evenly moist
Size: Up to 6 feet as a vine
Indoor plants Nº4: Cast-Iron Plant
What the experts say: “One of the toughest you can grow, cast-iron plant withstands neglect, low light, low humidity, and a wide range of temperatures. It grows slowly so purchase a plant that is large enough for the space in which you intend to use it. Several varieties have white or yellow variegation on their leaves.”
Name: Aspidistra elatior
Growing Conditions: Low light, 45-85ºF, keep evenly moist during active growth, barely moist in fall and winter
Size: Up to 2 feet tall and wide
Indoor plants Nº5: Jade Plant
What the experts say: “If watering is an issue, jade plant may be for you. This slow grower can survive for decades if it has bright light and stays dry. It combines well with cacti and other succulents. It appreciates normal room temperatures during the growing season, but grows best if you keep it on the cool side and just moist enough to prevent leaves from shriveling through winter. It’s a low-water, treelike plant with interesting, gnarly branches and succulent, fleshy leaves.”
Name: Crassula ovata
Growing Conditions: Bright light, 65-75ºF, 55ºF in winter; keep moderately dry
Size: Up to 6 feet tall
Indoor plants Nº6: Aloe
What the experts say: “This succulent with long pointed leaves has medicinal properties you probably well know from product labels. It can grow three feet high for big impact indoors. Smaller varieties like the popular aloe vera, work great in small, sunny indoor spaces.”
Name: Aloe Barbadensis Miller
Growing Conditions: Lots of sunlight, around 70ºF, prefers dry soil, water occasionally
Size: Up to 3 feet tall, spreading by offsets.
Indoor plants Nº7: Peace Lilly
What the experts say: “Surely you’ve seen this indoor plant in many homes, since it has such pretty, curving white blooms and dark leaves—and it’s super easy to grow. This house plant favours low humidity and also low light, making it great for rooms with few windows. It prefers moist soil throughout the pot and tolerates standard temperatures.”
Name: Spathiphyllum wallisii
Growing conditions: Keep the soil moist at all times, but do not overwater. No hotter than 85ºF. Prefers medium, indirect sunlight. During winter fertilise every 6 weeks, If you want flowers to appear, but none have, move the plant to a darker room.
Size: Up to 3 feet. Deluxe plant up to 4 feet.
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