12 Indoor Plants to Make You Happier and Healthier
We spend more and more of our time indoors. That’s a fact. Because of that fact, most of the 10,000-20,000 litres, or approximately 23,000 breaths you take each day happens in enclosed spaces. For the most part, especially for those of you spending a large portion of that breathing time in offices, that air is a mishmash of air contaminants and poor circulation that compromises and reduces your oxygen supply.
Air quality plays a critical role in your overall health (obviously), and indoor air pollutants are listed in the top five environmental risks to public health. Poor air affects your emotional wellbeing, your sleep, your skin, and your cognition. What can you do about it?
Indoor plants increase oxygen supply and purify the air, positively impact your sense of calm, optimism and productivity. They also reduce stress, blood pressure, airborne bacteria, and toxic chemicals.
It’s not just about the work the plants do themselves. Studies show that simply seeing plants improve our mood, and one study found that the amount of time we spend caring for plants directly correlates to improved psychological and physiological effects.
All of this to say: You may not have realized it, but you want to turn your home into a lush oxygen-rich, aesthetically soothing sanctuary. And we’ve got just the list of plants to help you do it, whether you have a green thumb or not.
1- The Bamboo Palm
Native to Madagascar, this winner made NASA’s list of top clean-air plants. It’s pretty, hardy, and can grow up to your ceiling if you let it. Just keep it well-watered, in good soil, and out of direct sunlight!
Ferns are lovely whimsical plants, and have the added bonus of increasing the humidity in your air which will keep your skin nicely moisturized. Another fan of indirect sunlight and being well-watered, just make sure you don’t overdo it. Damp, not soggy!
This delightfully-scented plant is well-known for its relaxing aroma. Research shows it helps reduce anxiety and bring on sleep, by slowing down your heart rate and nervous system and lowering your blood pressure. Usually an outdoor plant, it can do quite well inside with the proper care. It needs the right size container, as much sun as possible, and watering only when soil is dry up to an inch down. Place your lavender plant near a south-facing windowsill and let it do its magic.
4- Golden Pothos
Another high achiever on the NASA clean air report, this plant is great at removing chemicals from the air, and is extremely hard to kill. So if you’ve had a hard time maintaining plants before, this one is a great place to start. It handles low-light and irregular watering!
5- Fiddle Leaf Fig
A very attractive and popular plant, Fiddle Leafs clean the air of allergens and give a high oxygen output. They do best in indirect sunlight- not near a window and not in a dark corner either. Keep them lightly watered and you’ll do just fine.
6- Snake Plant
This interesting looking plant is ideal for your bedroom because it absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen specifically at night, keeping the air circulation while you sleep well balanced. It also does best in indirect light and you should let the soil dry between watering.
7- Chinese Evergreen
This incredible plant is better at removing pollutants and toxins the longer it spends in a place. It also can bloom cute little berries, and is comfortable in low lighting. Allow the soil to dry out between watering, and use a natural fertilizer a couple of times a year.
8- English Ivy
English Ivy tops most lists as the best air-filtering houseplant. Very pretty and can be shaped to spread and hang over bookshelves, window sills, or closets. Ivy prefers indirect light, and the soil should stay moist between watering. This one can need a tiny bit more care in terms of mite control and fertilizer, but nothing too arduous. A mild Google will set you up right.
The gorgeous smelling flowers and glossy green leaves of this plant speak for themselves. They are another perfect bedroom addition as their scent, like Lavender, reduces anxiety and helps you have a deep sleep. Like the Ivy however, these do need a touch more care but are totally worth the effort. Bright but indirect sunlight is best, in an area free of drafts or excess heat. Water when soil is dry, and add some fertilizer in late spring.
10- Rubber Plant
This charming but tough plant can live with minimal light, lower temperature, and less attention than most indoor varieties. It is also another winner in the air purifying category!
11- Spider Plant
This is the plant you can put in your bathroom! Another great pollutant absorber, the Spider Plant loves the steam, handles indirect light well, and can do with a watering just once a week.
12- Aloe Vera
Last but not least, this fabulous and medicinal plant cleanses the air and will be there to sooth your sunburn and psoriasis whenever you need it. It just needs sunshine and watering every three weeks!
Why not get one of each? And remember, each plant has specific needs so it always helps to do a bit more research online. And for those of you who have pets, always check to make sure each one isn’t poisonous to your furbabies.
That’s all folks!