Did you know that certain houseplants purify the air and are SO easy to care for that even a so called "black thumbed" gardener can keep them alive? Don't believe me? Read on.
Houseplants are wonderful additions to the home that add life, color and purify the air in living spaces. Green up a space and it instantly feels more alive. And my motto is, the more plants the merrier.
How Do Houseplants Purify the Air?
Houseplants clean the air through a process called photosynthesis. They remove toxins from the air by converting exhaled carbon dioxide into fresh oxygen. Years ago, NASA researched how houseplants purify the air by diffusing toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, benzane and trichloriothylene and filter the air we breathe. It’s a pretty cool landmark study – you can read it here.
When I first started gardening, I was more of an outdoor gardener than an indoor gardener. Over the years, I’ve been increasingly adding more plants to my home and the result is pretty amazing: we are sick less often.
Now I’m not suggesting or guaranteeing that you’ll never get sick but we have experienced far less colds and viruses through the years since adding more houseplants to our home.
The Benefits of Adding Houseplants that Purify the Air
By adding a few plants, we have the ability to improve indoor air quality. Do you get sick a lot or have bad indoor allergies? Indoor air pollution directly impacts our health and comes from a variety of sources that include benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene.
In addition to purifying the air, houseplants add life and character to both indoor and outdoor spaces. They boost our mood and breathe life into otherwise empty spaces.
Low Maintenance Houseplants that Purify the Air
For best practices, you’ll need about two plants per 100 square feet. But since I’m giving you an easy-care, hard to kill list of plants, having more plants around will be pretty simple. Oh, and if you want to know how to care for these houseplants, follow these tips for success.
Snake plants are one of my favorite houseplants. They are a super low maintenance, hardy succulent that thrives on neglect. Sounds pretty easy right? They can handle almost any light conditions. Put them in a room with at least one window and don’t over water them. To give you a frame of reference, when mine are indoors, I water them maybe once a month.
They are so cool because they thrive on very little water and light as well as add lots of drama and life to living spaces. My husband thought I was nuts for keeping this one at the cabin because there are times when we aren’t there for several weeks to possibly months, but it can go a long time without care.
If you are new to gardening or think you kill everything, try caring for a snake plant. You’ll find the most success with this one.
Aloe plants are another succulent plant that are super easy to care for. They love a bright sunny spot and do not over water because they prefer dry conditions. Much like the snake plant, I probably water these like once a month.
I started with one Aloe plant and it’s been sprouting lots of babies. Learn how to propagate aloe plants here.
The Chinese Evergreen is a great starter plant for beginning gardeners because it tolerates low light and drought, but also loves humidity. Bathrooms are a great spot for them. If kept in a less humid room, mist the leaves occasionally to keep it from browining. Also, if it gets enough sunlight, it may produce a bloom. I haven’t seen one yet on mine, but I’ll let you know when it happens!
Flamingo Lily’s are gorgeous flowering houseplants that can bloom year round but need indirect sunlight, humid temperatures, and water to thrive. They do not like wet feet though, so check the soil before watering to be sure it is dry.
My daughter is a new plant mom and chose this one to start with. Don’t you love those pretty flowers?
Peace Lily’s symbolize sympathy. They work grow well in partial sunlight, humid climates, and produce blooms. If you have a pet, peace lily’s can be toxic to them. Be sure to keep out of their reach.
Spider plants are resilient houseplants that grow well in bright, indirect sunlight with lots of water. They are very easy to propagate when mature because they produce these little spiderettes that can be removed and rooted in water or soil.
Pothos or Devil’s Ivy
Pothos is one of my favorite houseplants because it looks great on a shelf and vines down. This plant loves indirect sunlight and only needs to be watered when dry. If you are a self-proclaimed plant killer, try pothos because it’s nearly impossible to kill.
There are so many varieties of philodendrons. I have a split leave philodendron that I picked up from Lowe’s several years ago. When I purchased it in a small pot, it had only five leaves. After one summer on my deck, it grew exponentially and gives off a tropical vibe.
Philodendrons thrive on very little care but they do need a good amount of light, so when indoors keep them near a bright sunny window.
If you are new to gardening or feel like you kill everything, start with one plant from this list and follow my tips on houseplant care. You’ll be amazed at how good of a plant parent you actually are!
More Posts You May Enjoy
- 7 Ways to Keep Houseplants Alive
- How to Propagate Aloe Plants
- Dividing Perennials
- Potting Bench Idea
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