Did you know that houseplants do more than make your house beautiful? There are tremendous health benefits for you and your air quality when house plants are present.
Before you run out and buy any of these houseplants, I want to share a personal story about my beginnings. I never have and would never brag about having a green thumb. I may have killed more plants than I have saved in my lifetime thus far. But, I am aiming to turn the tides. Thankfully, time is on my side.
In my twenties, my best friend at the time (and still to this day) knew I loved to cook and heard me often mention a dream of having my very own herb garden. So my sweet friend made me a basket full of herbs for cooking. She beautifully crafted 6-8 small herb plants into a gorgeous basket and tied a big bow on top. It was the sweetest, most thoughtful gift I had received in years.
Three weeks later, she visited, only to find that beautiful basket (still adorned with the big bow) filled with dead herbs! I have wondered if I ever watered them. She never again bought me herbs – or plants, for that matter. However, I am genuinely grateful that she still loves me.
GREEN THUMB NOT REQUIRED
I share this story so you can relax. You don’t have to have a green thumb to keep indoor plants alive; you need time and willingness. After a while, you’ll get the hang of it. If you don’t own any house plants yet, please DO NOT buy a new plant for every room in your house.
There are so many variables for each new one, like does it need bright indirect light, direct light, bright light, or low light. Will it thrive with moist soil, or should you let the soil dry between watering? But don’t fret. I am here to walk you through what works where for beginners and how to love on it just enough to keep it healthy.
To begin with, start with one. If it’s still alive in six months, get another one. Slowly – and I mean slowly – add to your collection. Caring for plants is like any new habit. Time and lots of repetition are needed.
However, please, still get that plant! Just give yourself time and grace as you learn to care for it.
So here are some of the best plants to own and easily maintain (i.e., keep alive) and the best place to put them in your home.
I have even noted a few as my favorites (mainly because they haven’t died yet).
THE BEST HOUSE PLANTS FOR THE BATHROOM
While house plants can bring life to any room of the home, my two favorite rooms to place plants in are the bathroom and the kitchen. The main reason is that plants naturally absorb water and moisture from the air. These two rooms happen to use the most water in the home. A secondary bonus is easy access to water to keep them on a healthy watering schedule, so it’s a win-win for this busy mama.
Philodendrons* are lovely for every room of your home. I like them best for the bathroom, though. They work well with bright, indirect light, so be sure to put them only in a bathroom with a window or a skylight. They’re great to hang near the shower, as some varieties can grow up to twenty feet long. They can also easily be placed on the back of the toilet seat, allowing room for the long plant to wrap itself around its pot or drape down the sides to the floor.
Not only do they bring a breath of fresh air by absorbing toxins from space, but they also love to absorb excess moisture. They thrive in soil that is kept moist, so be sure to check it often (maybe every time you shower). Side
Note: I also like to hang fresh eucalyptus in my shower for a nice, scented steam shower when it is in season.
*Philodendrons can be mildly toxic for dogs and cats, though. If you have animals, keep this plant out of reach. If your pet should ingest this plant, contact your vet immediately.
The Boston Fern* is an easy addition to any indoor plant collection, readily available in most regions. They like to be placed by windows but prefer low, indirect light. Soil should stay moist, but a well-draining pot is best. These guys love humidity.
If you live in the southeast, you can take him outside in the spring on a shaded back porch. Just be sure to bring him back in before the temps dip below 55 degrees. I like to keep them inside year-round. Since they absorb humidity in the air like sponges, they are a low-maintenance plant in our home.
Tip – If the tips begin to brown, they are not getting enough humidity.
*Pet-Freindly – These guys are non-toxic for your fur babies, both cats and dogs.
THE BEST HOUSE PLANT FOR THE KITCHEN
Something inviting about a kitchen with live plants. In addition to herbs, which many cooks prefer, the spider plant makes a beautiful splash of life.
Spider Plants* are unique. NASA even has a great fondness for them. They are natural neutralizers for the air and are commonly used to remove formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and xylene (think gasoline and magic markers). These plants thrive in bright, indirect light. You should water them 2-3 times a week.
They also thrive in a humid environment, making them great for the kitchen. I like to keep mine in a hanging planter near the window. Their air purifying qualities also help absorb the toxins our gas stove emits into the air when we cook, helping to cleanse our indoor air quality.
A fun fact about these plants is that they are easy to duplicate. Check out here to see how to make more of your own in your home.
*These favorites of mine are also non-toxic to both cats and dogs.
THE BEST INDOOR PLANT FOR THE FAMILY OR LIVING ROOMS
Some opt for artificial varieties such as silk or rubber plants in this area of the home. I’m a naturalist and prefer the real thing when possible. In truth, I only keep one plant in this space, as I do not spend as much time here unless we have visitors or I am enjoying a weekly family movie night.
This is a great area for a low-maintenance, upright plant if you have sufficient light. Here is my favorite for either or both of these rooms.
Peace Lilies* are the choice of foliage for this space in your home. They add a touch of sophistication to your décor while working double duty cleaning the air in this common area. These magic beauties even reduce dust by up to 20%.
For care, the soil should stay moist, and they prefer indirect morning light, so be sure to keep near a window that only gets direct sunlight in the earlier parts of the day. These guys are so low maintenance that a corner could even work.
The plant has an aromatic blooming feature, releasing a pleasant, natural fragrance that lasts up to one week. Better than that toxic plug-in any day.
*Peace Lillies can be toxic for dogs and cats, though. If you have animals, keep this plant out of reach. If your pet should ingest this plant, contact your vet immediately.
THE BEST HOUSE PLANT FOR THE BEDROOM
In addition to the bathroom and kitchen, this is a must-have space to keep an air-purifying indoor plant. After all, you do spend most of your time in this room. Albeit mostly sleeping, breathing is breathing, and you deserve the best air possible.
English Ivy* is one of the most elegant houseplants I have ever had. Some of my plants are gender-neutral when I refer to them, but my English Ivy is always a she. She is elegant, poised, and always beautiful (except when I forget to water her – still learning here). I like to keep mine on my nightstand, but she happily hangs in the corner of my bedroom. They want soft, low light and need watering 4-5 times weekly.
I think all bedrooms should have a plant somewhere near the sleeping area. English Ivy is not only beautiful, but she is also a workhorse, purifying the air of trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, and ammonia.
These toxic chemicals are in the ingredients of many everyday salon products, including hair dyes. So they could be lingering in your bedroom – even on your pillow, where you lay your head at night.
**English Ivy can be mildly toxic for dogs and cats, though. If you have animals, keep this plant out of reach. If your pet should ingest this plant, contact your vet immediately.
Where to Buy the Best Indoor Plants?
You are not alone in wondering where to buy the best indoor plants. I am often asking myself this question. If you have followed my blog for a while, you know I promote local and small businesses all day long. When it comes to gardening, they must also be organically grown without chemicals or pesticides. This is critical for indoor plants especially.
While there are larger home goods supply stores in many regions of the United States, such as Home Depot or Lowe’s Improvement, I highly suggest you take some time to seek out some smaller markets near you. Not only will they have varieties more conducive for your region, but the customer service, knowledge, and care for your purchase will be what any new plant owner will need.
I can share that in the Upstate of SC, I have three places I love to shop:
Lichtenfelts in Greer: Pros – Great variety and inspiration. Cons – It can get expensive quickly.
Greenville’s State Farmer’s Market Pros – Nice selection of plants at affordable prices. Cons – Not all produce or plants are from the USA. Read your tags.
Martin’s Garden Center: Pros – Amazing variety, pricing is excellent. Cons – A bit of a drive for me, but worth it.
Pick a room and grab a plant to spruce up your space today. You are going to be breathing easier in no time at all. Plus, your area will have more natural beauty to light up your day and life.
What is your favorite houseplant? Bonus if you have photos to share of it in your home.