Did you know that house plants do more for your home than make it look pretty? There are tremendous health benefits for you and your air quality when house plants are present.
Before you run out and buy these four house plants, let me share a quick 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.
A GREEN THUMB IS 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, please DO NOT buy a new plant for every room in your house.
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 my favorite four house plants to own and easily maintain (i.e., keep alive) and the best place to put them in your home.
THE BEST HOUSE PLANT FOR THE BATHROOM
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 BEST HOUSE PLANT FOR THE KITCHEN
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 are non-toxic for pets and thrive in bright, indirect light. You should water them 2-3 times a week. A fun fact about spider plants is that they are easy to duplicate. Check out here to see how to make more of your own in your home.
*Spider plants are non-toxic to both cats and dogs.
THE BEST HOUSE PLANT FOR THE FAMILY ROOM
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 can linger for 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
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 is happy hanging in the corner of my bedroom. They want soft light and need watering 4-5 times weekly.
I think all bedrooms should have a plant somewhere near the sleeping area. Please think of this as a natural air purifier, cleansing the air we breathe while we sleep at night. 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 toxic for pets, so if you have a fur baby that likes to chew on plants, hanging this one up might be safest.
**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.
You may have already read my blog post on Indoor Air Quality or the follow-up post entitled Ten Ways to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality. If not, be sure to check them out soon. In the meantime, 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.
I would love to know your favorite houseplant. So tell me in the comments below. Bonus if you have photos to share of it in your home.
With Love – Eco Mama