There are so many reasons to love the outdoors: the sun, the breeze, the plants. Nature, and all of its beauty makes outside a place of relaxation and clarity.
But, unfortunately, we can’t be outside all of time. So, why not bring some of that natural goodness indoors with us?
Open blinds, open windows, and indoor plants are a great way to bring all the things you love about outside—in.
And the good thing is you can leave the mosquitos outside!
Why Indoor Plants
Indoor plants have some amazing health benefits to help centre your mind, promote wellness and keep your home looking fresh. Some of these benefits include:
Indoor plants help you breath easier and cleaner. As plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, they help create an environment with increased breathable air in our homes. And by helping to get rid of the carbon dioxide that we release, they also help purify our homes’ air.
But plants don’t only get rid of carbon dioxide. Extensive research through the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) shows that certain plants are also effective at removing toxic vapors from inside buildings and houses.
When you water your plants, the water moves through them and eventually is evaporated from the plants’ leaves, stems, and flowers in a process known as transpiration.
The moisture from transpiration ends up in your home’s air. And, according to studies at the Agricultural University of Norway, transpiration in a home decreases occurrences of dry skin, colds, sore throat, and dry coughs. Furthermore, experts believe that the higher home humidity promoted through transpiration can prevent the flu virus from thriving and spreading.
Not only can house plants help keep you healthy, but they can also help you heal. A study from Kansas State University found that viewing plants during recovery led to lower blood pressure, less pain, less anxiety, and less fatigue.
Studies also show that having plants around can make you more productive. In fact, a University of Michigan study found that being around plants can increase memory retention up to 20%!
So, what are you waiting for? Fill your home and office with green and watch your health and productivity blossom. Before you head to the nursery, get inspired with our list of top 10 indoor plants to ensure you are maximising each plant’s benefits.
Top 10 Best Indoor Plants
1. Spider Plant
Spider plants are great house plants because they are very adaptable. Many consider the spider plant one of the easier plants to grow and take care of. So, if you’re not known for your green thumb, the spider plant is just for you.
Maintenance: Spider plants are resilient and require very little maintenance. To take care of them, make sure they have well-drained soil and bright, indirect light. These plants prefer dry soil to soggy soil, so try not to overwater them.
Size: The spider plant can reach 60 cm in height.
2. Ficus Plant
While ficus plants can cause vomiting if consumed, they are a highly effective air purifier for your home. These plants are also relatively easy to care for and are very attractive.
Maintenance: Ficus love bright and indirect sunlight. They also do well outdoors, as long as they are kept from direct sunlight. These plants do best in warm temperatures and need consistent, moderate watering.
Size: Depending on the variety you choose, ficus can grow to be 30 metres tall. Although, when kept inside the home, they will normally only reach about 1.5 metres.
3. Red-Edged Dracaena
The Red-Edged Dracaena is a great indoor choice because of its ability to remove toxins from your breathing air. Specifically, it targets xylene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde, which can enter your living space through lacquers, varnishes, and gasoline.
Maintenance: Red-Edged Dracaena thrive in fertile soil. They also tolerate low light, but are susceptible to frost, so make sure to keep them away from windows in the winter time. These plants only require watering once or twice a week.
Size: Red-Edged Dracaenas can grow to be more than 1.5 metres tall.
4. Peace Lily
When conducting its research on the health benefits of indoor plants, NASA found peace lilies to be one of the top plants for cleaning the air. Not only will the plant help you breathe better, but it is also very attractive and can liven up any indoor space.
Maintenance: Peace Lilies require moist, well-drained soil. You may notice that your flowers start to wilt every two to three days. If this is the case, move your plant to a larger pot. They will grow well in low to moderate light.
Size: Most house peace lily plants can grow to be about 40 cm tall.
5. Golden Pothos
The golden pothos is very easy to grow and can be used as a hanging plant. It also provides air purifying benefits, but can be toxic to eat, so keep this one away from animals and children.
Maintenance: Golden pothos can be propagated easily by cutting a leaf and letting it sit in water until it grows roots.
To take care of an already established plant, give it moderate to full sunlight and let it completely dry out between watering.
Size: Golden pothos is a viney plant that can spread up to 12 metres. However, you don’t have to let it grow this long and can prune it as you deem necessary.
6. Snake Plant
While most plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen during the day, the snake plant makes the transition at night time. This will provide you and your family with purified air even as you sleep – which is why many people like to keep the snake plant in their bedrooms. The snake plant is also inexpensive and relatively low maintenance.
7. Maintenance: Snake plants tolerate a host of different lighting conditions, but perform best in indirect lighting. As with the golden pothos, it is best to let the soil of the snake plant dry out completely in between watering. This will prevent over-watering and root rot.
Size: Snake plants can grow to about 70 cm when kept indoors.
8. Bamboo Palm
Bamboo palms are beautiful tree-like plants that stay small enough to keep indoors without becoming overwhelming. It is known for its evergreen colour and the small flowers and berries that it produces.
It is also known for its ability to filter out toxins, like benzene and trichloroethylene.
Maintenance: The bamboo palm thrives in shady and low-lit indoor spaces.
It requires low water and will suffer from root rot if the soil is not drained. Therefore, make sure to only water this plant when the soil feels dry.
Size: The bamboo palm can grow up to 3.5 metres, but often reaches only half that height.
9. Meyer Lemon Tree
The Meyer lemon tree provides a sweet fruit that is a hybrid between lemons and mandarin oranges. In addition to the fruit, this plant also gives your house a natural fragrance of citrus
Maintenance: The Meyer lemon tree will perform well as long as it gets lots of sun and is watered once a week.
Size: While Meyer lemon trees grown outdoors can reach up to 4.5 metres, those grown inside generally only reach a third of that height.
10. Aloe Vera
In addition to aloe vera’s amazing ability to help purify your home’s air and provide oxygen throughout the night, this plant is also known to help heal the skin. Many people use the gel from inside the aloe leaves to help heal burns, abrasions, psoriasis, and bug bites.
Maintenance: Aloe Vera is a very low maintenance plant. It requires minimal water (only once every three weeks) and can survive in a variety of lighting conditions.
Size: While many people like the smaller variety of aloe vera plants, they can grow to be as large as 100 cm tall.
11. English Ivy
Like aloe vera, English ivy is known for its air purifying abilities as well as its healing abilities. English ivy has the following health benefits:
- Body detox
- Congestion relief
Because English ivy can be toxic in large doses, it is important to speak with a doctor if you plan to consume this plant.
Maintenance: To thrive, English ivy requires generous watering and fertilising. They also require filtered or low lighting.
Size: If not kept in a pot, English ivy will continue to grow and is considered invasive. It can reach lengths of about 30.5 metres!