cover image courtesy of @relovedupholsteryanddesign
Bringing plants into the home can have many health benefits, not to mention they have the power to transform spaces completely. Aside from their aesthetic appeal, plants work overtime to filter and purify the air we breathe by releasing oxygen and removing toxins in the home caused by paint, furniture finishings, and pollution. Plus, studies have shown they help boost mood, concentration, and productivity, all while reducing stress. It sounds like a no-brainer, especially since many of us are spending more time in our homes than ever before.
Not sure where to start? Begin by calculating the number of plants you’d like to bring into the space. According to plantlifebalance.com, one plant in a 13’ x 16’ room will improve air quality by 25% and provide mental well-being improvement. Five plants in a space that size increase air quality by up to 75% and mental well-being by 60%. In other words, quantity matters, as well as size and leafiness. To help get started, we’ve compiled our favorite plants based on your needs:
Best Baby & Pet-Safe Plants:
- Boston Fern - Large, leafy plants that can transform spaces and purify the air. It helps boost humidity, which is great for dry winter months.
- Baby’s Tears - No, these won’t make babies cry. These non-toxic, dense plants have small teardrop-shaped leaves and grow horizontally, making them great for hanging.
- Spider Plant - One of the easiest to grow houseplants, Spider plants aren’t harmful to pets and young children and purify the air. These curly-leafed plants sprout little ‘babies’ that can easily be repotted and placed in other parts of the home. Have young children help with the repotting for a fun weekend activity!
- Herbs - Start a small window-sill herb garden. Herbs make for great house plants, no need to worry about toxins, and who doesn’t love having fresh herbs for cooking. Use the mini herb garden to begin teaching children about healthy eating and how to care for plants.
- Christmas Cactus - Pretty pink flowers and safe for children and pets! Not to mention they are easy to propagate, so you can fill other rooms once they’ve grown.
- African Violet - These little blossoms are edible, and since they tend to like conditions similar to ones people prefer, they aren’t too challenging to grow.
Curious which plants are harmful to those with little hands and paws? Here are a few common houseplants to watch out for:
- Peace Lily
- Mother-In-Laws Tongue
Best Low Maintenance Plants:
- Christmas Cactus - Yup, this one doubles as low maintenance since it only needs to be watered once a month. My secret tip for this one - during October, set it in a dark closet (still water monthly) in about four weeks or once buds appear, remove from the closet – it’ll get more blossoms this way!
- Asparagus Fern - Adjusts to light spaces or dark. All you have to do is keep the soil moist.
- Philodendron - While they are mildly toxic, some of the easiest house plants grow and propagate. They can thrive in either just water or in soil. These are more of a vine-like plant, so they are excellent for hanging baskets, high shelves, or draped over cabinets’ tops.
- Chinese Money Plant - Don’t get a lot of sunlight? The Chinese Money Plant prefers shady spaces and requires only weekly watering.
- Yuca - If your space gets lots of direct sunlight, no problem! Yuca loves it! Water sparingly when soil is dry.
- Aloe Vera - Arguably a houseplant necessity. These succulents are great to have around in case of burns, sunburn relief, and hydrating for skin. For your next spa night, try a DIY Aloe Vera face mask and hydrate dry skin with aloe-infused LOMA Mango Hand & Body Lotion. Aloe loves indirect light and only needs watering about every two weeks.
- Faux Houseplants - The easiest to care for, especially if you don’t have a green thumb. Fake plants are also great to mix in with real houseplants to create a more homey, relaxed space, cut on costs, and fill rooms where conditions aren’t as easy for real plants to grow in. Check out Nearly Natural for a large variety of high-quality faux plants that won’t break the bank.
Best Places to Buy Plants:
Now you’re all set to get started filing your spaces with green. Begin with a couple of plants and gradually add more and propagate your starter plants with clipping once they are big enough. Pretty soon, you’ll be breathing fresher air and feeling more relaxed.