Indoor plants have been a great way to decorate homes for hundreds of years. House plants are not only nice to look at, but they are also actually known to improve your mental and physical well-being by purifying the air in your home. Plants are able to remove harmful toxins from the air, expel oxygen, and can aid in better sleep.
The absolute best indoor plants: There are a lot of house plants that are low-maintenance and able to purify the air. Some popular ones include the snake plant, ivy, spider plant, rubber plant, and ferns. These plants can remove toxins like formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene.
There are many air-purifying plants that have multiple health benefits like helping with asthma, improving oxygen, reducing allergies, and removing impurities from the air. Plants are not only great visually, but they are also great physically. Here is what you should know about some beneficial plants.
Best Plants In Low Light
North-facing rooms or rooms with no windows are considered to be low-lit rooms and can still house plants. Rooms with no windows should have lights on for about 12 hours.
If your home or office doesn’t have much light and you are worried about having plants, there are many plants that thrive in low light:
- Arrowhead Plant – This plant grows large-arrowhead leaves that come in a variety of green colors. This low-light plant can become more vine-like or take on a more compact look. This plant comes in a variety of colors, and the all-green leaf type is the most suitable for low-light environments.
- Calathea – This low-light plant has large dark green leaves with a lighter green middle and silver highlights. Flip over the leaf and find a rich purple color. These plants add great color to a low-light room. If the tips of the leaves on this plant are dry, then they need more humidity.
- Corn Plant – A low-light plant with leafy, corn-like leaves that are dark green with a light stripe. In the low light, these plants will be less green and grow slower than if they were kept in more light.
- Lucky Bamboo – A sculptural plant that grows in a variety of shapes like loops and braids. This plant grows very slowly and grows well in low light. Although these plants can handle low light, they can also benefit from some sunlight as well.
- Monstera – The leaves of this low-light plant can grow up to two-feet wide. This plant can become more vine-like or be trimmed back for a more compact look. When in low light, this plant will grow slowly.
- Nerve Plant – A small-leaf plant with white and light-green colored leaves perfect for low-light areas. This plant grows 6-12 inches tall. The leaves will be a little less colorful when in low light
- Ponytail Palm – This plant has a stocky trunk that is topped with frilly leaves that can be a petite tabletop plant to large tree size. The trunk stores moisture, so it is a low-maintenance plant that doesn’t need to be watered often. This plant is able to adapt to a variety of light conditions from low to bright light.
- Snake Plant – A low-light loving plant with sword-like spiky leaves that grow in many different widths. Low-light plants like this one should not be over-watered as they prefer to be a little dryer
- Spider Plant – This spiky and full plant grows happily in low-light homes and can produce baby plants. Sometimes the tips of this low-light plant will turn brown, which you then should snip off the tips with scissors to promote healthy growth,
- ZZ Plant – A slow-growing plant with glossy leaves that can handle low light and sporadic waterings. This plant grows 16-28 inches tall. These plants should be wiped free of dust with a damp cloth in order to keep the glossy look.
Best Plants In the Winter
During the wintertime, many houseplants face challenges. Luckily, there are plants that are easy to maintain during the wintertime:
- Aloe Vera – This is an extremely low-maintenance plant that only needs to be watered when the soil is completely dry. It is perfect indoors and grows well in indirect sunlight.
- Anthurium – Also known as, the waves of love, this plant has long wavy leaves that are very easy to grow as it requires minimal care.
- Colorama Madagascar Dragon Tree – This is a tough and easy to grow plant that has strong roots able to survive a drought. They can thrive in bright indirect light but also in low indoor light as well. This plant’s water should be evenly moist and not too dry or too wet.
- Dumb Cane – This is an air-purifying plant with large colorful leaves that are actually poisonous to eat, and when eaten, it can cause a burning sensation, swelling, and inability to speak, which is where its name comes from. This is a plant that enjoys being indoors and can adapt to any lighting or shade.
- English Ivy – This is a fast-growing plant that is easy to care for because it does well in low-light, making it a perfect winter plant. This plant only needs to be watered when the soil is dry.
- Hawaiian Umbrella Tree – This is an evergreen tree dark green glossy leaves that form an umbrella shape. This is an easy-to-care-for plant that is great for winter because it can adapt to any lighting and even does well with artificial lighting.
- Parlor Palm – This is a plant that is nearly impossible to kill because it is able to survive drought, low light, and neglect.
- Philodendron – This is another easy to care for plant that is nearly impossible to kill. This is an upright growing plant that can filter out indoor toxins and only needs to be watered when the topsoil is dry.
- Purple Swedish Ivy – This is a fast-growing plant with fuzzy, purple-tinged leaves. This plant can be planted outside in the summer and be brought in for the winter and still thrive.
- Watermelon Peperomia – This plant gets its name from its leaves that resemble the skin of a watermelon. This is a very easy plant to grow and requires minimal care.
Best Plants For Asthma
Indoor air oftentimes can be stale and contain many pollutants, which can be more difficult for people who suffer from asthma. There are many indoor plants that are great for improving indoor air quality which can help people with asthma:
- Areca Palm – This is a plant that is highly ranked on NASA’s list for its ability to remove formaldehyde, xylene, carbon monoxide, and toluene from the air. This plant is also able to humidify a room, so it’s great to keep one of these air-purifying plants in your bedroom.
- Boston Fern – This plant has lush foliage that is able to remove toxins from the air and also improve the humidity in the air. This plant needs a light misting regularly and, in return, will give you cleaner air.
- Dracaena Plant – This is a plant that is useful at removing xylene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde resulting in more purified air.
- Peace Lily – This plant purifies the air by removing airborne Volatile Organic Compounds like formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene. This plant thrives in indirect sunlight and needs to be watered once a week.
- Rubber Plant – This plant, with its large leaves, is able to remove formaldehyde, which is one of the most common toxins found in the air.
- Scindapsus – This is another plant that is great at fighting formaldehyde to keep your air clean and improve your lungs.
- Snake Plant – This is a great plant at improving the quality of your indoor air. This plant is able to remove airborne toxins like formaldehyde, nitrogen oxide, benzene, xylene, and trichloroethylene. This is a low-maintenance plant that is perfect to have to clean your air.
- Spider Plants – This plant is notorious at removing formaldehyde that comes from common household products like adhesives, grout, and fillers from the air.
- Weeping Fig – This plant is great at filtering out pollutants that are typically found in carpets and furniture like formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene.
Best Plants To Purify Air
Not only do houseplants look lovely, but they also work hard on purifying the air you breathe. To give your home a breath of fresh air, here is a list of the best air-purifying plants:
- Aloe Vera – This plant purifies the air of formaldehyde and benzene that are found in varnishes, floor finishes, and detergents. This plant can soothe burns, which makes it a perfect air-purifying plant for the kitchen.
- Barberton Daisy – These bright red, yellow, and orange daisies are effective at cleaning toxic formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene that is found in household materials like paint and synthetic fibers.
- Broad Lady Palm – This is a plant that can help reduce the levels of ammonia found in a range of cleaning products.
- Chinese Evergreen – This is a plant that is proven to be effective at cleaning formaldehyde and benzene that is found in detergents and cosmetics.
- Chrysanthemum – These bright blooms help filter out toxins such as ammonia and benzene that are often found in plastics, detergents, and glue making it the perfect plant for a kitchen or living room.
- English Ivy – This is an easy-to-grow vine that is effective at reducing airborne fecal particles that makes it a perfect plant to be placed in a bathroom. This plant is also shown to keep mold levels at bay.
- Red-Edged Dracaena – This plant helps fight off trichloroethylene and xylene.
- Snake Plant – This succulent releases oxygen at night, which can help you to breathe, especially if the plant is placed in your bedroom for sleeping. This plant filters the air from formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, toluene, and trichloroethylene.
- Spider Plant – This plant will battle toxins such as carbon monoxide and xylene, a solvent used in the printing and rubber industries.
- Weeping Fig – This popular houseplant can control levels of formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene.
Best Plants For Allergies
When you suffer from allergies, pollen and air pollution can make your symptoms worse. Luckily, there are a few houseplants that can help keep your symptoms at bay. Typically, houseplants that help out with allergies have larger leaves that help clean your home.
- Areca Palm – This plant is an effective air humidifier that will make your air easier to breathe.
- Bamboo Palm – This popular houseplant is effective at maximizing air quality and clearing out chloroform, carbon monoxide, xylene, and formaldehyde. This plant also has powerful insect-repellent properties.
- Chinese Evergreen – This is a low-maintenance natural air purifier that needs minimal watering every few weeks.
- Gerber Daisies – These small flowers are great for controlling benzene, which is a byproduct of plastics, pesticides, cigarette smoke, and synthetic fibers.
- Golden Pothos – This plant is very allergy-relieving as it can control formaldehyde in the air.
- Janet Craig – Real name being, dracaena fragans, this is an easy-to-care-for plant that can grow tall and purify the air.
- Lady Palm – This is a versatile air-purifying plant that can resist most types of plant-eating insects.
- Marginata – This plant thrives in low light and can help purify the air from chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene and can also control humidity.
- Peace Lilies – This easy-to-care-for plant does the job of eliminating the air from benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.
- Swedish Ivy – This low-pollen houseplant is a fast-growing plant that requires low maintenance that can avoid allergens and clean up your air.
Best Plants For Cats
Cats are curious creatures who like to nibble on things like houseplants, and unfortunately, many houseplants are actually toxic to cats. Luckily, there are plenty of plants that are safe for our feline friends:
- Bird’s Nest Fern – This is a very adaptable plant that is safe for your cats and doesn’t require much sunlight.
- Calathea Rattlesnake – Not only is it pet-friendly, but this plant has a flux of water pressure in its nodes at the base of the leaves that make it, so the leaves lower and rise from day to night time.
- Echeveria Lola – This is a beautiful succulent that can grow anywhere and only needs to be watered every few weeks. Plus, it is cat-friendly.
- Haworthia Zebra – Not only is this plant safe for cats, but it is also extremely low maintenance and only needs to be watered every few weeks.
- Money Tree – Another cat-friendly low-maintenance plant that is perfect for neglectful plant owners because it can bounce back to health after being neglected.
- Parlor Palm – This is a safe plant that is able to grow to six-feet tall with the right amount of care.
- Peperomia Green – This is another plant that can come back to life after completely dying.
- Spider Plant – Another pet-friendly plant that does well in low lights that can sprout baby spider plants.
- Staghorn Fern – This is a safe and popular plant that can be potted or hang from a wall.
- Xerographica Air Plant – This is a plant that doesn’t require soil and is considered to be an air plant, which is safe for all cats.
Best Plants For Health
Plants don’t just beautify our homes; they are beneficial to our air as well. There are studies that show that there are houseplants that can improve your overall health by reducing stress, improving blood sugar, and removing toxins. Some of those plants include:
- Aloe Vera – Aloe vera is a plant that is great for skin health but also is known to purify the air in your home. It works to eliminate airborne compounds from paint and cleaning agents.
- Azalea – This beautiful flower can help improve the quality of air in your home by removing formaldehyde.
- Boston Fern – This is a plant that is easy to care for while being able to purify the air and remove compounds like formaldehyde, plastics, and cigarette smoke. Also, the compounds that are removed from the air are actually absorbed by the fern’s leaves and turned into materials that the plant can utilize.
- English Ivy – English ivy is a great indoor plant that is known to purify the air in your home. It is mostly known for absorbing mold in the air.
- Gerbera – This daisy is known to be the most effective at removing benzene from the air. They are able to absorb airborne compounds and produce oxygen at night, which can help people who suffer from sleep apnea.
- Golden Pothos – This popular houseplant is hard to kill and can help purify the air.
- Mass Cane – This plant is considered a number one at removing formaldehyde.
- Peace Lily – The peace lily is a plant that is known to breakdown compounds like carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and benzene.
- Rubber Plant – This is a plant that can handle neglect while using its large leaves to absorb harmful materials from the air that then gets turned into nutrients for the plant or compounds for the soil.
- Snake Plant – Snake plants are able to absorb CO2 and convert it to oxygen. A great plant to place in the bedroom as it can improve your air, which then can help you sleep.
Best Plants For Increasing Oxygen Levels
Plants are a great way to naturally increase the oxygen in your home. Plants that release oxygen can be helpful for people who are suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Therefore, the home is a great place to create better health by using plants.
Here are some great options:
- Areca Palm – This plant is biologically designed to take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. This plant also has the ability to also purify the air by removing harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene.
- Chinese Evergreens – This is an extremely popular plant that emits high levels of oxygen while purifying the air from harmful chemicals like benzene, formaldehyde, and other toxins. This plant has high efficiency in removing harmful pollutants from the air.
- Dracaena – This plant has more than 40 different varieties and is able to remove pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene.
- Garden Mum – This is a plant that is able to remove ammonia, benzene, xylene, and formaldehyde.
- Gerbera Daisy – This beautiful air-purifying plant is able to produce high levels of oxygen at nighttime while removing chemicals like benzene and trichloroethylene. This is especially great for people who are suffering from sleep apnea and breathing disorders.
- Money Plant – This plant is great for removing chemicals and other pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene.
- Peace Lily – The peace lily is great at removing ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.
- Snake Plant – This is a great plant for oxygen production at nighttime. This plant purifies the air by removing benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene.
- Spider Plant – One of the easiest houseplants to grow, this one helps to remove pollutants like formaldehyde and xylene.
- Weeping Fig – This is a plant that improves oxygen levels by removing pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.
Best Plants For Kids
The most important thing to consider when having house plants around children is that they are not toxic or prickly. Plants are a good way to teach children how to care for something living and can be fun for them to watch them grow.
Here are some good ones to have around children:
- African Violet – This is one of the best plants for kids as they vary in color and are nice to look at. They just need to be kept in a spot that receives all day long, bright, indirect sunlight.
- Boston Fern – Some ferns are toxic to children and pets, but the Boston fern is perfectly safe for kids.
- Christmas Cactus – This cactus is easy to propagate, which can help children learn about propagation. This plant blooms during the holiday season which is where they got that name.
- Jasmine – This is a very fragrant flower that has a scent that has a calming effect, making it perfect for kids to help with concentration, enhances mood, and boosts memory.
- Lucky Bamboo – This is a plant that doesn’t even need soil to grow. A child can place it in a jar of water and watch it grow.
- Snake Plant – This is a popular houseplant that doesn’t require much care and can live without water for a long duration, which makes it perfect for children. Plus, calling it a snake plant will be fun for them.
- Spider Plant – This is a low maintenance plant that will spark a fascination in kids with its little spiderettes that dangle down from the main plant. This is a non-toxic plant that has many health benefits.
Best Plants For Learning
It is shown that classrooms that host plants have students who’ve demonstrated improvements in spelling, math, and science. Not only plant in the classroom beneficial health-wise, but they also provide a teaching opportunity where students can learn about the plants.
Good plants for learning include any of the above that is good for children, as well as:
- Areca Palm – This plant is able to adapt to the indoor environment, can release moisture into the air, and is able to remove chemicals in the air.
- Bamboo Palm – This is one of the easiest to maintain palm plants that is able to release moisture into the air. This is one of the top-rated plants for the removal of benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde making the air perfect for concentrating in.
- English Ivy – Ivy is an easy-to-grow plant that is able to adapt to a variety of environments.
- Ficus Alii – This plant is able to purify the air, has a resistance to insects, which makes them a great choice for a classroom.
- Janet Craig – Also known as Dracaena, these plants can handle neglect and dimly lit rooms. This is also one of the best-known plants at removing trichloroethylene.
- Peace Lily – Another top air purifier, the peace lily, is able to remove alcohols, acetone, trichloroethylene, benzene, and formaldehyde from the air. Because of its ability to remove these toxins from the air, this plant is perfect for classroom use.
- Pothos – Pothos is one of the top air-purifying plants that are able to remove indoor air toxins while being able to tolerate low-light, low humidity, and cooler temperatures.
- Raphis Palm – This is a plant that grows slowly and is easily maintained. Students can be able to check out the thick, shiny leaves that are able to grow from six to twelve inches wide. This plant is able to resist attacks from plant insects while improving air quality.
- Rubber Plant – This plant is great for the classroom because it can tolerate dim lights and cooler temperatures. This is an easy to grow plant that is used to remove chemical toxins.
You can find a plant that fits almost any growing condition and provides one or more life-enhancing benefits within your home. For more information on any of these plants, you can find a lot of helpful information through resources like these:
And that’s just to name a few. There’s a lot of help out there for finding the plants that are just right for you and your home!