Houseplants are popular not only for their aesthetics but also for therapeutic qualities. While they make our home and workspace look stylish and lively, they also work hard to improve air quality according to NASA’s reports. Best of all, they make great home companions (they’re good listeners!) and give off calming energy to help you relax. If you are just starting out in the plant world, get to know these varieties that look great and easy to thrive. These low maintenance, air-purifying houseplants are perfect for anyone.
ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia)
ZZ plants are loved for their beautiful, dark, and glossy leaves. They also make such good houseplants because of their tolerance to low light, low humidity, and low watering needs. That covers pretty much almost everything that would kill a plant. However, it doesn’t mean you should completely neglect old ZZ, though. The leaves will start to droop as a sign that the plant needs to be watered. As a general rule of thumb, water when the top inch of the soil feels dry. When ZZ thrives, bigger stems shoot out with light green leaves which eventually turn dark and always rewarding to witness.
Snake Plant (Sansevieria)
Snake plants are one of the most robust houseplants. Native to desert environments, they store water in the leaves and can withstand a period of drought. Snake plants produce oxygen at night so they’re perfect for the bedroom. There are so many different varieties out there ranging in colors from light muted green to dark green with yellow trims. If you despise clutter and love simplicity, a whale fin sansevieria is absolutely a statement piece as the plant is just one wide leaf paddle. Snake plants do not require frequent watering. A thorough watering once every few weeks or when the soil feels dry would suffice. In fact, overwatering often leads to root rot, which is the main plant killer. Sansevierias are slow growers and, although they tolerate low light conditions, bright filtered light is the most ideal. As they prefer to be rootbound, select a container that isn’t too large for the plant when repotting.
Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)
This tropical plant produces stunning large foliage and comes in many varieties and colors. Chinese Evergreen is slow-growing and does not require a lot of maintenance. It is believed to bring good fortune and cleanses the air from pollutants. Although it tolerates low light conditions, avoid putting the plant in direct sunlight as it may cause burns on the leaves. Water deeply when topsoil feels dry.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
Peace Lily comes up on top of the list one of the best plants due to its ability to remove various air toxins. A mature plant can grow wide and tall. Like most plants, Peace Lily is happiest in bright indirect light. To avoid brown tips, keep the soil moist, and increase the humidity level.
This is probably the easiest, most resilient plant you can find. Pothos is popular due to its undemanding characteristics and can thrive in most conditions. Known for its luscious cascading vines, this plant makes a great hanging plant and is a perfect option for limited space. In the bedroom or living room, it can purify indoor air from chemicals like formaldehyde and ammonia. This easy-going plant also tolerates a variety of light conditions from low to bright. Pothos can be grown both in water or soil. Once the vines get too long, just prune back right above the node.
Rubber Plant (Ficus Elastica)
With thick glossy leaves, rubber plant livens up any area and works hard to filter out formaldehyde in the air. Its sizes vary from small to very large and you can choose according to the need of your space. Colors also vary from very light to dark and equally eye-catching. Variegated rubber plant looks like a beautiful work of art with watercolor-like splotches of greens over creamy glossy leaves. Meanwhile, the dark green variety commands attention for a more sophisticated and regal appeal. This hardy plant doesn’t need much, but it thrives best in bright indirect sunlight. In ideal conditions, a rubber plant can grow to be very tall. Water once a week or when soil is dry.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)
As a hanging plant, a spider plant can survive in most conditions. As it is fast-growing, oftentimes you will a mature plant with cute dangling offshoots or ‘pups’. Place this wonder in a semi-sunny area and water only when the soil is dry. Increase humidity when you notice the leaves start to dry and get brown tips.
Aloe Vera has always been known to add moisture to the skin and treat burns. This hardy plant can also reduce the presence of benzene and formaldehyde. Aloe is happiest in a well-drain soil and bright indirect sunlight. Too much sun will cause the leaves to brown. Like other succulents, water thoroughly only once every 2-3 weeks in summer and once a month in winter. Too little water, the leaves will dry and shrivel. Too much water, the leaves will get soggy.
Certain cultivars of dracaenas are rated as some of the highest air purifiers reported. This ornamental plant is known for removing pollutants and keeping the air fresh. Place a dracaena in a bright indirect area, but keep the soil slightly moist. When it’s thriving, some types of dracaenas can reach up to 3 feet tall indoors.
Bamboo Palm/ Areca Palm
Usually sold in large sizes, adding a bamboo palm to your space can quickly transform it into a tropical oasis. This plant makes a great focal point while filtering air and adding moisture to the surrounding areas. As it is fairly slow-growing and likes to be root bound, you don’t need to worry about moving around and repotting often. As a tropical plant, the bamboo palm prefers to be kept in warm temperatures and bright location. Bonus point; the bamboo palm is non-toxic so it’s safe around pets.
Fiddle Leaf Fig
We can all agree fiddle leaf fig tree is very photogenic and can make any space look very stylish. To keep this majestic plant happy, use a container that is quite porous so the soil can breathe. Give it plenty of humidity and bright indirect sun, and you will be rewarded with a lot of fresh new leaves. Do not let it sit in water as the leaves will turn yellow and fall off. Once FLF starts to grow tall, prune it back from the top. Just a warning, this plant will grow very large if you’re doing everything right.