It’s common opinion that indoor plants brighten up our spaces- apart from bringing us fresh oxygen they also serve as decor! Plants of all shades and sizes are fashionably potted and placed in trendy hangers, wicker baskets or as table centerpieces. Why are they so appealing to interior design if so many of us are afraid of killing them?

According to color therapy Green is a visually uplifting color because its in the middle of the color spectrum (between warm and cool tones) so it represents balance and harmony. The presence of plants is therefore believed to have a calming effect on us and to help de-stress and decompress- this is why we seek them out in our homes even when aren’t blessed with a green thumb (me).

Another benefit is that most plants naturally filter chemicals and lessen their negative impact on us, seems like (another) perfect excuse to fill your home with green! In fact, a study conducted by NASA proved that our air usually contains nasty chemicals such as Benzene and Formaldehyde and that plants like Ferns, Snake Plants and Peace Lily’s can remove these pollutants. Long periods of exposure to polluted air may induce side effects like irritation, headaches, increased heart rate as well as liver and kidney damage. See below for a list of chemicals found in our air and where they come from.

  • Ammonia– found in cleaners, waxes and fertilizers.

  • Benzene– commonly in detergents, drugs, pesticides, glue, and paint.

  • Formaldehyde founds in paper towels, napkins, synthetic fivers and waxed paper

  • Xylene found in rubbers, leathers, paint and vehicle exhaust.

  • Trichloroethylene usually in inks, varnishes, paint and adhesives.

But its not all bad news! Again, most plants clean and oxygenate our air so a simple addition of potted friends will rebalance your home’s air quality and your respiratory health. Below is our Indoor Plant Cheat Sheet, with our favorites, their benefits and where to best place them. Keep at least one in every room to enjoy the detoxing benefits!


In the Bedroom

Snake Plant

This plant has a distinct ability in which it respirates during the day and collects carbon dioxide at night, a skill it needed in order to adapt to arid regions. This behavior is called CAM Photosynthesis and because of it the snake plant is able to absorb the carbon -dioxide we produce at night and give off pure oxygen- aiding in restorative sleep.

Not only does it emit pure oxygen but it also  removes four of the 5 chemicals mentioned above, making these our favorite bedroom plant companion! For best results keep 1 or 2 in each bedroom.

Holy Basil/Tulsi

This plant is only only an adaptogen but it also releases oxygen at night AND acts as a natural pesticide- yes, it will help keep those mosquitoes away- perfect for a good night’s sleep! This plant is sturdy but does require plenty of light so keep it near a window and water it often.


In the Living Room

Peace Lily

These blooming plant can improve air quality by 60%, in fact it eliminates all the chemicals mentioned previously. This plants makes a perfect addition to your living room and prefers indirect light.

Florist’s Chrysanthemum

Another flowering plant is Florist’s Chrysanthemum and just like the Peace Lily, it also filters out 5 of the 5 chemicals mentioned above. Unlike the Peace Lily, this perennial plant loves plenty of sunshine and needs moderate watering. If cared for correctly this plant will bloom generously making it more efficient in cleaning out common household pollutants.


In the Kitchen

English Ivy

Because it is great at preventing mold and reduces the pollutants benzene and formaldehyde. It’s easy to grow and is perfect for hanging over windows and needs direct sunlight. Be ware: it’s toxic to pets, so keep it away from their reach!

Aloe Vera 

Whats makes aloe vera great is that its very difficult to kill, doesn’t need a lot as much water and is packed with vitamins and minerals so it can be introduced to your skin’s beauty routine. It comes in handy in the kitchen because its gel helps to cute burns, so make sure to keep one next to your stove!

Spider Plant

Another low maintenance plant since it doesn’t need that much watering, the spider plant is a great air purifier because it helps remove unwanted odors and fumes.


In the Bathroom

Air Plants

These babies are #1 on our bathroom list because they are like the Pet Rock of plants, you cannot kill them, even if you try. The little succulents feed themselves from the water found in air and don’t need any soil to grow- that why they make perfect bathroom companions, all that humidity will water them! Place them in bowls, hang them by threads or simply place them around strategically either way they are sure to thrive.

Orchids

These long flowers are well known for being tricky and temperamental but it turns out, all you need is low light humidity! This makes it the perfect flower to place in your bathroom- and good news- if you like warm showers, your orchid will bloom easily, just place in indirect sunlight.

Boston Ferns

Because they are native to tropical environments and rainforests, these bushy plants love humidity and low-lighting making them bathroom resistant. Not only will it thrive and brighten up your windowsill but the Boston fern also removes Xylene and Formaldehyde form the air.

No matter what plant you choose, remember that all plants emit off oxygen and will benefit you and your home tremendously. If you are a plant parent beginner and feel resistant to go on a plant shopping spree, I recommend starting off with the air and snake plant since they are very resilient in the right environment.


A small word of caution! Before purchasing, be sure to check whether certain plants are poisonous to your furry companions. If so, rethink the purchase, or make sure the leaves are well out of reach.

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