I hope you all are having a wonderful Mother’s Day and if you’re in Chicago, I hope you got outside this weekend to enjoy the INCREDIBLE weather finally. In honor of these summery feels, I’m going to be talking about the benefits of houseplants on today’s Healthy Home, Healthy Life blog post.
It seems any interiors shot on Pinterest these days features the leaves of a fiddle-leaf fig tree peeking out from somewhere in the room. In addition to providing some added color and texture to a room, houseplants can actually provide a lot of health benefits in your home or office. The most notable of these is the ability for the plants to remove airborne contaminants like VOCs. If you missed the last post, explaining what VOCs are and how they can affect your health, be sure to check it out here. You probably already know how photosynthesis works and that plants take in carbon dioxide in order to produce oxygen. Indoors, this means that they are literally purifying the air you breathe and removing harmful contaminants. In addition to providing cleaner air, studies have also shown that plants lower anxiety and blood pressure levels and help improve productivity.
Here are a few of my favorite houseplants to spruce up your interior and provide a healthy lifestyle for you and your family:
1 – English Ivy
English Ivy is one of my favorites right now. In addition to looking stunning spilling out of its planter, English Ivy is an incredible workhorse. This plant is one of the best to remove mold allergens from the air in your home. If you or your family members suffer from asthma or mold allergies, I highly recommend these plants! They do best in well-lit areas and don’t require a ton of watering. The best part about them is that they spill out of the planter, creating a stunning effect on a bookshelf or coffee table.
2 - Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree
As I mentioned earlier, Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees are one of the trendiest plants around right now. The huge leaves that make this plant so aesthetically pleasing, also contribute to high levels of air purification and humidity control. A word of warning that these are some of the trickiest plants to keep alive, but so far I’ve been successful with mine, which is quite a feat! South-west light makes these trees the happiest, and once you park them somewhere, don’t move them around, they get moody very quickly. You only need to water them about once a week, once the soil is dry, but I like to give mine some mists from a spray bottle each day to keep the leaves moist and happy. Pot yours and set it in a basket to give a bohemian, relaxed feel.
3 - Snake Plant
The Snake Plant, also known as Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, is a prime candidate for a plant in your bedroom. These plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen at night, providing clean, fresh air for a perfect night’s sleep. The best part about it is these plants are nearly impossible to kill. Snake Plants are able to thrive in low-lighting and can dry out between waterings. I recommend planting one in a large floor planter and setting it close to your bed. Sweet dreams!
4 - Rubber Plant
Rubber Plants, another large-leaf stunner is a powerful air purifier as well. These large leaves absorb VOCs from the air, pass it down through the plant, and deposit them into the soil. In addition to removing VOCs, the rubber plant also traps mold and bacteria from the air, reducing levels by 50-60%. Rubber Trees prefer plentiful indirect light and prefer to have soil kept moist during the growing phase and then only need to be watered several times a month during the dormant phase. Make one of these beauties a focal point in your living room and let it work its magic.
5 - Peace Lily
If you prefer a plant that blooms, bring in a Peace Lily! This sophisticated, flowering plant, is one of the best for removing formaldehyde from indoor spaces. It will also absorb toxic VOCs released by certain cleaning supplies which can make this a great addition to your office desk as well. These plants like moist soil, and will flower best if they’re in darker rooms. The leaves can be poisonous if eaten by kids or plants, so be sure to keep them in higher areas. I suggest bringing a Peace Lily as your next house-warming gift to offset the VOCs released from fresh paint, carpet and furniture after a move.
What are some of your favorite houseplants? I hope this has inspired you all to embrace your green thumbs and bring the outdoors inside!
‘til next week!