Bring greenery into your house
Simple pointers on getting started
The benefits of having plants and flowers in the home have been long documented, and houseplants can be picked up fairly cheaply at many shops, supermarkets and garden centres – so they can easily end up as an impulse checkout purchase, only to end up neglected and dried up. What an injustice! Obviously a nice green plant will brighten up a bare corner or a mantelpiece, but did you know there are plenty of other fantastic benefits to stocking your house up with them?
Humans and plants coexist perfectly: opposite to us, plants take in carbon dioxide as part of photosynthesis, and release oxygen back into the air. Bringing houseplants into your home will increase oxygen levels in your indoor spaces, and the air will also be purified by our potted pals: their clever roots pull airborne contaminants into the soil, so you can breathe easy! Plants in the home are also thought to help with focus and concentration, so make sure you’ve got a few around your home office or desk.
As if all this wasn’t enough, they look great too. So, let’s take a look at five common houseplants that will clean the air, help you focus and bring a nice bit of organic interest into your home. As a bonus, they’re super easy to care for, so don’t worry if you’re not too green-thumbed.
- Spider plant Chlorophytum comosum
The spider plant never seems to go out of style, with its jazzy sprays of fine leaves. It can sit happily in a low pot on a shelf, but also looks really impressive given free reign to grow and hang from a basket. The spider plant prefers a bright room, and you should keep the soil evenly moist, watering sparingly once a week and removing any tatty ‘baby’ plants that spring out.
- Aloe Vera Aloe Barbadensis Miller
You’ll be familiar with Aloe vera from countless health and wellness products, and this attractive succulent really is a useful buddy to have around. Its pointed, spiky leaves are filled with a gel-like substance that’s great for burns, so keep one in your kitchen for emergencies! It’s happiest in a sunny spot like a windowsill, and needs very little water – plus, you can re-pot the ‘pups’ (new shoots) and grow your own.
- Pothos Epipremnum aureum
Pothos is a big, sturdy plant with impressive bright green leaves that strip toxins like formaldehyde (often found in carpets) from the air. It’s happy in most temperatures and lights, so why not place a potted pothos in a bare corner and watch it grow? Its stems will run away with themselves and can grow up to eight feet tall, so trim it back as and when you need to, or train up an indoor trellis for a really tropical effect.
- Peace lily Spathiphyllum
These glossy plants have beautiful white, trumpet-shaped blooms that give a really elegant effect. They even work to remove mould spores from the air, so this is a great choice for houses that can get a bit damp. Place your peace lily in a room that doesn’t get too much sunshine – it prefers a low-humidity, low light location to show off its lovely flowers.
- Fiddle leaf fig Ficus lyrata
The fiddle leaf fig (try saying that quickly!) is so called because of its ornately shaped leaves, and this houseplant can grow to jungle-like proportions! Place in a corner or use as a standalone feature that’s tall, dramatic and interesting. This fig plant prefers rooms that get a lot of sunshine, but don’t over-water – the surface of the soil should be dry to touch before you water it again.