The Health Benefits of Houseplants
While I don’t have the greenest thumb (my mom got that), I do love keeping houseplants throughout our home. Living things make it feel more alive, especially during those darker months. And when you work from home, plants and pets are your best friends. Some I find can thrive with little maintenance and some I have to replace often—like my Trader Joe’s orchids that I’ve never been able to bring back to life by “cutting back” and putting in a window.
Houseplants aren’t just a beautiful indulgence that freshen up your space, some can actually improve the air quality of your home. Since plants “breathe” in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen, they are nature’s perfect air purifier. Even NASA is on board: they conducted the Clean Air Study to prove that houseplants can actually help reduce toxic chemical levels in an indoor environment, including on space stations.
Many houseplants can filter common indoor chemicals like formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, xylene and trichloroethylene. Some of the best indoor houseplants for cleaner air include the Boston Fern (you can pull yours inside in when temps drop), English Ivy (so romantic!) and the Peace Lily, which I keep in our bedroom and love how it fills an entire corner (interior designer tip: snip the white flowers if you like that lush, all-green look like I do).
For best results, NASA recommends in its Clean Air Study that one plant should be used per 100 square feet of indoor space. Be aware some of these plants are toxic to dogs and cats, so do your research!