Many gardeners have house plants during the winter to bring a little bit of the outdoors in, and some green into the otherwise gray environment. But did you know that having houseplants in your home can actually improve your health? Here are a few reasons you should have houseplants:
- Plants are Cold-Fighters: According to MastersinHealthCare.com, indoor plants reduce cold-related illnesses by more than 30% due to the fact that they increase humidity while decreasing levels of dust in the air.
- Plants can remove airborne contaminants while also reducing the levels of carbon dioxide: During the process of photosynthesis, plants draw in carbon dioxide from the air and then release oxygen. By drawing in the carbon dioxide from your home, plants are not only removing CO2 which can help prevent drowsiness, but also purifying your air. Indoor plants help remove pollutants including VOCs that cause headaches, nausea, and more. It has also been found that certain plants, such as the Peace Lily, can help remove airborne chemicals from cigarette smoke and negate the effects they have on people.
- Houseplants make you Happy: According to mastersinhealthcare.com, it has been found that houseplants can contribute to a feeling of wellbeing, and make you calmer and more optimistic. There have been studies performed that have shown recovering patients who face a garden view in their hospital rooms often recuperate more quickly than those facing a wall.
- Plants help your brain work better & aid your mental health: It was found at The Royal College of Agriculture in Circencester, England, that students demonstrated 70% greater attentiveness when they’re taught in rooms that contained plants. In the same study, attendance was higher for lectures given in classrooms with plants. Not only can potted flowers improve your ideas and mood, but caring for a living thing can help when you’re depressed and lonely. Winter is a time when many struggle with depression due to the cold and the lack of sunlight, so now is the perfect time to incorporate plants into your home.
- Plants & Allergies: While many people fight allergens like mold and pollen, bringing a plant into your home can help prevent your kids from having allergies. Exposing them to these allergens early on in life will help them build a tolerance and immunity to them.
- Plants are natural humidifiers: During the winter, when your furnace is pumping dry air into your home, having plants around can help add humidity to the air. Instead of buying a humidifier machine to soften the air, just bring in a plant or two.
So now that you know the benefits, the next step is to choose which houseplants you want to incorporate into your home. Here are ten low-maintenance plants that we recommend:
- Sansevieria (Pictured): Also known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue or the Snake Plant, this plant has foliage that comes in a variety of colors and patterns. They are a succulent and are very forgiving, making them a great plant for when you leave on vacation for a week.
- Philodendron: The key to this beautiful green-leafed plant is light. They thrive in nearly full to fully direct sunlight. There are many varieties of this plant, some that trail and others that are more upright. Both make great houseplants.
- Pothos: Similar to the trailing philodendron, the pothos have beautiful green and white leaves that trail. These are the “go-to” houseplant for many, and can survive with little attention. When indoors these plants like bright but indirect light.
- Dracena: Some know this plant as a spike, but there are many varieties that can make great houseplants such as corn plant and lucky bamboo. These plants, like the pothos, like bright, indirect light.
- Anthurium: A great plant for rooms of your home that don’t get a lot of light. These plants have beautiful green heart-shaped leaves and flowers that can last year-round if they get the right amount of indirect light. These flowers come in a variety of colors which includes white, red and purple.
- Zebrina: Also known as Wandering Jew, this beautiful purple and green striped plant is not only low-maintenance, but can be grown in soil or water. It is a succulent trailer that can easily provide cuttings to create more plants. They also can produce a small white or purple flower along with the striking foliage.
- Nepthytis: This plant is also known as the Arrowhead Plant. It has green and white arrow-shaped leaves that resemble the tropical plant Elephant Ears. This plant wants bright, indirect light, and for best results we encourage you to turn the pot once a week for even growing.
- Neanthe Bella Palm: A smaller, compact palm, this plant is great for indoors. The amount of water it needs is based on how much light it gets. The less light, the less you’ll have to water it. Ideally it wants filtered light, meaning no direct sunlight.
- Zygocactus: Cactus plants in general are low-maintenance plants, but this type, also known as Christmas Cactus, is one of our favorites. They prefer somewhat sandier soil and only need water about once every two weeks during the winter and about once a week in the warmer months. They produce red, pink or purple blooms twice a year at Christmas and Easter. To get the blooms to set for Christmas, it is best to place them in a cooler room where they will get plenty of darkness at night.
- Kalanchoe: Another flowering houseplant, the kalanchoe is a great way to bring color into your home throughout the year. They come in a wide variety of colors and need bright light to keep blooming. After they are done blooming, clip off the dead flowers and while it may be green for a few weeks, it will start flowering once again. These are succulents so they like to have the soil dry out in between watering, and need to be kept on the dryer side during the winter months.