Filling your home with houseplants has quickly become one of the most popular decor trends. Perhaps it’s because houseplants have the innate ability to make a room feel complete simply by accenting a table top or shelf with their beauty. And let’s not forget their incredible health benefits. That’s right! These little beauties can clean your air and lift your spirits in a matter of days. Not sure where to begin? Here’s four houseplants and their benefits to help you decide.
Perhaps the most obvious houseplant with therapeutic power is the aloe vera plant. The leaves of an aloe plant are jam packed with a slimy tissue that stores water, making the leaves become thick or plump as it grows. The slimy, water-filled tissue is the gel we associate with aloe vera products. The gel contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and many bioactive compounds that assist in healing cuts, burns, and sores. But it doesn’t stop there! This gel is also filled to the brim antioxidants, properly referred to as polyphenols, which help inhibit the growth of certain bacteria that can cause infections in humans
Pro tip: allow the soil to completely dry in between waterings depending on the humidity of your home, meaning you can water as little as every two-to-three weeks.
Not only are snake plants pretty to look at, they also work extra hard to purify the air in your home. This green and yellow leafed beauty absorbs carbon dioxide and converts it into oxygen, while also removing xylene, toluene, and trichloroethylene from the air around you. These three chemicals are often found in cleaning products, nail polish remover, paint thinner, and other household items that could make their way into the air. A suggested spot to place your snake plant is the bedroom, as it will improve the air quality while you sleep. The snake plant survives well in dark, low lit areas, so it’s perfect for small rooms, basements, or other areas of the home that receive minimal sunlight.
Pro tip: allow soil to dry between waterings and take special care not to overwater in winter. Place your snake plant in indirect light, and try your best to avoid getting leaves wet when you water.
For a larger houseplant that will stand the test of time, look no further than the mass cane, also known as Dracaena Massangeana Cane or corn plant. According to NASA’s clean air study, the mass cane is ranked as the one houseplant with the power to remove formaldehyde from the air. From an aesthetic point of view, the mass cane is the perfect low maintenance plant to plop down in any area of the home, allowing its beauty to shine through its mixed green and yellow leaves.
Pro tip: keep away from drafts and direct sunlight, which can scorch the leaves. Droopy, yellow leaves are a sign it’s been overwatered and may indicate root rot.
No houseplant list would be complete without a massive shout-out to the super easy-to-manage indoor succulents of the plant world. These tiny delights are incredibly simple to maintain and come in a wide variety of colours, shapes, and sizes. Their care instructions are similar to aloe vera and cactus plants, which means you can plant all of these beauties together in the same harmonious pot.
Pro tip: rather than giving your succulents sips of water every so often, give them a good soaking and allow the water to run out of the drainage hole or plate.
- Medical News Today. What are the benefits of aloe vera? (May 28, 2017)
- Eco Watch. 8 Health Benefits of Antioxidant-Rich Aloe Vera(April 14, 2015)
- Snake Plant Health Benefits (2018)
- Guide to Houseplants. Indoor cane plant care. (2008-2018)
- Giving Plants Blog. Benefits of succulents and cacti indoors. (April 18, 2015)