- SPIDER PLANT
Resilient spider plants seem to thrive even when neglected. They prefer moist soil but will forgive you if you forget to water occasionally. Keep spider plants in bright to moderate light, but avoid direct sun. Fertilize spider plants twice a month during the spring and summer.
- Spider plants remove benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and xylene from the air.
- Spider plant are considered safe for pets.
- Who knew? Spider plants are mildly hallucinogens to cats.
2. ALOE VERA
Aloe vera plants prefer bright, indirect light. While it prefers moist soil, it seems to do just fine if you forget to water it occasionally. Aloe vera is native to southern Africa, but is now a common household and office plant thanks to its usefulness.
- The gel-like sap from aloe vera helps heal cuts and burns.
- Aloe vera absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen at night, making it nice to have in bedrooms.
- Your aloe vera plant will regularly produce plantlets. These baby plants can be removed to easily start a new plant.
- If you take your aloe plant outside for the summer sun, don’t be surprised if it’s a pest magnet. The juices in this succulent are irresistible to sap-sucking insects.
3. ENGLISH IVY
English ivy (Hedera helix) is an easy-to-grow plant that does not like direct sunlight but does prefer bright light. It needs moist soil and cooler temperatures than most other house plants at about 50°F to 65°F (10°C to 18°C). Ivy likes humidity, so make sure you mist it or place it in a tray of pebbles and water. Regular fertilizing, except during the winter, is important to English ivy.
- Research presented to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology found ivy reduces air pollutants including mold and dog feces.
- It can be toxic to children and pets. This is due to the fact that English ivy generates a chemical called glycoside hederin. This chemical can produce a number of symptoms if ingested, including nausea, diarrhea, fever and difficult breathing.
- English ivy can cause contact dermatitis to those sensitive to it. It’s not uncommon to confuse this rash with rashes caused by poison ivy.
- If your light isn’t bright enough, English ivy will become leggy and sickly in appearance. This also leaves them prone to pest problems.
4. ARECA PALM
If you’re after a tropical look for your home or office, the areca palm is the one. Areca palm looks exotic, elegant and stately. It prefers bright, indirect light and moist, well-drained soil. However, be careful not to overwater. In the spring, you can try using a time-release fertilizer.
- The areca palm is featured on NASA’s list of air-purifying plants.
- It removes benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the air.
- Areca palm adds humidity to indoor air.
- Rarely suffers from problems from pests and diseases.
- Areca palm plants require a large pot and they can grow quite big.
- If not acclimated to office or home lighting, it can weaken rapidly after being removed from a greenhouse setting.
- Can succumb to root rot.
5. GOLDEN POTHOS
Even if you think you have a “black thumb,” you can probably grow golden pothos. This plant does well in low light and is forgiving if you miss an occasional watering. In fact, the golden pothos prefers to dry out in between watering.
- The golden pothos is easily one of the most common houseplants. It’s attractive and easy to grow.
- Golden pothos is considered an air-purifying houseplant.
- While root rot is a common problem with most houseplants, but the golden pothos rarely succumbs to this condition.
- You’ll know when you need to water a golden pothos by its drooping leaves. Droopy leaves that cannot be revived by watering are a sign the golden pothos needs to be repotted into something larger.
- This plant is toxic to ingest because it includes oxalates, so keep it away from pets and children who might try to eat the leaves.
6. SNAKE PLANT
Also known as mother-in-law’s tongue and by its species name (Sansevieria trifasciata), snake plant is hardy and adds a unique look to your decor with its upright, strap-like leaves. It can tolerate low water and light environments, though it prefers bright, indirect light.
- Snake plants are on the NASA list of houseplants that clean and filter indoor air.
- Caring for snake plants is relatively easy. Water them at their base. They can survive with fluorescent lighting. If they’re in a window, rotate them a quarter turn every week.
- Saponins in snake plant leaves make it toxic to pets and may cause nausea and vomiting.
Mint is one of the best herbs to grow inside because you can control where it spreads. When mint is outdoors, it tends to take over entire regions of your yard. When it’s in a small planter, it can be contained while still offering all the benefits that mint leaves present.
- Mint plants act as their own natural insecticide and repel bugs.
- Mint is great for adding natural flavor to iced tea and other beverages.
- Once mint buds, its sprigs lose their signature taste. Pinch off flowering buds as they appear to extend the harvesting season.
- Mint requires high-moisture conditions to grow, so watering is mandatory!
Dieffenbachia, also called dumb cane, is a beautiful plant with leaves that feature an attractive mottled pattern. Dieffenbachia plants need well-drained, moist soil. It does best with low, indirect light, which makes it a great indoor plant for the home and office. Your dieffenbachia can also get as tall as 4 feet or more if you care for it well.
- The dumb cane plant can improve indoor air quality.
- Dieffenbachia is easy to grow when exposed to filtered light.
- It’s toxic to pets and children. Pets will drool excessively and demonstrate oral irritation, including difficulty swallowing.
- Overwatering is a common problem for dieffenbachia plant owners. It needs well-drained soil that is consistently moist but not soggy.
- It can lean toward light sources, so rotate it regularly to keep it straight.
9. HEART LEAF PHILODENDRON
Heart Leaf Philodendron is a vigorous vining plant that makes a great indoor plant for the home or office. It prefers moderate to low indirect light. You should keep the soil moist, and occasionally mist the plant for ideal watering.
- It effectively removes VOCs from the air, especially formaldehyde.
- Heart Leaf Philodendron plants may bloom at any time of the year. Its blooms look a lot like peace lily flowers.
- Heart Leaf Philodendron is toxic to pets and children. Pets will exhibit irritation to the mouth, tongue and lips, as well as drooling, vomiting and trouble swallowing.
- Expect vigorous growth, which will demand regular pruning.
- This plant is subject to a wide variety of pests, including thrips, scale, mealybugs, spider mites and aphids.
10. BAMBOO PALM
Bamboo palms are great plants if you want to add a tropical feel to your home or office. While this houseplant, also called parlor palm, prefers bright light, it can do very well in low light as long as it receives enough water. However, make sure you don’t overwater the bamboo palm. Wait until the top of the soil is dry. This plant likes high humidity, so consider placing it on a tray of pebbles with water added. As the water evaporates, add more so the pebbles are almost covered.
- Bamboo palm is excellent at reducing the airborne formaldehyde that is released by new furniture.
- Bamboo palm is nontoxic to pets.
- Spider mites are common pests to the bamboo palm. If you see webbing in the leaves, spray on the top and bottom of leaves.