Good health depends on more than just diet and exercise. Your environment affects your health too, and the right houseplant can actually make a big difference in your mood, your stress level, your sleep quality, and even your breathing.
A nice looking plant is great, but a nice looking plant that quietly works its magic in the background on your health as you go about your regular routine is even better. Here are 15 houseplants that dramatically improve your health.
Spider plants are great against formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and other toxic air impurities — these pollutants come with paper bags, waxed paper, napkins, plywood paneling, and synthetic fabrics. If you have poor indoor air quality and not much of a green thumb, a spider plant may be exactly what you need. It’s one of the easiest plants to care for and can be kept in less sunny places in your home since it typically doesn’t like to be placed under direct sunlight.
Jasmine has a great effect on our mental health due to a chemical that relieves anxiety, treats mood swings, improves sleep quality, and, in larger quantities, raises immunity, and even can increase libido.
This plant requires a lot of sunlight, so if you do not have a south-facing window with a lot of sun available, then during the summer months, the plant will benefit from a few hours of being outside in the sun.
Peace lilies will really compliment your home decor in the summer when their beautiful white flowers are in full bloom, but that’s not all that they can do. This pretty and powerful houseplant is a master of air pollutant removal – working hard to absorb ammonia, benzene, xylene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene throughout your home.
Peace lilies sometimes called “closet plants,” don’t thrive in direct sunlight. Put your peace lily somewhere where it can get indirect light and give you all the benefits of clean air. This is a great apartment plant for anyone who doesn’t get a lot of natural light.
With this plant in your bedroom, you’re in for a great night’s sleep. Also known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, this yellow-tipped succulent releases oxygen at night, helping you to breathe better while sleeping. It is one of the best plants for filtering the air of formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, toluene, and trichloroethylene.
Considered to be one of the easiest plants to care for, snake plants do great when placed under indirect sunlight. You really don’t have to water them much at all, as the roots are prone to rot in moist soil.
Rosemary is an herb that’s been used in folk medicine for centuries to help improve concentration and memory. It’s also used to ease muscle pain and boost the immune and circulatory systems. As a bonus, you can use the fresh leaves in cooking.
Rosemary can be planted in a pot and put in any spot where it has access to bright sunlight. It should be watered evenly throughout the growing season but will need less water in the winter. Avoid over-watering, and remember to trim your rosemary plant after it flowers.
You might think of ivy as an outdoor plant that adds rustic charm to old buildings. But when you keep ivy indoors, it can help purify the air in your home. Studies have shown that English ivy is especially good for absorbing mold in the air.
This plant loves bright light and slightly dry soil. Provide your English ivy with generous watering and four hours of direct sunlight a day, and it will return the love to you with clean, detoxified air.
Lavender — like a plant or a sachet — is a great help to relieve stress and insomnia and soothe restlessness, nervousness, anxiety, and depression. You can place a lavender plant anywhere in your home, but putting it in your bedroom is especially helpful since it may help you sleep better.
Lavender plants prefer well-drained soil and lots of sunlight. They also need deep watering, but be careful not to water them very often. Aim to water your lavender plant when the soil is nearly dry.
You might already know about the health benefits of aloe vera for skin, but the plant itself is also great for purifying the air. It works to absorb airborne compounds from paint or cleaning agents, and you can also have it handy for treating your sunburn! This plant will thrive in a sunny location.
A very common houseplant, pothos is known for being exceptionally hardy, and are difficult to kill. While pothos isn’t the most powerful air-purifying plant, its ease of care means that you can grow this one in your house even if you lack a green thumb. Like other plants, pothos has air-purifying qualities as well, so if you’re looking to get the benefits of houseplants but aren’t so good at keeping them alive, this one is a great start!
Rubber trees have been shown to absorb and break down harmful chemicals in the air. Their large, glossy leaves also take in the carbon dioxide we exhale and convert it to oxygen. Grow them in well-drained potting soil, water regularly, and apply liquid fertilizer when they’re actively growing.
Bromeliads are excellent indoor plants. They have colorful, long-lasting inflorescence, and some have brilliantly colored foliage as well. Bromeliads absorb up to 90% of poisonous chemicals like benzene. Bright and sunny spaces are perfect for this plant. It is oftentimes sufficient to water your bromeliad once a week.
When placed indoors, this popular annual is useful in removing benzene and providing mood-enhancing beauty to the home. However, keep in mind that the gerbera daisy does best in warm temperatures, at 75 degrees F or higher.
If you live in a location where humidity tends to be a problem, the Boston fern may be the ideal houseplant to bring into your home. Boston ferns are known for being easy to care for, and they’re also a powerhouse for purifying the air in your home, just check the soil daily to make sure it’s moist.
Place this type of fern in an air-conditioned room of your home. It may also indirectly benefit any dry skin you may suffer from, which can often be a side effect of highly air-conditioned indoor spaces.
Azaleas, in addition to being a pretty flower to add color to your home, can help improve indoor air by absorbing formaldehyde. Just be sure to keep your azaleas misted, as they prefer a humid environment and moist soil.
Philodendrons come in a variety of sizes and colors, and their leaves can have many different shapes. These plants adapt easily to most homes with medium to bright, indirect light. Researchers say they remove indoor toxins like formaldehyde, which may be present in carpets and cleaning products. The plant likes low-light areas and doesn’t require much care.
Proven to help remove formaldehyde from the air, the mass cane is one of the most popular varieties of Dracaenas for its lovely foliage that ranges from green to yellow. Also called a corn plant, a mass cane is a popular plant for sprucing up an office or home. It’s a slow-growing, low maintenance option for those who want to have a plant that both looks nice in their home, and make the air cleaner at the same time.
They look stunning in tree form but can also be grown as shrubs.
Brighten up your kitchen or living room with a chrysanthemum. These pretty blooms help to filter out a host of toxins including ammonia and benzene, which is often found in plastics, detergents, and glue.
This plant loves sunlight, so place it in a spot near a sunbathed window.
Popular houseplants since the Victorian times, weeping figs can help to tackle levels of formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene.
They are fairly fussy plants that don’t like change. Keep your weeping fig in bright, indirect light away from drafts, and it will be a trusty purifier for many years to come.
Broad Lady Palm
Known as broad lady palm or broadleaf lady palm, this plant can reduce the ammonia found in some indoor cleaning products. It also filters out benzene, nitrogen oxide, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene. Tolerant of low light, these palms can grow to six feet tall, so they’re ideal for dim corners. They like moist soil but need good drainage.
Commonly called nerve plants, fittonias are low-maintenance houseplants that filter toluene, benzene and trichloroethylene from indoor air. This variety, ‘Frankie,’ has pink and green leaves, while others have white and green or green and red foliage. Fittonias grow three to six inches high, so they’re perfect for terrariums and dish gardens. Give them high humidity, moist, well-drained soil, and bright, indirect light.