There are a few things that can take your home to the next level and prove you’re a real adult: a bookshelf, a bar cart, and perhaps most of all, an indoor plant. But let’s be real—most people aren’t plant experts and have no idea where to start (admitting it is the first step).

For starters, choose a plant based on the conditions your space provides. So, “if you’re looking for a plant to put on a windowsill that receives bright direct sun all day long, choose one that thrives in those dry and sunny conditions, like an echeveria or haworthia (two popular types of succulents).”

Having a plant does more than make you feel like you’ve got this whole #adulting thing down. A study found that interacting with indoor plants can reduce both physiological and psychological stress. Plus, plants are great at purifying the air in your home by filtering out everyday pollutants.

So, what are you waiting for? Add these indoor plants to your home, and you’ll start reaping all the healthy benefits ASAP.

1. Snake Plant

Don’t let the name fool (or more likely, scare the crap out of) you. The snake plant simply gets its name from the thin, upright leaves with “irregular green banding” that look like—you guessed it—snakeskin.

Besides looking cool, it’s a low-maintenance plant that’s known for surviving droughts, making it perfect for newbies living in almost any environment. “Although the snake plant prefers bright light, it can survive lower light levels.”

Snake plants have also been shown to filter out nasty chemicals, like benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene, so you can breathe easy having this in your home.

Pet friendly? No.

2. Pothos

“Sometimes referred to as the ‘cubicle plant,’ the pothos is a great pick if you’re a self-proclaimed ‘black thumb’ (Just so you know, a ‘black thumb’ is the total opposite of a ‘green thumb.’) And while this plant starts out small, its trailing vines can grow to over 10 feet long (WOW), even indoors where lower light and dry air make conditions less than ideal.

As an added bonus, this plant is super easy to grow and propagates (translation: breeds more pothos) in water. While you’ll need to learn how to propagate a Pothos plant, you can basically get as many plants as you want for the price of one. And like the snake plant, the pothos filters benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene.

Pet friendly? No.

3. Dracaena

If you live a high-maintenance life—always on the go, out at all hours—you need an “easy going, low-maintenance plant, like the Dracaena. The Dracaena is great because it can easily adapt to different light environments, though it’s best to keep it away from direct sun.

“The hardest of these group is Dracena Lisa. “It can deal with indoor temperature and season changes better than others.” When it comes to purifying the air, though, the Dracaena Marginata Plant is your best bet. It removes benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene.

Pet friendly? No.

4. ZZ Plant

If you live in a lower light environment, getting a ZZ Plant can be a good choice because they’re drought tolerant and incredibly low maintenance. You might notice the ZZ has large potato-like rhizomes (a.k.a. horizontal stems that continuously grow) under the surface of its surrounding potting mix.

These rhizomes store water and help the plant survive drought in its natural environment. That means “they’ll also help it survive infrequent waterings in your space”—think once a month if your plant’s in medium indirect light.

Oh, many cultures believe a ZZ Plant “symbolizes prosperity and friendship,” making it a great housewarming gift.

Pet friendly? No.

5. Spider Plant

Plants that give off “instant jungle vibes,” like the spider plant, are having a serious moment right now. And they’re super easy to care for. These plants need bright light, but no direct sun, so they’re perfect to put in a room with big windows. Just keep it away from the windowsill. 

This plant is fun to have around because it grows “baby spiders” (spiderettes), which can be easily propagated. It’s also a strong air purifier, removing both formaldehyde and xylene.

Pet friendly? YES!

 

Credits – Lindsay Geller, Women’s Health

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