If you’re like many people, you know that houseplants are a nice touch – but you may not know that there are plenty of amazing reasons that every home, from Aspen to Carbondale, should have a nice collection of indoor plants. Some plants fare better indoors than others do, too, so here’s what you need know.
5 Amazing Plants to Put in Your Home This Winter
You don’t have to build an indoor greenhouse to enjoy all the benefits of keeping houseplants this winter. In fact, NASA did a study to find ways to clean the air in enclosed places (they were eyeing space stations, but the same principles are true in homes). The study found that if you place at least one plant in every 100 square feet of your home, the greenery will effectively absorb carbon dioxide, release ample oxygen into the air, and remove dangerous pollutants (including formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene). Some plants are more effective than others – so although any plants are better than no plants, these are the ones to consider:
- Snake plant
- Peace lily
- Bamboo palm
- Red-edged dracaena
- Dracaena Janet Craig
Here’s a closer look at each.
Air-Purifying Houseplant #1: Snake Plant
Commonly called mother-in-law’s tongue, the snake plant is tough and super-effective at cleaning the air. This plant is known for its ability to release oxygen at night; in fact, it can release enough oxygen in a sealed room for people to actually breathe. It thrives in dim light (although it benefits from sun, too) and can deal with drought, as well.
Air-Purifying Houseplant #2: Peace Lily
The peace lily is a beautiful indoor plant that can grow between 1 and 4 feet tall and wide. They produce white flowers that last quite some time, and they’ll flourish in a well-drained potting mix provided you let the soil dry out between waterings. These plants can survive low interior light, but they thrive in bright filtered light; don’t put them in direct sunlight or they’ll sunburn. There are several species of peace lily, which means that you can choose one with the perfect look for your space.
Air-Purifying Houseplant #3: Bamboo Palm
The bamboo palm is a great indoor plant; it grows slowly, but it can eventually outgrow its space (so make sure you’re ready to transplant it to a bigger pot in a few years). The large fronds absorb bright natural light, so it’s best to place them near a west- or southeast-facing window. Unlike some of their air-filtering counterparts listed here, these plants need plenty of water – if you let the soil dry out, they’ll wither. However, you can’t drown them in water, either; if you do, the roots can rot.
Air-Purifying Houseplant #4: Red-Edged Dracaena
The red-edged dracaena is dramatically beautiful. Also called a dragon tree, this plant reduces formaldehyde, xylene, toluene and benzene from the air in your home. It does well in bright light with shade; direct sunlight will damage its leaves. It’s a good idea to mist the leaves occasionally, and you can even grow new dragon trees by cutting and replanting stem cuttings.
Air-Purifying Houseplant #5: Dracaena Janet Craig
Dracaena Janet Craig is a slow-growing shrub that looks a bit like a cornstalk. Featuring long, tapered leaves that are pleated, these rich, green plants are excellent at taking pollutants from the air and releasing oxygen. Usually, they grow up to 42 inches in a home setting – but in the wild, they can reach up to 15 feet.
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