2020 will be renowned as the year that we all stayed at home. Whilst spending more time at home has many benefits, if you don’t have access to a garden or balcony then you may understandably be craving mother nature and more connection with the natural world. Even if you are one of the lucky ones with access to outdoor space, you may still want to bring the outdoors in, to create a more mindful home.
More time spent inside also exposes us to more indoor air pollution; toxins from paint, furniture wax, cleaning products, aerosols, pesticides and bacteria are just some of the pollutants in our indoor spaces. Houseplants are undoubtedly the answer and they’ll give your living space an urban jungle vibe, inside. Air-purifying indoor plants help to clean the toxins from the air and have air-boosting and health benefits to enhance your indoor air quality too. Here’s a few recommendations if you’d like to add more greenery to your living space:
1. The Exotic Look Plant: Monstera Deliciosa If you’re new to plant parenting, you can’t go far wrong with the easy-going Monstera Deliciosa. Native to Central America, it’s often referred to as the ‘swiss cheese plant’, so called due to the holes in its huge green and glossy leaves. The Monstera likes a light spot and can tolerate shade and low humidity, so it’s fairly low maintenance. It’s a statement plant that will give your room an exotic and stylish feel with iconic leaves and a tropical vibe, so if you’re looking for a plant to spruce up your space, look no further.
2. The Hardy Plant: Sansevieria Trifasciata The Sansevieria Trifasciata is also referred to as the ‘Snake Plant’ or the ‘Mother-in-Law’s Tongue’, by virtue of its long sharp leaves. Native to the tropics of West Africa, it’s an environment enhancing plant as it converts carbon dioxide to produce oxygen at night-time and filters out toxins such as formaldehyde, commonly found in cleaning or personal care products. It’s a very low maintenance plant that doesn’t require much watering, so if you’re a little forgetful when it comes to plant pampering, this could be the one for you!
3. The Chic Plant: Dracaena Derived from the Greek 'drákaina', meaning female dragon, the Dracaena is available in a number of varieties such as Dracaena Marginata, Dracaena Draco and Dracaena Arborea that are more commonly referred to as the ‘Dragon Tree’ or Dracaena Fragrans and Dracaena Massangeana that are often referred to as the ‘Corn Plant’ as the plant’s leaves resemble corn leaves. The Dracaena is native to Africa, it’s a low maintenance and slow growing smaller houseplant and its palm-like tropical foliage makes it a beautiful addition to brighten up your home.
4. The Small and Stylish Plant: Succulents Succulents come in all shapes and sizes, they’re fleshy, able to retain water and thrive in warm, dry climates. The plants referred to as Succulents include sedums, kalanchoes, sempervivums, aeoniums, pachyphytums, graptopetalums, echeverias and aloes. They’re perfect if you’d like a few small and ornamental plants in an array of shapes, textures and colours, to invite nature into your home.
5. The Healing Plant: Aloe Vera The powerful Aloe Vera plant is one of the most popular succulents as it’s renowned for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiseptic properties. The gel produced within the leaves of the short-stemmed plant can be used as a topical medication to treat a variety of cuts, burns, insect bites and dry skin; it doesn’t just look pretty on your windowsill, it’s handy to have on hand too. Native to Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, it loves bright, sunny and snug conditions and doesn’t require too much watering, so is easy to maintain.
6. The Serene Plant: Spathiphyllum
The Spathiphyllum plant is more commonly known as the ‘Peace Lily’. It’s a member of the Araceae (Arum) family and native to the rainforests of South America, mainly found in Colombia and Venezuela. The elegant Peace Lily’s striking white flowers can boost a room’s humidity by emitting moisture; it’s also a natural indoor air purifier that neutralizes harmful gases and suppresses airborne microbes and as a result is considered to contribute to positive feng shui, bringing a touch of zen to your home.
7. Chrysalidocarpus / Dypsis Lutescens Otherwise known as the Areca Palm, ‘Butterfly Palm’ or ‘Golden Cane Palm’, this beautiful plant originates from Madagascar. It requires a space with bright and filtered light, so if you’ve got a spot where it’d thrive then it’s one of the best air purifying plants around and increases the level of humidity in the air too. Its feathery and graceful leaves make it an attractive focal point, especially if you’re looking for a plant to add a touch of the tropics to your home.
Important note – safety first: If you’re a pet owner or have young children, research all houseplants thoroughly before bringing them into your home. Not all plants (including some of those listed above) are completely safe for every home, as they could be toxic to young children or pets. To protect the more vulnerable members of your home, always make sure that any plants you choose are suitable for wandering little hands, or furry paws.