Low maintenance, easy to care for and a quick way to inject some natural beauty into the home, it’s no surprise that houseplants are back in vogue. It’s not all about the aesthetic though – houseplants can pack a punch when it comes to health benefits too. From the healing powers of the Aloe Vera plant to the air purifying qualities of the Peace Lily, here’s our guide to the top five houseplants that will not only bring a little zen to the home but help you breathe easier too.
An aloe vera plant is a stylish and practical addition to the home. This succulent plant purifies the air of formaldehyde and benzene – two chemicals commonly found in household cleaning products – and has amazing healing properties too. The gel inside its leaves is full of vitamins and naturally anti-bacterial making it ideal for treating minor cuts and burns including sunburn. There is also some evidence that aloe vera gel may help improve dry skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. To harness the healing powers of this plant simply snap off a leaf, open it up and rub the inside of the leaves over the affected area for instant relief.
CARE TIP: The Aloe Vera plant loves a sunny spot so place it on your kitchen windowsill where it can, not only soak up the light, but be on hand to soothe any kitchen burns too.
BEST FOR: A busy family home.
It’s known as the Snake Plant or Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, but don’t let that dissuade you – the Sansevieria is one of the most recommended plants for improving air quality in the home. In fact, the experts at NASA have found this yellow tipped plant to be highly effective at removing the harmful toxins that naturally build up in the home. Another known benefit of the snake plant is that it releases oxygen at night, helping you to breathe easier. Place one in your bedroom for a better night’s sleep.
CARE TIP: The snake plant is incredibly hardy and can thrive quite happily on neglect. Although the plant prefers plenty of bright light it can endure low amounts of light at long durations. Take care not to overwater your sansevieria plant as the roots will rot if the soil is too moist for too long.
BEST FOR: Houseplant novices who want a better night sleep.
The resilient spider plant is an excellent choice for those who are new to keeping houseplants. It’s undemanding, easy to care for and will quietly battle common environmental toxins including carbon monoxide and xylene. If you have pets, the Spider Plant is ideal as it is one of the few houseplants that is non-toxic to animals. Introduce one or two to your home to feel the natural health benefits.
CARE TIP: Spider plants are among the easiest houseplants to care for, making them great for beginners or forgetful owners. These plants enjoy bright light but will not fare well if placed in direct sun. Take care not to overwater them too.
BEST FOR: A pet friendly household.
With its mass of lush green foliage, the Boston Fern is thought to be one of the best air purifying houseplants. This evergreen plant not only helps to rid the home of harmful toxins it improves humidity by helping to restore moisture to the air naturally too. Because of these air-purifying properties, the Boston Fern is said to offer real health benefits to those who suffer from dry skin or irritably dry noses or throats. They look super stylish when hung around the home in macramé hangers.
CARE TIP: The Boston Fern is relatively easy to care for but they do need to stay moist. Mist regularly and keep in a cool location out of direct light.
BEST FOR: The attentive and style conscious house owner.
The elegant flowers of the Peace Lily make this an attractive houseplant. It is not just about the aesthetic though; Peace Lilies have been proven to combat harmful household chemicals including benzene – a known carcinogen. The Peace Lily is also highly effective at removing mould spores from the air. To get the real benefits place yours in a bathroom, kitchen or laundry room.
CARE TIP: Put peace lilies in a shady spot and keep the soil moist without overwatering.
BEST FOR: Those who prefer a flowering houseplant.