If living a healthier lifestyle is on your list of resolutions this year, does that list include the word “plants?” Plants are often an afterthought, yet they are one of the most inexpensive design elements that you should consider when refreshing your space or renovating your next project. No green thumb? No problem. Below are four fantastic plants that are loaded with enhanced senses, regeneration, absorption, and invisibility, superpowers to name a few. These plants are so fantastic that they are approved by NASA as some of the top air-purifying plants that have the power to improve indoor air quality, capture carbon dioxide and release oxygen, remove toxins and tough as formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, toluene, and much more.
Why invest in indoor plants?
Indoor plants are accessible and affordable! Home improvement stores offer a variety of indoor plants, in various sizes, that are beautiful and perfectly priced. There is something very special about nurturing a living thing, such as a plant, and watching it grow and thrive. In fact, the study of biophilia is the study of how humans connect to nature and the benefits of how that connection can improve overall health.
Plants make people happy! As a child, I have the most wonderful memories of helping my mother water and prune three large peace lily plants on cascading wicker plant stands, flanked in front of the dining room window. When the dining room was cleaned and vacuumed, the leaves on those plants glistened and added such elegance and style to the room. It’s amazing how, decades later, I can still recall how the plants looked and how happy I felt in the dining room.
Aloe Vera Plant
Start small. An aloe vera plant is a perfect “non-committal” starter plant. It is NASA approved because not only does it filter out toxins, it also continuously releases oxygen at night. An aloe vera plant has healing properties, too. In a pinch, you can snip the leaves and use the aloe for minor cuts and bruises. This plant is low maintenance because it only needs water when the soil gets completely dry. Make sure that your pot has proper drainage holes to prohibit root-rot. Overwatering an aloe plant is one sure-fire way to send this plant to “plant heaven.” Because aloe plants like the sun, a kitchen sink window sill is the perfect place to promote healthy growth.
Start Medium. The West African snake plant also known as the “Mother-in-law’s tongue” grows vertically at a maximum height of about 30 inches. This is a low-maintenance plant that will fit beautifully anywhere. However, this plant will certainly enhance any modern, minimalistic, or Scandinavian design aesthetic.
The Snake plant belongs to the succulent family, which means that it stores water within its leaves and needs very little watering and sunlight. It is nearly impossible to kill a snake plant. Incorporate a snake plant in your bathroom to add a bit of style because this plant loves humid spaces. NASA rates the snake plant as one of the top plants that purify the air within a home. Gussy-up this already stylish plant with a decorative pot or a plant stand to give it a bit of height. But beware! This plant is poisonous to cats and dogs.
Start Large. The palm plant, from Madagascar, Africa, is a plant that can enhance a coastal and tropical design aesthetic. These plants can grow about 5-7 feet tall (sometimes taller) and are often seen in atriums and workplaces. Within the home, they are perfect plants for any room like a sunroom or living room that has lots of lighting. But too much lighting, like the afternoon sun, will scorch this plant (I learned this the hard way). Filtered lighting is best. They love humidity and moist soil so keep them away from air conditioners. A large beautiful pot will make these plants stand out and look statuesque. This palm is NASA-approved because in addition to removing chemicals and toxins like formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene, the palm species superpower is that it is “biologically engineered” to trap carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Some have said that this plant also helps with the common cold and sinuses. Yes, the palm needs a little more watering when compared to succulents or cacti plants, but the benefits that this plant offers cannot be compared.
The Rubber plant is a very forgiving and easy plant to grow- nearly indestructible. The rubber plant is the perfect candidate for bedrooms and living rooms because they do not need a lot of water and they prefer dim lighting. They grow upwards, with rubbery-like dark green leaves all over, and can reach as tall as 8 feet. Make sure that you find a place that allows this plant to grow and reach its full potential. Yes, this plant is NASA approved, too with one additional superpower that is a little different than the others. The rubber plant can not only improve air quality and convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, but this plant can also eliminate bacteria and mold spores in the air. Now that is a superpower worth having on your team!