Many studies show that houseplants improve our physical mental and spiritual environment by reducing stress, promoting relaxation and providing mental stimulation.
People who experience the winter blues will benefit from bringing the outside world of soil, sunshine and plants inside. More than just pretty faces, many favourite and easy-to-grow plants remove harmful pollutants from the air and produce the oxygen we depend on.
Peace lily, Chinese evergreen, snake plant and members of the philodendron family such as pothos and monstera are some of the best clean air choices. Adding one or two ten-inch (25 cm) pots of these low maintenance plants to a family room, hallway or home office will help reduce carbon dioxide levels and filter toxins.
If you have dry skin and a scratchy throat during the drier months, you will find that the same leafy house plants humidify the air naturally. Surely a cluster of favourite plants on the coffee table looks much better than a humidifier hidden in the corner. Assess the lighting, temperature and humidity conditions in your house before you head to the garden centre. If you are new to growing houseplants, select low-maintenance plants first; as each month passes reward yourself with a more challenging specimen. After the passion is set in you will no doubt find yourself growing more and more unusual plants, taking over windowsills at the office and bringing plants to friends and relatives. Once you’ve started it’s difficult to stop.
Elegant indoor plant choices for your home
Plants for sunny spots
- Croton (choose from several varieties of these rainbow-coloured foliage plants)
- Jade plants
- Citrus plants
Plants that require little light
- Chinese evergreen
- Peace Lily
- Snake plant
- Raphis palm
- Most plants in the philodendron family
- Japanese fatsia
- African violets
- Persian violet
- Rex begonia (treasured for their patterned burgundy and silver leaves as well as their dainty pink flowers)
- Geraniums (try scented varieties)
Jennifer Reynolds, our previous Editor-in-Chief, is a long-time authority in gardening, do-it-yourself projects, urban sustainability, parenting, placemaking and community matters. Her features and columns have been published in Canadian Living, Canadian Family, Gardening Life, House & Home, Globe & Mail, National Post, Toronto Star & more. Plus, her designs and expertise have been featured on dozens of HGTV, W Network and CTV shows.