Adding an indoor plant to your decor can be a way to effortlessly improve your surroundings. Aesthetically plants offer us texture, color, depth, vitality, and ambience - depending on the origins of your chosen plant you can create a lush tropical hideaway or a minimal desert oasis - but they can improve more than just aesthetics!
We all know that eating plants is good for us, but being around plants actually benefits us in a variety of ways too. From purifying the air and helping us breathe easier, to boosting focus and allowing us to better retain information (who knew?!) something that can be as affordable as a cup of coffee can have a huge impact.
Eager to find a leafy friend, but not sure where to start or which kind might be right for you? I'll share a few of my favorites:
1. Aloe (Vera): These spiky little guys help filter out formaldehyde and benzene from the air and are all-around useful to keep around the house. The gel found inside their leaves can be applied topically as a skin treatment, and we all know its a great after-sun soother. *Beware, this plant may be useful to you, but its not so good for furry companions.
2. Snake Plant: Known for being nearly indescructable, these are part of the succulent family and appreciate dry soil and lots of light. Though they thrive in high-light conditions they are also accepting of lower levels of light, guess you could say they're not too picky. In addition to having great patterning on their elongated leaves, they also filter formaldehyde out of the air.
3. Philodendron: These are tropical rainforest plants that typically have large decorative leaves and appreciate low-light settings. I found out the hard way, but they'll burn if left in direct sunlight for too long. They're helpful in removing Volatile Organic Compounds from indoor air, and are simply put very beautiful plants! *Just be careful if they're around animal friends and children, they're toxic if ingested. Yikes!
4. Succulents (and Cacti): First off who doesn't like succulents?? Especially the uber-tiny ones? In any case, there's a lot of variety to choose from in this plant group. These guys aren't the best for air filtration, but do offer interesting architectural shapes. Better yet, they're drought tolerant - requiring little water and lots of sun.
5. Air plants: Air plants have always been mysterious to me, considering that you don't even need to plant them in soil. Fairly forgiving plants, these can be mounted nearly anywhere and need water baths once a week. They grow best in areas with bright indirect light and have been known to filter out airborne particles.
**Next week: The best foods for stress (and what's best to be avoided)