By: Laura Gaskill
Green plants do more than enhance your décor — they also clean the air indoors, removing pollutants and create a cleaner, healthier environment. From the best air cleaners and easy growers to fragrant plants and beautiful blooms, read on to discover the right houseplants for you, plus tips on setting up your indoor garden.
If you haven’t had much luck with houseplants in the past, this list is a great place to start. Each of the following plants requires minimal care and can even thrive in spaces with less than ideal natural light.
Try: Fiddleleaf fig, snake plant, English ivy, spider plant, rubber tree, Boston fern or philodendron.
The Best Air Cleaning Plants
If creating a greener, cleaner home is a priority for you, these plants have you covered. Try to include at least one plant per room or per 100 square feet for maximum air cleaning benefits — although more wouldn’t hurt!
Try: Rubber plant, English ivy, lady palm, bamboo palm or gerbera daisy.
Gorgeous Blooming Plants
Lasting far longer than a cut flower bouquet, blooming plants give you the most bang for your buck. The beautiful blooms of the following plants will cheer up any household windowsill or table in an instant.
Try: Begonia, African violet, hibiscus, geranium, jasmine or orchids.
Enhance the air in your home even more by choosing a plant with fragrant foliage, flowers or both. Know your personal scent preferences before choosing an extremely fragrant plant — one person’s heavenly scent could be sensory overload for another!
Try: Dwarf orange or Meyer lemon, scented geranium, gardenia, rosemary, thyme or oregano.
Assess Your Space
Before bringing home new plants, have a look around your home to assess light conditions. In general, blooming plants require the most light, while plants with only foliage can handle less natural light — but it always pays to read the care tags, or ask a salesperson for help before making your final choice.
Choose Your Plant Pots
Once you have decided on your houseplants, it’s time to select the pots your plants will call home. Think first about size, being sure to choose a pot that will amply contain your plant and allow some room for growth, without leaving the small plant swimming in a too-big pot.
Using your house style and décor as a guide, choose a pot that reflects and adds to your style. Try glazed ceramics and woven planters (with watertight pots set inside) in a traditional home, poured concrete and colorful plastics in a modern space, and urns or zinc planters in an urban setting.
5 Steps to Perfectly Potted Plants
- If potting plants indoors, protect your floors with newspaper or a tarp before getting started.
- Houseplant potting mix is best, as it comes already sterilized (which means no weeds!)
- Gently wiggle and twist plants to remove them from the plastic pot they came in, then tickle the roots to release them.
- Place plant into a pot partially filled with potting mix, then fill in around the plant with more potting mix.
- Pat down the top of the soil, and give your plant a good, long drink of water.
Maintain and Thrive
Once you have houseplants in your care, keep them healthy and thriving by watering regularly, removing dead leaves and spent blooms, and turning the pots to ensure all sides of the plant receive adequate light. Large-leafed plants such as rubber plants can even be dusted occasionally to really make them shine!
Laura is the founder of Lolalina, an interior design and lifestyle blog devoted to decorating from the heart and living the sweet life. She lives in a 1920’s cottage in Providence, Rhode Island, with her sweet husband, adorable son, cat, and three chickens.