Houseplants: Which Are the Best for Your Health?

Houseplants offer many benefits in addition to their aesthetic value. Here are some tips on what types of plants to choose and the healthy reasons to do so.

The most common reason to have houseplants, aside from adding to your home’s décor, is to help purify the indoor air. As homes and workplaces become more energy efficient, sealing off the indoor space from air leakage and drafts, this can also cause indoor pollutants to become trapped inside.

Plants are a very efficient natural air filter, helping to clean out those pollutants and generate oxygen. If this is your goal, grab a couple of peace lily plants, named by HGTV as one of the best air filters. Pothos plants, a type of ivy that comes in various colors, are well known for their ability to help purify indoor air, as well as being one of the easiest houseplants to care for.

If you suffer from insomnia or have difficulty falling asleep at night, think about adding a houseplant or two to your bedroom. Snake plant is perfect for non-gardeners, as it can go long periods without watering and requires little direct sunlight. It filters formaldehyde and benzene contaminants from the air, giving your bedroom (one of the places you spend the most amount of time) purified air. The increased oxygen it will produce can aid in restful sleep. Aloe plants, jasmine, spider plant and gardenia are also great bedroom plants.

Just as pondering great works of art can reduce stress levels, so can gazing at flowers. Keeping flowering plants in your home can contribute to lowering your stress, so consider such plants as the popular African violet or anthurium. Christmas cactus plants do well even when neglected, so they are an easy one to start out with as long as you place them in direct sunlight. Peace lily plants also thrive on neglect. Other blooming plants include the red-hot cattail with its fuzzy, long blooms, orchids, and lipstick plant.

Another surprising emotional benefit of having houseplants is that they can help people heal faster from injuries. So, next time a friend or family member is down for the count, consider sending a plant instead of the typical bouquet of flowers.