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Plants have the ability to add a touch of life to your home. Not only are they beautiful pieces of interior décor, many plants are known for their air purifying properties. In addition, one study found that plants have soothing effects on us and actively interacting with indoor plants diminishes physiological and psychological stress. Below are my top 7 favourite plants.
- Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is very easy to maintain, you can forget watering them for weeks and they will still thrive. Aloe vera is known to purify the air in your home. They have thick strong leaves full of gel which – in addition to its well-known ability to heal sunburns – has immense benefits for healing, beauty and health.
Aloe is on the top of this list because of how versatile and beneficial the gel is inside the leaves. The gel in aloe vera contains antioxidant rich vitamins A, C and E, which combat free radicals – promoting health and youthfulness. Since it combats wrinkle causing free radicals and is rich in beauty vitamins it has been shown to improve elasticity of the skin and promote the production of collagen, while reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally, it is highly nourishing and moisturizing and can even reduce acne and psoriasis. Consuming the gel in aloe vera leaves additionally has properties to improve digestion.
How to Use the gel in Aloe Vera
- Remove thick leaves from the outer sections of the plant – check that the leaves do not have mold or damage
- Cut them as close to the stem as possible (most nutrients are found at the base of the leaves)
- Wash the leaves free from dirt
- Tear open the bottom of the leaf
- Test whether the yellow sap is present where you opened the leaf, if it is, let it drain out
- Using a utensil or your fingers separate the gel from the leaf
Aloe does best in a spot with bright, direct sunny light. Water heavily every two weeks and be sure to let the soil dry out fully. If the dirt stays moist the roots may rot, you can tell if the leaves become limp or brown.
Toxic to cats and according to the ASPCA.
LOW LIGHT PLANTS
- Snake Plant
Snake plants is a tropical plant, technically a succulent, which have detailed leaves and can either be all forest green or have a yellow green stripe on the edges. Snake plants are great for beginners because they are extremely easy to maintain, they don’t require much light and they do well when they’re forgotten about because they are drought tolerant. Snake plants also purify the air to improve air quality and remove dangerous toxins including formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.
Snake plant is also referred to as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, Good Luck Plant & Golden Bird’s Nest. This plant is scientifically known as Sansevieria trifasciata.
Can tolerate low indirect light, but medium to bright indirect light is best. Water every 3-4 weeks when soil is completely dry.
Snake Plants are toxic to cats and dogs according to the ASPCA.
- ZZ Plant
ZZ plant is a beautiful plant, technically a succulent, which almost looks fake because of its smooth, shiny and waxy leaf texture. ZZ plants are great for beginners because they’re easy to maintain, they don’t need much natural light or frequent watering. The leaves begin as bright lime and grow to be a beautiful emerald green. These plants also purify the air and a NASA study showed that ZZ plants remove many dangerous toxins from the air including xylene, toluene and benzene.
ZZ plant is also known as Zanzibar Gem. This plant is scientifically known as Zamioculcas zamiifolia.
Low to medium indirect light is best, it can tolerate bright indirect light, yet it is not best for intense direct sun. Water every 3-4 weeks when soil is completely dry.
Keep away from pets.
- Spider Plant
Spider plants are vibrant and attractive due to their long thin arched leaves. They can either be fully green or may have green and white striped foliage. If you are looking for a spider plant that is green with a single white stripe down the center of each leaf get a Vittatum. If in contrast you want the form with green in the middle of the leaves and white stripes along the edges look for Variegatum. Spider plants have been found to eliminate 95% of toxic substances from the air. In a room with good light, spider plants purify toxins from the air including formaldehyde, xylene, toluene and carbon monoxide in moist bathrooms.
They are also referred to as Spider Ivy, Airplane Plant, Ribbon Plant, Anthercium and Walking Anthericum. This plant is scientifically known as chlorophytum comosum & it is safe for cats and dogs.
Spider plants will do well in moderate to bright indirect sunlight, however they don’t need a ton of natural light, so they can tolerate minimal sunlight. Water when the first two inches of the soil is dry. In order to not kill your plant use distilled or filtered water because the fluoride and other minerals in tap water can damage your plant.
INSTAGRAM WORTHY PLANTS
Monstera is known for its Iconic leaves because they have natural holes in their leaves which explains why they’re also referred to as a Swiss Cheese Plant.
Monstera is also referred to as the Hurricane Plant, Swiss Cheese Plant, Ceriman, Mexican Breadfruit, Split-leaf Philodendron, Window Leaf Plant. This plant is scientifically known as Monstera Deliciosa.
Monstera falls in the category of low light plants as low light is adequate but they will do better in bright indirect light. Note that if direct light cannot be avoided, only allow 2-3 hours of morning sun for Monstera. Monstera tolerates any humidity levels yet prefers more humid areas and so it thrives in bathrooms. Water once a week allowing soil to dry out before watering.
Monstera is toxic to cats and dogs according to the ASPCA.
- Fiddle Leaf Fig
Instagram-famous fiddle leaf fig is gorgeous, although they are known to be harder to take care of compared to other plants. Yet, they are still manageable and worth it because of their look.
This plant is also known as Horsehead Philodendron, Cordatum, Heartleaf Philodendron, Panda Plant, Split Leaf Philodendron, Fruit Salad Plant, Red Emerald, Red Princess, Saddle Leaf.
Fiddle leaf fig needs consistent bright direct light – they love warm, wet environments (like a bathroom). Once you find a spot, don’t move them from it as they don’t like that. Once the soil has dried out completely, water your plant generously once or twice per week because it’s used to major rainfall in its natural habitat. You can even place it in your shower, water it and let it drain for a couple hours and then return it to its typical spot.
Fiddle leaf fig is toxic to cats and dogs according to the ASPCA.
- Lucky Bamboo
Bamboo is a very easy to maintain plant, and when gifted, they are believed to bring good luck and fortune by enhancing the energy of their whereabouts. This plant is scientifically known as dracaena sanderiana.
Bamboo are known to be ‘nearly indestructible’ the plant can do well in many light conditions and live in vases of water or soil. Ideally, bamboo does best in bright filtered light, although less light is better than more as direct light may cause browning of the leaves. It is common for bamboo to be placed in a vase with pebbles and minimal water. When watering use distilled or filtered water because they may be harmed with chlorine and other chemicals in tap water. In addition, change the water weekly. If you choose the soil option, keep the water moist but don’t soak it. These plants prefer warmer temperatures so avoid placing them near an open or drafty window.
Bamboo leaves are toxic, so keep them out of reach of cats and dogs.