Houseplants are seeing a revival, particularly among younger generations External Site, who find their leafy, potted companions as a comforting, low-cost way to have green space at home. Houseplants are also a great way to bring the outdoors in, plus they add visual interest and a more relaxed and calming vibe to your home’s décor.
Houseplants are also seeing a comeback because of their health benefits. Indoor plants improve air quality by adding oxygen and removing carbon dioxide. Some researchers believe plants can also remove pollutants, or toxins, called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) External Site from the air. Plants also boost serotonin levels External Site, which help reduce our anxiety and stress levels and contributes to a sense of calm.
6 low-maintenance houseplants
If you have trouble keeping plants alive, never fear. Find success here, with a selection of plants that can survive if you’re out of town for a while, or if you forget to water on occasion.
Tropical plant with large, distinct leaves
Light level: Best in indirect sunlight.
Care: Water weekly and until the soil is fairly dry before watering again.
Sansevieria (snake plant)
Hardy plant with sword-like leaves
Light level: Adaptable to any type of light from low light to bright, full sun.
Care: Water when the soil is almost thoroughly dry, about every 2 weeks.
A tough plant, perfect for the office
Light level: Grows well in any light except direct sun.
Care: Requires very little water and prefers to be kept on the dry side. Water about every 10–14 days.
A graceful, climbing, vine plant
Light level: Thrives in indirect light and actually suffers if exposed to bright sunlight.
Care: Water when top inch of soil is dry, every 7–10 days or when dry.
A unique and forgiving succulent
Light level: Prefers sun or partial sun.
Care: In the winter, water sparingly, only when the soil is completely dry. In the summer, keep the soil damp, but not soggy.
A striking, ornamental plant that is also durable
Light level: Requires low to bright, indirect light.
Care: Water only when the soil feels slightly dry, about once a week.
What are the leaves telling you?
When taking care of houseplants, just paying attention to your plant's leaves can help you know what it needs. For example:
- Yellow or soft, brown leaves, droopy leaves or funny smell means you might be overwatering.
- Underwatering typically leaves the leaves brown and crispy on the tips or wilted overall.
Sometimes houseplants and children or pets don't mix
It’s best to keep all your houseplants out of reach of pets or young children. If touched, some houseplants can cause skin irritations. If ingested, some houseplants can cause burning of the mouth and throat, or digestive issues like vomiting.
If you suspect that a child or pet has been poisoned by eating or touching a houseplant, call your personal doctor or veterinarian, go to an emergency room, or call the Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222.
Want more information about making your home a healthier place to live? Learn more about reducing your exposure to indoor toxins here External Site.