Not only do these beauties help keep your indoor spaces healthy
Plants can add more than a pop of colour, a dash of architectural style or a lush, verdant green feel to your rooms, they also have health and wellbeing benefits
What are the benefits of indoor plants?
Homes can be heavy carriers of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, which are toxins found in everything from paints and flooring to furniture, air conditioning, detergents and even shopping bags.
The science behind indoor plants being able to help remove these toxins from our indoor areas is solid enough that NASA conducted a ‘Clean Air Study’ to identify the indoor plants with the best detoxing abilities, and now houses them in their space stations.
The great news is, when we asked Tiffany Benn, interior stylist and Director of Hart Home Decor, for her fave four easy-care indoor plants to add style and flair to any room, three feature on the NASA top ten plant list. Here are her choices:
Benn says this plant is virtually indestructible, surviving with minimal lighting and poor attention-to-detail when it comes to watering schedules.
It’s a popular plant with stylish folk, offering up gorgeous tall white flowers that appear all year round and lush green, big, bold foliage. It can hit three feet, so it makes a great floor plant, however, it can be toxic to pets, so it’s not ideal for spaces where dogs or cats may ingest it. Benn’s care tips?
- It will let you know if it needs water as it will wilt. The good news is, if you then give it a drink, it will come back to life.
- It loves warmth but not direct light, so choose a space where it won’t be exposed to any.
The Pothos Plant
The only one on her list not to make to space with NASA (though all plants offer some detoxifying properties), Benn says this handsome fellow is the perfect entry-level houseplant, being undemanding and easy to care for. Even better, it provides a stunning ivy-style plant you can train to run to suit your space and style. Other reasons the Pothos made her top four?
- They love low light as well as bright (indirect) light, making them perfect for any rooms that don’t get a lot of natural light, like a study or bathroom. Bonus tip: Benn says it’s best to choose the non-variegated versions for low light areas
- They’ll grow in most soils, even dry soil – or none at all! If you stick a cutting from the ‘mother plant’ into a glass of water, it will root and can be kept like this for good.
With tall, slender trunks resembling bamboo, Bamboo Palms are popular with those looking to add a tropical, zen feel to their interior. Benn recommends them for their deep green foliage and popularity which translates to plenty of availability and lower price tag. Benn shares her top care advice for these palms.
- They like well-drained soil, so they shouldn’t be left in standing water, though the soil should be consistently moist.
- They’re exceptionally shade tolerant and rugged enough to be placed in a bright window – a space that withers many a houseplant.
Mother in Law’s Tongue
As well as featuring on NASA’s top ten list, this is a plant that actively thrives on neglect! Benn says this plant originates from West Africa and is an evergreen with long, stiff and vertical leaves of dark green banded with lighter green.
She says watering is easy, as it does not require watering very often – experts recommend once a month. Bonus tip? It is allegedly easier to bring it back from the brink
Not sure how to choose the right indoor plant for your space? Always visit your nursery with an idea of the lighting your pot plant is likely to receive, and an honest approach to how much skill and attention you’ll be bringing to the table. From here, they’ll be able to help you select a suitable plant with a look that suits the aesthetic you’re aiming for.
Words by Melanie Hearse.