garden, plants

10 House Plants With Purpose

I do not have a green thumb. Yet. But I really want to, so that has to count for something, right? I am not in to fake house plants. They collect dust, and really…who wants to clean them??? Why not have something real instead. Something that is serving a purpose other than just sitting there. Perhaps something that cleans the air and improves your quality of living!

House Plants With

I wanted to share what each plant’s purpose is, as well as some care tips that I have gathered with much research!

1. Spider Plants

While I hate the name, Spider plants absorb toxins including formaldehyde, styrene, carbon monoxide, and benzene.

Care – Spider plants do best with indirect light and well drained soil. You want to dry out the soil between waterings.

2. Aloe

Not only can Aloe be used for burns and healing of the skin, they also purify the air by absorbing formaldehyde, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.

Care – Aloe can be over and under watered. Your best bet is about once a week in winter and in the summer you want to saturate the soil, but let it dry between waterings. You want indirect lighting. Also note that if the leaves get brown spots, that means there are excessive chemicals in the air in your house.

3. English Ivy

Reduces mold and feces as well as removes formaldehyde.

Care – English Ivy is limber and will grow as high as you allow it. The plant should be kept in bright light, but not sun. It actually thrives in florescent lighting. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. It will be a bit dryer in the spring and fall, in the winter you want to mist it to keep it healthy.

4. Peace Lily

Reduces chemical toxins, fillers, benzene, trichloroethylene, formaldehyde alcohols, acetone, and VOCS that are in harsh cleaning products. I want to note that the Peace Lily is toxic for pets and kids, so be sure to keep it somewhere safe.

Care – This plant is low maintenance. Indirect light near a window would be best. Just not under the window. Water once per week, do not over water. You will want to mist the leaves several times each week with a spray bottle. Be sure to trim any unhealthy looking leaves.

5. Snake Plant

This plan removes toxins and is nearly indestructible! The Snake Plant would  be best suited in a bedroom, as it maintains a healthy amount of oxygen in the air.

Care – It requires little no lighting. You want to use free draining soil. Do not over water this plant, especially in the winter. Let the soil dry out between waterings.

6. Rubber Plants

These plants are great for removing formaldehyde. The leaves are toxic for pets, so be sure that the plant is left in a supervised room.

Care – The Rubber Plant requires a balance of light and shade. They thrive in a very moist, but well draining environment. You want to mist this plant regularly, and if you over water it you will know…as the leaves will turn yellow. Keep this plant away from drafty areas of the house.

7. Bamboo

The Bamboo Plant acts as a natural humidifier, according to NASA. It also removes formaldehyde.

Care – Bright, indirect sunlight would be best. You want to use distilled or bottled water and change it out once per week. Ensure there is always at least one inch of water in the vase at all times.

8. Pothos

Pothos are great for removing all indoor toxins. You want to set this somewhere high and let it cascade down. It is considered toxic for pets and children if ingested.

Care – This plant is pretty easy. It tolerates neglect and over watering. It does well in bright, indirect light as well as low light. This means it is great for bathrooms or other rooms with low light. It does not do well in direct sunlight. Let the soil dry out between waterings. If it starts to droop, it just needs water. Don’t let the leaves shrivel. Black spots mean the soil is being kept too wet and suddenly paler leaves means that it is getting too much sun.

9. Areca Palm

The Areca Palm is rated one of the best houseplants for removing indoor toxins. It also acts as a humidifier.

Care – This plant is relatively easy to care for. It loves indirect sunlight by a window.

10. Boston Fern

The Boston Fern is one of the best plants for removing air pollutants. It also acts as a humidifier.

Care – This plant can be fussy, needing more water and misting than most. You want to keep it in a cool place with high humidity and indirect light. Set pot on a tray of pebbles with water for extra humidity, especially in winter months when the heat is running. Mist the fern 1-2 times per week if needed. You want to make sure soil remains damp, so check it daily. If grown with peat moss, soak once per  month to ensure the peat moss is fully hydrated. If the leaves turn yellow, it means there is not enough humidity.

I plan on incorporating these plants throughout my home in the coming weeks. Did you know how many benefits indoor plants had? Do you have indoor plants? If so, what are your tips.

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18 Comments

  • Reply Laura May 7, 2015 at 8:46 am

    WHAT??? Plants do all that?!?!? And I was all over the peace lily (because, cool name, duh), but I’d probably forget that it was toxic and let Stella eat some of it.

  • Reply Jenn @ Business, Life & Design May 7, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Yay!!! I’m so glad you did this project. Have you decided which ones to buy? Or are you going to try all of them? Pothos sounds awesome because it has “symptoms” so you can tell what you’re doing wrong. But I think I’d want to pick something safe for the dog, just in case. Aloe sounds pretty awesome, too, because it’d be multipurpose (and the brown spots are kind of like the canary in the coal mine).

  • Reply CraftyHope May 7, 2015 at 9:59 am

    This is a great list. I love that you included what’s toxic for pets too. I also don’t have a green thumb but am working in it. Right now I have a philodendron I’m trying to keep alive, but I’d love to add some more green to my house. Your list is the perfect concise reference list. Thanks!

  • Reply Stephanie May 7, 2015 at 10:17 am

    I had no idea! Which on the list is the absolute easiest, but is also okay around pets? (Not that Hawkeye would eat it if it’s not a taco, but you never know.) I have no green thumb, I don’t want to kill it right away.

  • Reply Emily @ Martinis & Bikinis May 7, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Bamboo and cactuses are probably the only two plants I can keep alive. I would love an aloe plant or some herbs to cook with like basil.

  • Reply Kate @ Green Fashionista May 7, 2015 at 11:40 am

    I love aloe plants, and have them outside. I think it’s time to start thinking of having some inside, loving all the health benefits you listed 🙂

  • Reply SMD @ Life According to Steph May 7, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Very informative. I’ve had bamboo, spider, succulents, aloe. I’ve killed them all. LOL. I go in cycles for trying them.

  • Reply alyssa May 7, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Bookmarked this! Thanks SO much for this post. I am not a green thumb at all, by my mom is basically a plant whisperer and I love all the greenery she always has around the house. I’ve successfully managed to not kill 2 spider plants and one aloe plant she potted for me a few years ago (if I can keep them alive, anyone can!) and I definitely want to add a few more. I will have to look into a couple of these you listed here. Thank you!!

  • Reply Kristen May 7, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    this is fabulous Nadine. i have zero plants in my house, definitely staying away from the fussy / toxic ones but i think i could handle some of the other ones! do you have any at all yet? let me know how you go over the next couple weeks!

  • Reply Tracie May 7, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    I needed this so bad! I am constantly trying to figure out what plants to put around the house, so that we are purifying the air and they are easy to maintain… all while looking pretty! Is that too much to ask?

  • Reply kathy@real talk May 7, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    my house is filled with plants but i wouldn’t even know what kind they were – they’re just “green”. my husband loves plants and it’s like freaking wild kingdom up in hurr.

  • Reply Jana @ Jana Says May 7, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    This is so informative and helpful and makes me want to put plants inside my house but I am 100% confident I will murder them. I killed a cactus. I know. I’m gifted.

  • Reply Kerry May 7, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    I haven’t done well with ferns but I have had a pothos for like 15 years!

  • Reply Candace May 7, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    I totally love this! And It reminded me that I need to get an aloe plant asap! I live in AZ where sun burns are a plenty and I would love to rub fresh aloe on my skin
    Xo, Candace | Lovely Little Rants

  • Reply Deborah May 7, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    This post is perfect for when we buy our house! I want to incorporate more greenery to liven up the place. lol Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Natalie May 8, 2015 at 7:23 am

    Growing up, my mother always had house plants. Spider plants is the main one I remember. And now I see why! I will have to get some now! Oh, and we had a little aloe plant in the window of our kitchen, on the inside. I guess my mom and dad burned their selves while cooking all the time. HA!

    Have a great weekend!

  • Reply Biana Perez May 8, 2015 at 8:40 am

    I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a while so I’m so glad you posted which ones to try!! I can’t wait to see how you incorporate them! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

  • Reply Michael December 29, 2015 at 10:41 am

    I’m guessing I wasn’t following you in May because otherwise I would have been all over this post! More than half of these are absolute favorites of mine. I’d have them all except Roxie eats any plant I bring in EXCEPT cacti (obviously) and snake plants( I think she knows they’re poisonous)

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