If you aren’t decorating your home with houseplants, then now’s the time to start. Not only do houseplants naturally help cool and purify the air in your home, but scientific studies also show that simply looking at them can help lower stress levels while simultaneously boosting your mood.
Interested in learning more about how to thoughtfully dress up your home with houseplants? From the best plants to choose, and where to buy them, to tips about how to care for them, and more, read ahead for a breakdown on houseplants as home decor.
The Best Houseplants for Home Decor
While all houseplants release oxygen that can help improve your home’s indoor air quality, certain ones supply more benefits than others.
If you’re looking for a multi-leafed green plant that packs plenty of air-purifying power, consider a snake plant (Dracaena trifasciata) which is known to filter out harmful vapors such as trichloroethylene, xylene toluene, benzene, and formaldehyde from your air. Additionally, Chinese evergreens (Aglaonema) are known for emitting higher levels of oxygen than other houseplants, while purifying airborne toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene.
If you’re looking for an air-purifying plant that will help calm your nerves and lift your spirits, look no further than a Monstera plant (Monstera deliciosa). Nicknamed the “Swiss cheese plant” due to its large holey leaves, a Monstera plant has the ability to boost mood, increase creativity, and lessen stress just by looking at it. If bold, leafy plants aren’t your style, no worries. Aloe vera plants are believed to reduce anxiety, and their juice provides antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties when applied topically.
And if you’re a rookie gardener looking for a plant that’s beneficial but hard to kill, go for heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum) or ZZ plants (Zamioculcas), that thrive in low light spaces (like a small apartment) and only need to be watered once every two weeks.
How to Shop for Plants at the Garden Center
If you plan on heading to your local nursery or garden center to pick out plants to decorate with, it’s important to know what a healthy houseplant looks like (so it doesn’t die shortly after you bring it home).
As a general rule of thumb, the darker the leaves the healthier the plant, so seek out houseplants with rich green leaves with little to no traces of brown or yellow. If a plant is turning yellow, it’s usually a sign that it isn’t getting the water or nutrients it needs, so there’s a good chance it won’t survive for much longer.
Additionally, it’s crucial to inspect any houseplants you’re considering buying from a nursery or garden center for pests. If you wave your hand over a plant and notice gnats, whiteflies, or other flying insects, or notice a sticky film on the leaves, it could be a sign of an infestation that you definitely won’t want to bring home with you.
Where to Buy Plants Online
If you thought you could only buy houseplants at a nursery or garden center, then think again. There is a slew of savvy online plant brands that will deliver beautiful (and thriving) houseplants straight to your door.
If you’re a rookie gardener, head over to The Sill for an assortment of popular houseplants—think Bird’s Nest Fern, Fiddle Leaf Fig Bush, and air plants—as well as stylish planters, that come with simple-to-follow care instructions. For a wider selection of plants and planters, including polka dot and metallic styles, try Greenery Unlimited for equally easy-to-care-for offerings.
If you’re on a tight budget, try Bloomscape for an ample assortment of affordable plant offerings, including Red Prayer Plant and Prickly Pear Cactus, that come tightly packed with your choice of planter for starting at just $35. And if you’re short on time and funds, don’t forget you can order everything from succulents to snake plants on Amazon, many of which are priced at under 25 bucks a pop and eligible for 3-day delivery.
How to Care for Houseplants
A little maintenance can go a long way when caring for houseplants at home. Always check the care instructions (or with an employee at your local nursery) to find out what specific levels of sunlight your houseplant needs. For houseplants that require indirect light, like Calathea, place them in a room that receives full sunlight from a south – or west-facing window (but not on the windowsill) to ensure your plant thrives without drying out.
Place indoor plants that require low levels of light, such as snake plants and ZZ plants, near a north-facing or partially shaded window that doesn’t receive direct sunlight, and for plants that call for bright light, like Schefflera, display on a southern or western facing windowsill to ensure it receives a minimum of five to six hours of sunlight every day.
While each plant’s specific watering needs will vary by species, all houseplants require a certain level of pruning. Make a habit of plucking dead, yellow, or browning leaves whenever you see them make way for new growth while keeping mold and pests at bay.
Where to Decorate With Houseplants
Since certain plants thrive in specific conditions—and supply unique benefits—it pays to know where to decorate with houseplants at home.
Houseplants that release high levels of oxygen, such as snake plants, heartleaf philodendron, and Chinese evergreens, are perfect for high-traffic areas of your home, like a living room or bedroom, to help keep the air crisp, cool, and clean.
To help boost creativity and productivity while working from home, place an Aloe Vera, Monstera, or spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) somewhere in your home office or designated work area. Not only will they keep the air clean, but scientific studies also show they can help keep your mind focused on the task at hand while reducing feelings of anxiety.
For plants that thrive in humid conditions, such as air plants and ZZ plants, there’s no better place to display them than the bathroom. Just remember to double-check the required sunlight conditions for each plant, especially if you have a windowless bathroom.
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