Photo: James Bombales
Plants are heavy lifters when it comes to your well being. On top of reducing stress and increasing concentration, they vastly improve our indoor air quality. According to a NASA study from 1989, plants have been proven to reduce up to 87 percent of harmful indoor pollutants. The study suggests a healthy dose of greenery in your space — two to three plants for every 100 square feet. If you’re just starting your collection, here are seven of our favorite spaceship-approved plants to get you started.
1. Snake Plants
Snake plants serve double duty being both hard to kill and one of the most effective air purifying plants out there. They thrive in low light and can go weeks without watering, making them the perfect option for anyone with a black thumb.
Plant care: Low to medium light, over-watering is the main reason snake plants die. Allow the soil to dry out before watering.
2. Bamboo Palms
No, palm trees won’t make winter end any sooner but they do lend a tropical vibe to your interior, increase humidity, can grow upwards of 12 feet indoors and aren’t harmful to your pets.
Plant care: Bright indirect light, allow the top third of the soil to dry out before watering. These plants like to have soil that is a touch moist but never soggy.
3. Spider Plants
Fast-growing, pet-friendly spider plants are quick to offshoot babies from the leaves, making them a rewarding choice for all the proud plant parents out there.
Plant care: Bright indirect light, allow the top half of the soil to dry out before watering.
There are over 40 varieties of Dracaenas but Marginatas, Warnekei and Janet Craigs are the hardest working air purifiers according to NASA. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes with a spectrum of variegated leaf colors to brighten up your space.
Plant care: Medium light, water well and don’t water again until the top half of the soil is dry.
This fast-growing, climbing plant is the ultimate gateway for new plant owners because they can handle a decent amount of neglect. If your pothos is wilting, a proper watering will spur a Rocky-esque comeback.
Plant care: Bright indirect light, water well and then allow the top half of the soil to dry out before watering again.
6. English Ivy
On top of bringing some English garden charm inside, Ivy are warriors at battling the chemicals that invade our air quality, including residue from cleaning products and chemicals in carpets and on furniture.
Plant care: Bright indirect light, water when the top inch of soil is dry.
7. Boston Ferns
Ferns are master dehumidifiers, helping to restore dry skin and offset the oppressive heat blasting through the vents. Plus, they’re pet-friendly.
Plant care: Bright indirect light, allow the top third of the soil to dry out before watering.