It's fun to watch a houseplant grow and change over time. Plus, we love them because they release oxygen into a room. But did you know that many of them absorb toxins floating around indoors? Getting a new houseplant or two for your home this spring is a win-win! This week, I have a few ideas to get you started on your way to owning a wonderful collection of houseplants.
12 Easy Houseplants for a Beginner to Grow
- Spider Plant. Place your spider plant in an area of your home where it will receive indirect sunlight. Give your plant a moderate amount of water each week, but don't make the soil soggy. These plants are great for sitting near a window in a living room, kitchen, or hallway. Spider plants grow quickly but can stay in a medium-size pot. They are known to absorb formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide from the air.
- English Ivy. This houseplant needs a medium to low amount of sunlight as well as about one inch of water per week. A hanging pot of English ivy will be happy near a window in a room of moderate temperature. This plant grows quickly, so be sure to make room for its many vines. They absorb indoor air pollutants such as styrene, mold, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and benzene. They can clean the air in a room measuring 200 square feet!
- Pothos. A pothos plant does well in partial sunlight with a moderate amount of water each week. Push your finger about a half-inch into the soil to see if it's dry. If so, your pothos needs water. These are fast-growing plants, so don't be surprised as you watch your pothos vines grow longer with each passing month. Pothos absorbs formaldehyde and benzene particles from the air.
- Snake Plant. Give this hardy plant a low level of sunlight and a small amount of water and watch it flourish! A snake plant is a slow grower and releases oxygen when it gets dark. So why not put one in your bedroom and reap its benefits as you sleep? It absorbs airborne toxins such as formaldehyde, toluene, xylene, and benzene, too.
- Peace Lily. Give this plant a moderate amount of water and put it in a place where it can receive partial sunlight. Acetone, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene are just a few of the airborne toxins this plant absorbs. The relaxed lighting requirements for this plant means it can flourish in practically any room. It can grow to be three feet high!
- Heartleaf Philodendron. Let this plant dry out between waterings, and put it in a place with moderate sunlight. This plant with attractive leaves absorbs benzene and formaldehyde from the air. Leave plenty of space around it for its quick-growing vines.
- Aloe. Aloe releases a lot of oxygen and absorbs formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide. Every few days, stick your fingers two inches into the soil to see if it's dry. If it is, water your aloe plant. I like the idea of keeping this plant in the kitchen. The juice from its leaves can soothe burns or rough skin, so if you burn yourself on a hot plate, you'll have your aloe plant close at hand!
- Boston Fern. Keep your Boston fern in the bathroom so it can enjoy the humidity from the shower. It needs a moderate amount of water and partial sunlight, so it's best if you have a window in your powder room. This traditional houseplant is rated number one at removing formaldehyde from the air. It grows quickly but slows down in the wintertime.
- Rubber Plant. Give your rubber plant a space that receives partial sunlight. Some rubber plants can grow to be eight feet tall, so make sure you have a large area for it in your home. Water this plant only when the soil is dry. It's excellent at removing formaldehyde from the air.
- Bromeliad. These plants need partial, bright sunlight to flourish. After a thorough watering once a month, watch to make sure the water drains out of the bottom of the pot. Spray a mist on this tropical plant two times a week, or put it in the bathroom after someone has taken a hot shower. This plant can grow to be several feet tall, so it will likely need to be repotted as it grows. Formaldehyde and benzene are two of the many toxins this plant removes from the air.
- Jade Plant. This simple yet attractive houseplant absorbs acetone from the air. Keep its soil moist, and put your jade in partial sunlight. Make sure the pot is sturdy to support its heavy stems. This small, compact plant would be an excellent addition to a home office on a desk near a window.
- Dracaena. Some types of dracaena grow to be three feet tall, while others sprout up to six! Water your dracaena once a week, and make sure the water drains out the bottom of the pot so it doesn't sit in soggy soil. An area with partial sunlight is perfect for this houseplant. Dracaena is effective at absorbing acetone from the air.
Good luck with your new additions, and thanks for reading! - Alan