Incorporating plants into your diet is a great way to reap their benefits, but incorporating them into your home is another way they can help, as they not only serve as decoration, but they also cleanse the air and improve your health.
According to horticulturist Marc Hachadourian, the director of the Nolen Greenhouses at the New York Botanical Garden, plants can benefit both your physical and mental state.
“There is actually a lot of scientific evidence that adding plants to any workspace or living environment actually does help to reduce stress,” said Hachadourian. “There are obviously therapeutic effects of caring for plants and gardening has been shown to decrease blood pressure and reduce stress, so the benefits go beyond […] helping to clean the air and add oxygen.”
While you might be inclined to bring any old plant into your home, you should consider that certain plants can clean the air around you of hazardous toxic chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde, and ammonia, per a clean air report from NASA. While NASA suggests that existing data points towards the use of plants to filter air quality, it has yet to be proven.
“There is some benefit,” Hachadourian said. “I think the debate now is how much of that occurs and whether it is enough to make a significant difference in the overall health and quality of the environment you live in.”
If you are completely convinced you need more greenery nearby, Hachadourian recommends purchasing a houseplant that fits your lifestyle and environment, because after all, you don’t want to let the plant wilt; you want to reap all the benefits while keeping your plant alive. Here are 12 of the best plants to keep in your home or workspace that you can benefit from.
12. Golden Pothos
Although golden pothos doesn’t remove formaldehyde, it does remove other chemicals like benzene and trichloromethyl from the air, according to the NASA clean air report. Benzene is commonly found in glue, paint, and detergent. Another great thing about this plant is that if you’ve had your share of dead plants in the past, the golden pothos is a tough cookie. The plant is best kept in low light conditions with irregular watering.
11. Peace Lilies
This beautiful plant removes benzene, formaldehyde, and other chemicals in the air that are emitted by harsh cleaning products, according to Rodale’s Organic Life. Not to mention, this is one of the few plants that can bloom indoors. Be sure to leave the plant in indirect light near a window — only water when the soil is completely dry.