As doctors, psychologists and wellness gurus give 'green prescriptions', advising us to go for walks in nature, what about greening our homes? Which houseplants should we buy for the benefit of our health?
The experts at Love the Garden recommend the two best indoor houseplants for their health benefits, and the ease of caring for them.
Peace Lily: This glossy-leafed plant is a low-maintenance house plant. Its name is derived from the related Calla Lily and the resemblance of the flower to the white flag of surrender. The main benefit of having a Peace Lily or two in your home is that they are said to remove harmful toxins (*VOCs) from the air, while also increasing humidity levels. This promotes better breathing, relieving irritated throats and noses and acts as a natural air freshener.
*(VOCs: volatile organic compounds often found in cleaning products, vinyl furniture, paints and other household items.)
How to use: Peace Lily will thrive almost anywhere in your home, including in rooms where the ambient light level is medium to low. Note that its flowers do produce some pollen and a light floral scent, which means this plant isn’t always suitable for people with allergies such as hay fever.
Care: Peace Lily prefers a shady environment and the soil should be kept moist. Its leaves will burn if it is exposed to direct sun either outdoors or through a window inside.
Snake Plant: This striking plant is native to tropical West Africa and also goes by another rather cheeky name: mother-in-law’s tongue! Studies have shown that this plant emits oxygen while you sleep. Snake Plant also removes harmful VOCs like formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene from the air, improving your breathing for a better night’s rest.
How to use: Place a potted Snake Plant in your bedroom.
Care: Snake Plant is easy to care for – position it in indirect sunlight and allow plants to dry out before watering. In pots use a cacti and succulent potting mix that doesn’t retain too much moisture.