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Houseplants and Their Benefits

Updated on October 13, 2014

Indoor Houseplants

Houseplants With Health Benefits

Do you love having houseplants in your home? If you do, you're in luck. Are you aware that certain houseplants can help to create a healthier environment? New research shows that some houseplants can do more than just make a home look cozy and inviting. Find out which houseplants you should have in your home and the health benefits that these houseplants can provide. For example, did you know that having a peace lily in your bathroom can prevent mold? Did you also know that having a boston fern in your bedroom can help moisturize your skin? Some houseplants can actually optimize brainpower, enhance your immunity, improve your sleep quality and more! These easy gardening tips will tell you which plants you might want to add to your home for better air quality, too.

Healthy Houseplants - Getting Health Benefits from Houseplants

How to Start Healthy Plants

Secret Tips for Getting Healthy Benefits from Houseplants include the following:

Before we get to the houseplants that offer health benefits listed below, know this first before you even start thinking about them.

Place healthy plants primarily in your "personal breathing zone", within 6 to 8 cubic feet of where you work, sleep or spend long stretches of time.

Also, consider swapping commercial potting soil for clay pebbles (a method called hydro-culture). Studies show that plants grown in the material remove air-borne irritants more effectively than plants in potting soil because their roots are better able to "breathe".

Reduce Mold - Peace Lily Plant - Offers White Tropical Flowers, Too!

You can reduce mold with a Peace Lily. Not only are the flowers beautiful, but studies have shown that peace lilies can reduce levels of microscopic mold spores in the air by 60 percent! The flowers sop up the mold organisms through their leaves, then shuttle the spores to the roots for food. This is great for bathrooms since it prevents spore buildup on shower curtains and tiles. The result: less sneezing, not to mention less scrubbing for you. The plant also absorbs atmospheric vapors like acetone and alcohol. Research confirms that routine exposure to these chemicals (commonly found in grooming products) can lead to dry eye syndrome, dizziness and muscle weakness, especially in a confined space like a bathroom.

The peace lily is a tropical plant that has dark green leaves that can grow up to more than one foot in length. It has white flowers and lives for at least a few years when properly cared for.

Peace Lilies produce white blooms April through October. They require full sunlight and should be placed away from drafts. When watering, drench the soil and allow it to become moderately dry between waterings. Feed every two weeks during the summer months only. Spraying the leaves with water makes the peace lily grow and bloom better.

Sleep Better - Gerbera Daisies

Gerbera Daisies

Sleep like a baby with Gerbera Daisies. While most plants absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen during the day, this flowery variety conducts the process at night, which is why I place one in the bedroom. The benefit: easier breathing and deeper sleep. Higher levels of atmospheric oxygen were found to stabilize breathing and increase the duration of sleep by over 10 percent.

The Gerbera has daisy-like flowers which can be single, double, quilled or crested double on long stems. The are available in a variety of colors including shades of orange, red, yellow, white and pink. Gerberas will flower continuously for 4-6 weeks with proper care. Although they are a perennial in very warm climates, they are generally treated as an annual. I call them the happy flower, they are so cheerful.

Bright light location is preferred as well as moderately moist soil. Water thoroughly when just the soil surface is dry to the touch. Do not allow plants to stand in water.

Gerbera daisy plants produce beautiful blooms July through September and are very easy to grow. They prefer full sunlight. Be careful the crown of the plant is above the soil and provide good drainage. Allow the soil to become moderately dry between waterings and feed every two weeks during growth periods.

Improve Creativity - African Violets

Enhance your brain power with African Violets. Gazing at flowering plants in the purple family, like African violets, stimulates the release of adrenaline. This energizing hormone improves creativity. Purple also triggers the release of endorphins, which ease stress and improve mood. Another perk: The body responds to flowering plants of any color by boosting oxygen flow to the brain, resulting in relaxation.

African Violets are lovely small plants, which may bloom at anytime. They prefer bright indirect sunlight and grow well under fluorescent light. Cut off the flowers after they die and provide good ventilation. Keep the soil evenly moist at all times and feed monthly spring through fall with a nitrogen-free fertilizer.

Houseplants for Healthy Living on Amazon

Any of the featured houseplants below would make a nice addition to your home and provide cleaner air.

Moisturize - Boston Fern Houseplant

Benefits of Boston Fern Plant

Smooth dry skin with a Boston Fern. Indoor ventilation saps moisture from the air, leaving many people suffering with parched, itchy skin. Boston ferns to the rescue! These houseplants act as humidifiers: They restore moisture to the air by releasing water vapor in exchange for atmospheric pollutants, which the plants convert to fuel.

The Boston fern houseplant bears apple-green, sword like fronds that arch gracefully down around its pot. It also yields numerous slender, furry runners that produce new plants at their tips. There are many varieties of Boston fern, most with frilly or lacy fronds. The Boston Fern is the ideal hanging basket plant. It requires a little extra care in that it likes good, rich potting soil and should be misted frequently with warm water. Boston ferns grow well in bright indirect sunlight. Keep the soil barely moist and feed weekly.

Houseplants with Health Benefits

Do You Have Any Houseplants that offer Health Benefits in Your Home?

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Clear Congestion - Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus Plant

Clear congestion with the Eucalyptus Plant. Eucalyptus offers prime defense against spring colds. Its leaves are packed with tannins, chemicals that, when inhaled, raise levels of healthy periciliary fluid in the body's airways. Breathing in the scent of eucalyptus can raise fluid levels in the respiratory tract, thinning and loosening congestion-causing phlegm.

Florists love the eucalyptus for its interesting leaf form, color and long life once cut. It makes a great background or can create an interesting display on it's own. For those who wish to grow Eucalyptus in pots or who do not have garden space many species will accommodate pot culture (this includes the colored flowering species) with some care for winter protection. They will often start flowering at a relatively early age (from 2 to 4 years).

Stay Focused - English Ivy

English Ivy

Think and stay focused better. Place an English Ivy plant on your desk and you'll become a problem-solving whiz! English ivy absorbs and chemically neutralizes benzene, a colorless toxin emitted by some paper products and office equipments. That's good news since benzene can slow thinking and break concentration by disrupting the central nervous system. (Take Caution: The leaves are poisonous to pets.)

Ivy plants are easy care leafy green plants perfect for hanging baskets. Ivy grows well in bright indirect sunlight. Keep the soil evenly moist, mist occasionally with warm water and feed every two weeks during growth periods.

Clean Air - Spider Plant

Breathe cleaner air with a Spider Plant. Research has revealed that houseplants can remove nearly 90 percent of toxins from indoor air within two days. And with its numerous quick-growing leaves, the spider plant is one of the most powerful air cleansers. Microscopic openings in the leaves filter harmful substances and absorb mold-spore allergens and traces of carbon monoxide and formaldehyde (a colorless gas emitted by some carpet materials and furniture). This guards against wheezing, headaches and brain fog.

The Spider Plant requires only light watering. Allow the soil to dry completely in between waterings. You only need to water the spider plant once every two weeks. If the foliage begins to show black tips or a yellow halo, you are probably over watering the plant. If the foliage begins to drop, the plant is ready for a drink. If the foliage begins to brown, try watering with distilled water. The Spider Plant has been known to have problems if there are chemicals in the water.

Houseplants for Better Health

Do You Have any Healthy Houseplants? - Tell Us What You Think

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    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 3 years ago from Connecticut

      Most of my houseplants are cactus and succulents. They're hardy, and I really like the various forms and textures. I also have a favorite fern.

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

      Dragon tree. I would like to get more houseplants, this lens is a good reminder.

    • IamShea profile image

      IamShea 4 years ago

      Eucalyptus has always been a favorite of mine. I like the invigorating smell.

    • JimHofman profile image

      JimHofman 4 years ago

      Yes we have a Peace Lily, Boston Fern and African Violets. Very interesting lens.

    • sudokunut profile image

      Mark Falco 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      I haven't any houseplants right now because our cat takes rather too much of a liking to them unfortunately. I might get a few spider plants in hanging baskets though just to brighten up the place.

    • SMW1962 LM profile image

      SMW1962 LM 4 years ago

      I love housplants! They really add to a home!

    • tonybonura profile image

      Tony Bonura 5 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      My mom always had houseplants when I was growing up and still does. I did not know there were so many "hidden" benefits to having them besides the obvious beauty of the plants. Very informative lens.


    • GardenIdeasHub LM profile image

      GardenIdeasHub LM 5 years ago

      Thanks for your ideas about the benefits of houseplants. I will be back to see what else you have to say.

    • yayas profile image

      yayas 5 years ago

      I have never had any luck with house plants. My good husband has always made sure that we have indoor plants for the pure beauty of it. I had no idea that house plants could be so beneficial to one's health. Thank you for the great information.

      I also appreciate the encouragement you've given me with your Angel Blessing an' your Squid Likes. I truly am grateful for your visits.

    • ATTHED LM profile image

      ATTHED LM 5 years ago

      We have a small orange tree at home and, yes, it gives us oranges. It also shows our children a bit about where their food comes from, I.E. not the supemarket and that someone has cared for the vegetables that we eat

    • OrganicMom247 profile image

      OrganicMom247 5 years ago

      We have some of these at home, it's great to know they come with health benefits.

    • anne mohanraj profile image

      anne mohanraj 5 years ago

      Quite an informative lens! Good to know about the health benefits of these indoor plants.

    • kare2share profile image

      kare2share 5 years ago

      Great information! I was looking for a nice houseplant that would add cheer to the kitchen, but now you've convinced me that I need one in every room! Nicely done, and thanks for sharing!

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 5 years ago from Concord VA

      Houseplants may be good for my health, but I'm not too good for the plant's health. :)

    • RyanBlock profile image

      RyanBlock 5 years ago

      Enjoyed the lens, I think houseplants help people to have a slightly better dispositions. Its nice to have plants nearby.

    • Carashops profile image

      Cara 5 years ago

      Great lens. I do like greenery around the house.

    • InternetTrekker1 profile image

      InternetTrekker1 5 years ago

      wow.i didn't know that African Violets is beneficial for the brain great information.

    • profile image

      momsfunny 5 years ago

      Great lens. It's nice to know that these houseplants don't just make a home look pretty but they have health benefits too.

    • ResearchAddict profile image

      ResearchAddict 5 years ago

      Really interesting and informative lens. I'd like to try a few of these out but I'm not sure how long my brown thumb can keep them alive.

    • profile image

      megabu717 5 years ago

      Can't live without indor green plants. Thanks

    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      It's really nice having some green around the house - great work on this lens. Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • profile image

      ladykida 6 years ago

      Thanks, now i'm gonna have to add on a greenroom to my house!

    • LNAngel profile image

      Lauren 6 years ago from Florida

      I love indoor plants--I have a peace lily, but cannot get it to bloom again, however. Argh!

    • judithmurphy profile image

      judithmurphy 6 years ago

      No plants seem to thrive at home - if I put them on the windowsill, the cat either eats them or knocks them off and anywhere else seems to be too dark. But what a fascinating lens on the health benefits of plants. Very interesting - thanks.

    • imolaK profile image

      imolaK 6 years ago

      Very interesting facts. Blessed!

    • profile image

      huvalbd 6 years ago

      We have a couple of plants for which we don't know the names, several guzmania plants and a couple of red leafed coleus. I used to grow African violets and loved them, but have switched to hardier plants now that I can't pay as much attention to them.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 6 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      I never realized that houseplants could be good for your health and/or the health of your home. My daughter has houseplants throughout her house, but I have ONE and it's lucky it's still surviving after 4 years as I'm known for having a 'black thumb' (all houseplants die under my care!). :-)

    • pheonix76 profile image

      pheonix76 6 years ago from WNY

      Excellent lens! I am featuring on my houseplant lens. :) I have too many houseplants to count...mostly cacti and succulents, but I also have four peace lilies, an English ivy, spider plant, and Boston fern from your list.

    • profile image

      scar4 6 years ago

      I used to grow many spider plants, they makes our home more fresh and comfortable after decorations.

    • profile image

      poutine 7 years ago

      I like them all except the Spider one.

    • kimbesa2 profile image

      kimbesa 7 years ago from USA

      No plants right now, but perhaps in the coming year. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • profile image

      ZazzleEnchante 7 years ago

      Interesting, educative & well-researched lens! Loved reading it. It makes one take a step closer, to having that indoor plant! Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I am allergic to pollen so would probably go with the Eucalyptus, especially since it helps relieve stuffiness. Excellent and interesting lens.

    • profile image

      WriterBuzz 7 years ago

      Hi there, I just found your lens and really liked it. I gave it a thumbs-up and liked it, because the information is so relevant in today's high stress world. Thanks for providing it, and keep on lensing . . . I just did one on Migraine Headaches that might interest you.

    • kimbesa2 profile image

      kimbesa 7 years ago from USA

      Have to get some new houseplants. Did not know you could get them on Amazon. Thanks for all this info!

    • GramaBarb profile image

      GramaBarb 7 years ago from Vancouver

      My purple african violet is blooming right now. I must look at it more often after reading your very informative lens!

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Wow, very useful and informative lens! I never knew of all these benefits. you did a great job of educating me with this well presented lens...well done! :)

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 7 years ago from Australia

      Great lens! At the moment all I have inside are some vegetable seedlings and the eucalyptus leaves which our stick insects are eating and one small bamboo plant. Does that count? I tend not to be very reliable with watering plants inside. At least outside, the plants get rain!

    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 7 years ago from Naperville, IL

      Very interesting lens! I learned a lot here about several houseplants I currently own: peace lily, english ivy and african violets. Wow - now I want a spider plant too! I recently started growing orchids indoors - check out my lens "GrowingOrchids101".

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      Fascinating lens. I had no idea about the benefits of some of these plants.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Thanks for the great info. May I share an interesting note about peace Lilly care: They are different from most houseplants in that they are bog plants. They do best if their pot is allowed to sit in a dish of shallow water at all times. Sitting in water would cause most plants to develop root-rot, but peace lilies actually suffer root damage if their roots are allowed to dry out between waterings. Damage from drying out can affect a peace lily's ability to use water later on. My peace lilies have been growing like crazy since I placed them in water trays.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Great info. Finally something that can counter act all the harmfull chemicals in the air. Something I worry about all the time. Thanks.

    • profile image

      oliviabrooks123 8 years ago

      great info about houseplants!!!!

    • Demaw profile image

      Demaw 8 years ago

      Will definitely put a peace lily in my bathroom. 5*

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      great info about houseplants, am planning to get one myself turn my brown thumb into a green one

    • profile image

      Fun_Ann 8 years ago

      Great info & nice format. Thanks for visiting my site Cynthia - all Giant Squids always welcome & I appreciate your feedback. Faved & lenrolled. I will be checking out your other houseplant lenses too. :)

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      RuthCoffee 8 years ago

      I apparently need a Boston Fern. Nice lens, I learned some things!

    • profile image

      totalhealth 8 years ago

      excellent information on your lens. Having indoor plants for decoration indoors while making use of its cleaning and health benefits.

    • profile image

      ywperjjl 9 years ago

      I like this lens. It is very informative.

      Health Tips

    • profile image

      missoulagrey 9 years ago

      Great tips. My fiancé is unable to keep any plants alive so I will ask her to review your lens here so that she can get some guidance.