Houseplants for health
A plant is a living thing and therefore can offer a whole host of health values. It may just be sitting by the side of your bed but the right plant can lift your mood, lower your stress levels, improve the quality of your sleep and even help you to breathe better.
- Spider plants: these easy to care for plants are great at removing formaldehyde and other toxic air impurities.
- Aloe Vera: these are happiest when deeply watered and placed under indirect sunlight. In exchange, the Aloe Vera plant offers a gel-like substance found in the inner part of the leaf that can be directly applied to ease sore and irritated skin.
- Lavender: lots of sunlight and well-drained soil will help Lavender thrive and offer the soothe and calming effect that many spas have harnessed. This stress-relieving plant will work particularly well in a bedroom to aid a peaceful night’s sleep.
- English ivy: this has a number of health benefits but be warned, it is poisonous so should be kept away from children and pets. It is known to purify airborne mold particles that trigger allergies.
- Mother-in-Law’s Tongue or snake plant: one of the easiest plants to look after, they need very little watering and are hard workers while you sleep. They are known to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and remove all sorts of toxins from the air.
- Boston Fern: this natural humidifier not only helps to purify the air but it may also benefit any dry skin conditions that you have. They are easy to grow and like indirect sunlight but you will need to check the soil to make sure that it is kept moist.
Low maintenance but lovely
Has every plant you bought before turned brown and died even when you were diligently watering it every day? It may be that you over-watered so you need species that can survive your frequent dousing. Or it may be that you are a tad forgetful or out of the country for periods of time, so therefore you need plants such as succulents or aloe that are drought-resistant.
If you have failed before, go for one of these (almost) indestructible varieties:
- Succulents: these come in a wide variety of colours and styles. They need very little water and enjoy being on a windowsill in a dry room.
- Aloe: attractive and easy to care for, just water deeply but then allow the soil to dry at least one or two inches deep between watering.
- Cast-Iron plant: almost impossible to kill these hardy plants that can handle both low and high light. Just keep them away from the direct sun.
- Barrel cactus: these survive in the desert so don’t over water them. They have a spiky look that will give an industrial feel to a space.
- Golden Pothos: striking leaves with contrasting colours, these plants will grow quickly and you can hang them high for a stylish cascade of green. Place them in sunlight and don’t overwater.
Designers advise that you think about plants in the same way that you would consider buying a piece of art or an ornament. Plants come in a range of shapes, sizes and colours so you need to consider your space before buying otherwise you could overwhelm the room or on the other hand, the plant will have no impact.
- Short on space? Plant stands or hanging plants look great and take up very little room.
- Think about the planters and pots too – these can add a huge statement to your design.
- Cement planters and terracotta plant pots look chic in any environment.
- Go quirky and plant in an old teapot or trunk that can be picked up second hand and upcycled.
- Odd number of plants work better together in a group.
- Mix and match spikey plants with plants with soft leaves for a dramatic look.
Where to buy
It’s true that Instagram has fuelled the houseplant trend so it is entirely fitting that you can now get your plants delivered via your smart phone to your door. Online stores offer more variety than ever before as well as subscription services so you can keep your home topped up with colour and life.
Thompson & Morgan (https://www.thompson-morgan.com): head to the tips section if you are a novice to find out the best plants to buy at the best time of year.
Amazon (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Indoor-Plants/b?ie=UTF8&node=4275664031): this retail giant has every type of plant that you need for your home. A wide variety of cacti and succulents, indoor trees, flowers, bonsai and ferns.
Patch Plants (https://www.patchplants.com/gb/en/indoor/plants/) : Instagram favourite Patch was created by an urban gardener who was frustrated with the lack of inner-city options. The site features stylish pictures of plants for your inspiration.
Bakker (https://www.bakker.com/en-gb) : a wide range of plants and pots with useful care information details on the buy page to ensure you choose the best suited plant for your lifestyle and home.