I used to kill my houseplants.
I was the absolute worst plant mum. I’d get a new beautiful plant and within a few weeks it would have shrivelled up, flopped over and looked so sad that I’d have no choice but to bin it and never think about being a plant mum again.
Fast forward 5 years and I’d like to think I’m a pretty attentive plant mum. Only a few things have changed:
- I know the basics of plant care (I’m talking BASIC)
- I’ve learned from the mass graveyard I created
So let’s get to the point of this post. I love air purifying houseplants, not only do they look great, but they help to keep the air around us clean so we can get on with work in the best atmosphere possible.
I’m so in love that I’m on my way to creating my very own urban jungle.
So, in this post I have a few favourites I’d like to share with you. First thing’s first. Let me share the basics of plant care with you.
The basics of houseplant care
- Check the tag. This is so simple but I can’t count the number of times I’ve thrown a tag away. Check the damn thing! It will tell you how much light the plant needs, where to put it, the name of the plant etc. Do what it says and you’ll be fine.
- AlWAYS have drainage holes. I know there are pretty plant pots out there that don’t have drainage holes, but please, don’t buy them unless you put a plastic pot WITH drainage holes inside the pretty one. Almost every houseplant doesn’t like sitting in water, it absolutely needs to drain away. This tip will save you if you overwater your houseplants – which is very easy to do.
- Water less than you think. Most houseplants only need lots of water in the summer, it’s so important that you don’t overwater your plants (especially succulents and cacti). This is the number one killer. To make sure, stick your finger in the top inch of soil, if it’s moist, don’t water.
- Give your plants some food. When plants are outside, they get nutrients from a massive expanse of naturally occurring organisms in the soil. Your houseplants live in a pot, the soil will likely not change unless you change it. So, they need a little food to keep them growing. Just search houseplant fertiliser on Google and it will give you instructions and where to buy.
- Don’t let your plants get too cold. Keeping your plants by windows is a good idea if they like the light, but windows can get pretty cold in winter. Don’t let your plants touch the glass and if you have to open a window when it’s cold, move your plants away so they don’t go into shock.
Okay, now we’re done with that, let’s get to my list.
My favourite air purifying houseplants
Mother-in-law’s tongue is one heck of a houseplant. Not only does it have a cool name, but it looks pretty awesome too.
This plant can be kept in a sunny spot, or a spot that gets very little light. It’s super adaptable, requires very little water and as an added bonus, it cleans the air in your home.
I have two of these babies. One in the bedroom and one in our spare room. Treated right, it will grow quickly and you can even split it to create even more plants for free.
Succulents (of any kind)
This is me cheating. Of course I was going to put succulents in here, and of course, I wasn’t going to be specific.
There are so many of these cute little plants to choose from. Just search ‘buy succulents’ and you’ve got a whole world of squishy babies to pick from. Can you tell I might be addicted?
My office is filled with them, I’m a particular fan of the chubby leaves. To make sure you’re taking care of them, just give them plenty of light, turn the pots around if they lean towards the light to stop them from stretching. Put them in a pot with drainage holes, and use cactus soil (it’s specifically made to help water drain away).
Spider plants are trendy now – trust me!
No seriously, trust me.
It looks like grass and is super easy to grow. Spider plants are excellent for newbie indoor gardeners because they can withstand a good amount of neglect.
They don’t mind being stuck in the same pot for ages, they like to dry out between watering and are good with indirect light. They produce little babies that look like spiders (hence the name). So it’s like having your very own spider plant factory.
My favourite place to put a spider plant is hanging from the ceiling in a macrame hanger. Looks fab and keeps it away from the cats (who love it even more than me).
You’ve simply got to have a little bit of tropical in your home – it’s a non-negotiable!
Yucca plants deliver on that. They look fab and can look even more fab if you raise them off the ground in a trendy wood thing that looks all Pinterest-like.
They like bright indirect light, so I’ve stuck mine near a north-facing window. This means it gets lots of morning light which isn’t harsh or too hot and it loves it. They grow pretty fast in the right conditions, so be warned, you may have it touching the ceiling in no-time.
Like the other plants in this list, the yucca doesn’t require too much water so you can afford to neglect it a little.
Featured image by the Bialons
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What are your favourite air purifying houseplants? Live them in the comments below.