A little greenery has an amazing ability to liven up any living space. The benefits go beyond the aesthetic, though. Research has shown plants to be effective in removing indoor pollutants. In fact, a study from NASA found that houseplants are able to remove up to 87 percent of air toxins in a 24-hour period.
Some of the most effective houseplants at removing toxins were dragon tree, ivy, ficus, philodendrons, spider plants, peace lilies, ferns, chrysanthemums, palms and the rubber plant. Several of these awesome creatures also made our list of hardy, easy-to-care-for plants. Here are our top six picks to brighten up your new apartment.
- Ficus. The braided ficus tree is a favorite for those wanting a low-maintenance indoor plant. Since they can grow tall, an apartment with vaulted ceilings is a perfect fit. They thrive in bright, but indirect sunlight. So, put it in the corner of a room with a large window and watch it take off. Only water your ficus every two to three days and fertilize it once a year.
- African Violets. We love our greenery, but having flowers indoors brings a whole new level of satisfaction. African violets are a great choice. They are inexpensive, usually only a few dollars, and are easy to care for. African violets will give you about nine months of blooms. Place them near a window because they need full sunlight. If you don’t have a sunny spot for them, they also do well under fluorescent light. Get more tips about using artificial light sources from HGTVgardens.com. The biggest key to success is to leave them alone. The quickest way to kill your African violet is to water it too much. Only water it when the soil feels completely dry. Don’t water it from the top. Place water in a dish and set the pot on top of the dish, allowing the plant to absorb the water from the bottom roots.
- Peace Lily. The peace lily improves indoor air quality and is one of the easiest plants to care for. It does not require a lot of light. It will grow as much as you allow it, dictated by the size of its pot. Keep it as a tabletop decoration or let it grown to six feet tall in a large room. They also provide a delicate, spoon-shaped flower.
- Spider Plants. These gems are tolerant, tough and hardy. They can take a lot of abuse and neglect. They make great hanging baskets with their “spiderettes” that hang from the mother plant. Place in bright, indirect light. Don’t over water. Let the plant completely dry out before watering again. If you find success with spider plants and want more, you can easily propagate the spiderettes from the mother plant and create a new plant.
- Cacti. If you are really doubting your green thumb abilities, start out with a cacti. Simply place it in a sunny spot and don’t water until they are completely dry.
- Jade. These incredibly easy plants help create a modern look. They do need direct sunlight, so place your plant near a window. If planted in a large pot, they can grow to be a five-foot shrub. The only problem you may encounter is the plant can grow so much it becomes top-heavy and dumps over. Here’s another perk. If a leaf falls off, don’t discard it. Simply place it in the dirt and it will root and create a new plant. Indoor plants are a great way to improve your indoor environment. Regardless of the climate in which you live, the lighting in your apartment or space restrictions, you are sure to find an indoor plant that fits your needs. One word of caution, though. If you are an animal lover, be sure your indoor plant is not poisonous to your furry friends.
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