1. Boston ferns (Nephrolepis exaltata) act as natural air humidifiers
These ferns are excellent because they are air-purifying plants (they are said to remove more toxic formaldehyde from the atmosphere than any other plant), helping to improve the quality of air while you sleep and restoring moisture naturally. They’ll thrive in a cool spot with indirect light, so beside your bed is ideal. And voila! Your very own natural air purifier!
2. String of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus) add a decorative touch
These cute little plants are members of the succulent family, which means they are hardy and won’t need a great deal of TLC. They’re also good for you – they don’t release carbon dioxide at night but continue to produce oxygen. This helps to improve your breathing and keeps night-time air fresh. This trailing plant, looks fantastic in planters hung from the ceiling or try them cascading down bookcases or tallboys.
3. Rubber plants (Ficus elastica) survive anywhere!
These sturdy plants are the stayers of the plant world; it’s pretty darn hard to kill them! They grow quickly and can get quite big – the size they reach is often dependent on the size of pot they’re planted in, so if you’re after a large statement piece, keep upsizing as it grows. Rubber plants have the added benefit of removing the fairly common toxin formaldehyde from the air. They don’t need much water – just twice a month in warmer weather, or lightly misted with water in the cooler months. Sponge off any dust from the leaves with a damp cloth.
4. Devil’s ivy or golden pothos (Epipremnum aureum) improve air quality
These pretty, fast-growing plants have variegated heart-shaped leaves, which make a lovely decorative addition to any room. A support stump in the pot means it’s easy to train your plant to climb. Try weaving them across a curtain rod or even above your bed. And they’re good for you too – devil’s ivy improves air quality, making for a better night’s sleep. They’re fairly hardy – perfect for first-time gardeners.
5. Peace lilies are allergy busters
Like fiddle leaf figs, these guys are everywhere right now. And why not? They look fabulous and have striking large leaves. Plus, indoor plants such as peace lilies have been proven to have positive psychological effects by reducing feelings of stress and fatigue. These plants produce stunning, white flowers – their moisture is said to boost your room’s humidity by up to five per cent, decreasing airborne microbes that can cause allergies. They’re also good at filtering toxic substances like benzene, ethyl chloride and formaldehyde. Look after them by watering regularly (some liquid fertiliser every now and again is great) and they’ll reward you with year-round green.
6. Reap the benefits
According to the NASA Clear Air Study, indoor plants can vastly improve the air in your home, getting rid of nasty toxins called VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). They draw these toxins from the air and push them into the plant’s roots, where they’re converted to food. These are just some of our favourites, but the sky’s the limit. Just make sure you do your research first – some plants (like devil’s ivy) can be harmful if consumed, so be mindful if you’ve got pets or small children around.
Watch the full episode and more D.I.Y. projects from Make It Yours Episode 2: Master Bedroom Makeover by Geneva.