September 17-21 is National Indoor Plant Week and your friends at MyFlorist are ready for this fun celebration that was established to promote and increase public awareness of the importance of live plants in interior spaces.
Beyond their alluring beauty – which enhances nearly every living space – green plants provide a multitude of health benefits that go far beyond the aesthetic for the people and pets who live amongst them.
Plants work around the clock to clean the air by creating oxygen and removing carbon dioxide: which also helps to decrease stress, enhance mood and even improve sleep.
In addition to all the amazing health benefits that indoor plants provide, they are also little green powerhouses that work hard in improving their environment by increasing humidity, keeping temperatures down and reducing airborne dust levels in the home or office.
With all the amazing claims about the benefits of indoor plants, it’s easy to be a bit skeptical and wonder if they really live up to the hype or if their benefits are born from legends and wives’ tales. The answer to that was confirmed by NASA after their research discovered that houseplants can remove up to 87% of air toxins in 24 hours, which alone seems like reason enough to surround yourself with them as much as possible.
Which Plants are Right for Me?
Environmental scientist Dr. Bill Wolverton was heavily involved with the NASA studies on the benefits of plants and published his findings in a simple consumer-friendly book, “How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 Houseplants That Purify Your Home or Office” in which he recommends the following plants in order of most effective to least in a typical home:
- Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)
- Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa)
- Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)
- Rubber Plant (Ficus robusta)
- Deacaena “Janet Craig” (Dracaena dermensis)
- English Ivy (Hedera helix)
- Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii)
- Ficus “Alii” (Ficus macleilandii)
- Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata “Bostoniensis”)
- Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
- Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans)
- Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
- Kimberley Queen Fern (Nephrolepis obliterata)
- Pot Mum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)
- Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
- Dracaena “Warneckei” (Dracaena dermensis)
- Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)
- Red Emerald Philodendron (Philodendron erubescens)
- Syngonium (Syngonium podophyllum)
- Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia “Exotica Compacta”)
- Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)
- Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)
- Schefflera / Umbrella Plant (Schefflera arboricola)
- Wax Begonia (Begonia Semperflorens)
- Lacy Tree Philodendron (Philodendron selloum)
- Heart-Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron Oxycardium)
- Snake plant / Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata / laurentii)
- Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia camilla)
- Elephant Ear Philodendron (Philodendron domesticum / tuxla)
- Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla)
- King of Hearts (Homalomena wallisii)
- Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura “Kerchoveann”)
- Dwarf Banana (Musa cavendishii)
- Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera buckleyi)
- Easter Cactus (Schlumbergera gaertneri)
- Oakleaf Ivy (Cissus rhombifolia “Ellen Danika”)
- Lily Turk (Liriope spicata)
- Dendrobium Orchid (Dendrobium)
- Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
- Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema crispum “Silver Queen”)
- Anthurium (Anthurium andraeanum)
- Croton (Codiaeum variegatum pictum)
- Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)
- Dwarf Azalea (Rhodedendron simsii “Compacta”)
- Peacock Plant (Calthea makoyana)
- Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis)
- Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum)
- Urn Plant (Aechmea fasciata)
- Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis)
- Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)
It’s important to remember that Dr. Wolverton’s book was published over 20 years ago so his list if focused on houseplants that were popular at the time. That also means that a lot of modern house plants weren’t included on the list.
But, regardless of whether a particular plant is on this list, keep in mind that nearly every plant on the planet has air-cleaning abilities so the best plants for your home or office are really a matter of personal preference. It’s up to you to decide which ones give you pleasure and best fit your lifestyle. Some plants require more maintenance and care than others and some thrive better in particular environments.
If you’re looking for plants primary based on their health benefits, certain varieties excel more than others in particular duties. For example: orchids, snake plants, succulents, and bromeliads emit oxygen at night, making them an outstanding choice to have in the bedroom. Some plants are also more sensitive to direct sunlight and cold drafts, so it’s a good idea to take that into consideration as well.
If you are unsure of which plants you would like for your home or office, our experts here at MyFlorist will be happy to help you choose the plant that is perfect for you. Stop by and check out our selection of indoor plants and we’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for. And if you can’t decide on the perfect plant, pick up a few different varieties and see which ones you like best!