Indoor Plants for Lifting Your Spirits (and Air Quality)

Indoor Plants for Lifting Your Spirits (and Air Quality)

 

Chilly winter days are ending, and spring is finally just around the corner! While you are waiting for the plants and flowers to start blooming outside, there is no reason why you can’t start the celebration indoors!

Indoor plants have a way of brightening your mood. Just seeing the beautiful greens and vibrant colors of fresh blooms can lift your spirits. But not only are vivid indoor plants good for your soul and décor, but they are also fantastic low-cost air purifiers. Let’s take a look at some options for chasing those winter blues away.

 

Snake Plant

Snake Plant
Photo by Jeff Herr

One of the easiest indoor plants to care for, the snake plant or Sansevieria, offers a stunning combination of bright green and yellow leaves with an interesting upright spiky texture. These plants are extremely forgiving – just provide them with indirect sunlight and remember to provide water occasionally. They’re also one of the plants recommended by NASA for air purification. How could you resist the charms of such a useful and beautiful plant?

 

Boston Fern

Boston Fern
Photo by Jill Sorensen

Requiring slightly more care than the snake plant, Boston ferns offer a feeling of lushness due to their fluffy shape. Having one (or two, or three) of these plants around your home can lift your spirits quickly while also offering air purifying benefits. Plus, they just have the ability to make a room look better with their very presence.

Boston ferns enjoy environments that are cool and offer indirect light. They also enjoy moisture, preferring to be in higher humidity rooms (which makes them an excellent choice for bathrooms). If the leaves start to turn yellow, the plant is in a space that is too dry. Give it a spritz with a water bottle and remember that it likes to have regular waterings to keep the soil moist.

 

Peace Lily

Peace Lily
Photo by Lisbeth Grosmann

A plant that can provide peace of mind, due to both its beautiful blooms and easy maintenance requirements, is the peace lily or Spathiphyllum. Another plant renowned for its ability to filter indoor air, the peace lily requires medium to low light conditions and only occasional waterings. Some people find that it is best to let the plant wilt before providing a drink – these lilies are much more tolerant of under watering than over watering, and will perk right up again once they have a little moisture.

If you are interested in having more blooms on your plant, provide it with more light. Plants left in low-light conditions will appear to be placed for foliage reasons and will continue to produce beautiful dark green leaves without flowers. Be aware that these leaves do attract dust, so be prepared to give them a good cleaning every once in a while.

 

Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus
Photo by Rikki Snyder

One of the most popular houseplants around, the Christmas cactus offers beautiful blooms in an array of shades. You can find plants that produce vivid reds, fuchsias, or bright whites, all of them requiring the same level of care. These plants are a little pickier than the ones listed above, but they are also forgiving if you don’t provide them with optimal conditions for growth.

Their name implies that they don’t need a lot of water, but that is not the case. These are tropical plants that prefer damp soil but are prone to root rot if watered too much. They also enjoy humidity – providing a dish filled with pebbles and water under the cactus’ container will help to keep it happy. It is ok with low light conditions, but bright light will encourage the plant to bloom.

With proper care and replanting with growth, these plants can easily last for over thirty years!

 

Orchids

Orchid
Photo by David Papazian

Orchids can bring a breath of the tropics into your home, but many homeowners avoid these plants because they believe orchids are too high maintenance. This isn’t exactly correct – orchids do prefer very specific environmental conditions, but once those conditions are met the plants thrive.

Think about the natural environments of orchids. They live in the tropics, usually in lush, leafy settings, where they grow in crevices and the bark of trees. Consequently, you have to mimic that environment. Orchids prefer potting medium like bark, which holds moisture yet still provides ample drainage. They like bright, indirect sunlight and need humidity, which means they do well in bathrooms or anywhere they can receive moisture from the environment. A little misting will go a long way towards keeping them happy.

 

Dwarf Citrus

Dwarf Citrus
Photo by Helen Norman

If you want to up your indoor freshness game, why not try growing some dwarf citrus, such as Meyer lemons. Dwarf plants were meant for indoor and patio use, and tend to do well if you provide plenty of sunlight. These are plants with a need for bright, direct light, so if you have a dark home, you must pass on this option.

These trees do need a little TLC to thrive. In addition to light requirements, they also need to be kept moist but not waterlogged. Their soil should drain well, and you shouldn’t water them until the soil around the roots is dry – you can test this by sticking your finger about an inch into the soil. You will also have to fertilize citrus trees on a regular basis as they require a lot of nitrogen. But on the plus side, you should be rewarded with your very own citrus crop!

 

Get Creative with Locations

When we think about houseplants, a lot of us consider putting them on a windowsill and leave it at that. But to lift your spirits, try to get creative with where you place your indoor plants. Consider hanging baskets near windows, or in non-traditional places such as a bathroom (your ferns especially will love this location). You can also find wall-mounted planters, which are a fantastic option for orchids.

Don’t forget that you can also add color with your planting pot choices. With a little extra effort, you can create a lush environment that will chase away those winter blues and leave you ready for Spring.

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