By now I’m sure that you’ve heard that houseplants are good to have around. They carry many health benefits and add a new dimension to your decor.  There are SO MANY to choose from too! I have been playing with different textures and colors through my home and at the store. Both places have different lighting scenarios too: which translates to I need more plants.

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Some people do better with indoor plants than outdoor plants and vice-versa. When choosing an indoor plant the golden rule still applies; pick the right plant for the right space/spot. Don’t forget that if you have pets (and they eat your plants), you will want to know which plants can make your fur babies sick or be fatal.

So let’s start with how to define your space.  Where will the plant go? On a table, next to a window, on the floor and in which room. What do you want the plant to do; clean the air or other health benefits, be a living accent piece, a focal piece, or be a sign of life on a dreary winter day? Does that room have a window and is there anything outside blocking the sunlight? Is the plant going in a room with no windows?  OK- you know where you want to put it, what you want it to do, and about how much light it’s going to get, good.

Happenin Houseplants

Let’s talk light. This is HUGE when it comes to picking out your houseplant. Having the right light for the right plant could save you (and the plant) from the frustration of it not doing well. Here is an easy guide to follow that I found from the University of Illinois Extension office.

High Light

Window   –   Distance

East/ West- 0 feet

South – 1-5 feet

Great plants for this light: Norfolk Pines, Jade, Succulents, Aloe, Weeping Fig, English Ivy and Croton.


Medium Light

Window   –   Distance

North – 0 feet

East/ West- 1-3 feet

South – 3-10 feet

Great plants for this light: Asparagus Fern, Grape Ivy, Spider Plant, Dracaena, Rubber Plant, Fiddle Leaf Fig, Prayer Plant, Peperomia, Schefflera, Sweedish Ivy, Wandering Jew.


Low Light

Window   –   Distance

North – 1-3 feet

East/ West- 2-10 feet

South – 15-20 feet

Great plants for this light: Chinese Evergreen, Parlor Palm, Pothos, Snake Plant or Mother in Laws Tongue, ZZ Plant, Peace Lily, Heart Leaf Philodendron.

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Now that you have a guide to the lighting and where the houseplant should go to get enough light. Let’s go over two of the biggest health benefits.

#1 They clean and purify your air. Did you know that NASA has done a study on how houseplants clean your air and what chemicals they remove? According to the study, houseplants remove Benzene, Formaldehyde, Trichloroethylene,  Xylene and Toluene and Ammonia. Most of these chemicals are found in household cleaners, glues, paint, aerosol sprays, furniture wax, and preservatives.  They are everywhere!

#2 They help you sleep better and keep your stress levels down.  Houseplants in your bedroom are creating clean oxygen at night while you sleep. Cleaner air helps you breathe easier so you sleep better. When you sleep well at night you feel rested in the morning. As you know the better you feel when you wake up, the more likely you are to have a good day. Stress is a tricky bugger. Getting good sleep is one of the best ways to recover from a stressful day- it’s like a reset button.

Great plants for purifying the air: Peace Lily, English Ivy, Snake Plant, Dracaena, Lavender, Aloe, Spider Plant, Boston Ferns, Chinese Evergreens, Ficus Alii, Areca Palms and Bamboo.

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Now for the fur babies. The following houseplants have been known to make animals sick or be fatal. When in doubt check with your vet before bringing a new plant home.

Common houseplants that are toxic to pets: Norfolk Pines, Jade, Croton, Geranium, Aloe, Dracaena, Dieffenbachia, Pothos, Philodendron, English Ivy, Snake Plant, ZZ Plant, and most houseplants that flower.

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Check out my Pinterest board on houseplants!


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