Green Tips: Finding the Right Plants For Your Home

Green Tips | February 27, 2020

Adding plants to your home can beautify your space, improve indoor air quality, and produce a supply of tasty ingredients. When choosing plants, it’s important to be mindful of their needs, including sunlight, water, temperature, and soil. Make note of the sun exposure, temperature, and moisture levels in the rooms of your home so you know which plants are right for your space. To get you started in the process, we’ve compiled a list of a few common house plants and key things to know about them:

  • The snake plant is perfect for homes with plenty of sunlight. While this plant prefers lots of sun, it can tolerate limited sunlight exposure during winter months. This plant is relatively low-maintenance as it only needs to be watered once every two weeks. The snake plant is a good choice for those who suffer from airborne allergens because of its ability to absorb volatile organic compounds
  • For those who worry about keeping a plant alive and thriving, we suggest the low-maintenance Chinese evergreen. While this kind of plant can tolerate low light, it does require a warmer climate (at least 60°F). The Chinese evergreen varies in appearance, displaying different patterns on its leaves, and may produce small flowers and berries once it reaches maturity. While over-watering is one of the most common reasons plants don’t survive indoors, this plant actually grows well with moist soil. Just make sure to water it less during the winter. The Chinese evergreen is also one of the most effective plants at removing toxins from the air, according to NASA’s Clean Air Study.
  • The areca palm is another highly effective air purifying plant. This palm can grow to be between six and seven feet tall, and certainly draws attention in a room. The plant can be expensive to buy at full maturity, so it’s best to buy when it’s younger. If you are looking to care for a plant and watch it grow over the long haul, the areca palm may be a good option for you. Keep in mind that it does need plenty of care: watering so that the soil is slightly moist at all times; repotting every two to three years; and ensuring it has enough bright, indirect sunlight.
  • If you’re looking for a splash of color in your home, we suggest raising orchids. They are quite adaptable and grow well in a climate like New York, which can exhibit frequent air temperature fluctuation. Orchids will thrive in any area of the home with bright, indirect sunlight. We recommend placing orchids in a bathroom with a window because they do well in high-moisture places. Make sure you plant your orchid in a well-draining pot or container.
  • Plants are valuable beyond just beautifying your space. Consider growing an aloe vera plant for a consistent supply of aloe vera. The gel inside the leaves of an aloe vera plant has multiple benefits, such as soothing the skin (especially after sun exposure) and improving digestive health. This plant is a succulent, which means it can be watered as infrequently as once a month, and should be grown in well-draining soil. The best place to grow an aloe vera plant is in direct sunlight.
  • Lastly, you may be interested in starting an herb garden. Having fresh herbs within reach while cooking can help spruce up meals and save money! Herbs do well in direct sunlight, are typically small, and can be grown easily on a windowsill. If you are interested in exploring hydroponic gardening, herbs have been known to do well in these systems. 

We hope you have fun venturing into the world of house plants! 


< Back to Citizen’s Toolkit

Get Involved