Let’s talk about houseplants. Real houseplants. Specifically, I want to highlight 5 of the prettiest, air-purifying plants for your home and how to care for them. AND – if they are considered safe for pets. Like the ZZ plant and cats. 🙂
I’m a huge fan of plants in our house (both real and faux). Although faux is for a different post. I used to not be into plants. I used to be a brown thumb. But now I’m a total plant lover! I can’t get enough of my plant babies. (And terracotta pots.)
We have several houseplants that have been pretty easy to care for (some very easy), and I want to pass them along to you with some tips! The thing about houseplants is that not only do they bring a little green into our homes but they actually help us out by purifying the air. It’s a win/win in my book.
Why not show them a little love for the cleaner air and beauty they provide?
One // ZZ Plant
I am totally in love with my ZZ plant. This plant is absolutely beautiful to me. I love the shape of their glossy, dark green leaves and how upright it stands. And bonus – it helps clean your indoor air at home as well.
And here’s another bonus – It really likes to be left alone.
I’ve noticed that it seems perkier when I haven’t touched it in a couple of weeks. Basically, you just want to make sure it has the right light and that you give it water occasionally (emphasis on the occasionally). I only water mine when the soil is totally bone dry. Truth.
ZZ plants hate direct, bright light. They can handle indirect bright light (which is where I have mine currently). They can even adjust to low-level light areas (where I used to have mine.) So if you have a low light situation going on, bring it on home!
They will tell you if they are unhappy with the shape and color of their leaves.
Curled leaves = It’s too bright in here!
Yellow leaves = You are giving me too much water!
That’s how easy this plant is! I don’t even fertilize mine. And it’s grown to the point where I have to transport it to a new container now. We really don’t bother with our ZZ plant too much. It’s just there to keep our air clean and look pretty. Thank you, ZZ!
What about the ZZ plant and cats?
You may have wondered or seen conflicting information about this plant and whether it’s safe for pets, namely cats. Unfortunately, it is NOT. All parts of this plant are considered toxic to cats, dogs, and humans. I even confirmed this information with my vet. So – definitely do your best to keep your cat or other fur babies and kids from eating this plant.
Two// Spider Plant
I love our little spider plant too. We have the variegated kind with the white stripes. Spider plants help reduce indoor pollutants. In fact, they were found to be one of the best plants to clean indoor air from NASA’s Clean Air Study. They are not very fussy either.
We have ours upstairs in our bedroom. It gets a fair amount of light up there, but not “in your face” light. It’s an average temperature too. Spider plants hate hot temperatures.
I water our spider plant whenever the soil feels dry. It does need more frequent waterings than our ZZ plant but still not a whole lot. I find I can let it go for about one and a half to two weeks between waterings. In the summer months, I kick that up to a notch and move it to a cooler location.
You might find that your spider plant gets brown tips occasionally. This is from the fluoride in your water OR from lack of water. I just tear the brown tips off. Try more frequent waterings or non-fluoridated water and see if that helps.
Also – we don’t have any cats (just a crazy wheaten terrier), but apparently cats can go little nuts over spider plant. The ASPCA lists spider plant as non-toxic to cats and dogs. Phew! I would always keep a watch out anyways and follow up with your vet to confirm.
Three // Chinese Evergreen
I don’t really hear that much about Chinese Evergreens (also known as Aglaonema) and I don’t know why. There are so many pretty varieties of Chinese Evergreen.
They are super easy to care for. They just need a moderate amount of water and can take low light conditions. I water it when the soil gets dry. I’ve been toying with this one for a little because I’ve been moving it all over the house in one of my frequent redecorating frenzies.
It’s still doing OK!
Chinese Evergreens help remove benzene and formaldehyde from the air. We picked it up from Home Depot. They have a great selection of plants by the way!
We have the ‘Silver Bay’ variety, but I also especially love ‘Maria’ for its patterned leaves and ‘Lady Valentine’ because it’s pretty and PINK!
Oh yes – this one is Toxic to pets, even horses, so be mindful here.
Four // Philodendron
This is the ‘it’ plant right now. I’m seeing it everywhere. All over decor magazines and Instagram feeds. Fig Leaf is still popular too but this one is my personal favorite.
If you want a larger plant, this may be your ticket as these plants grow big. And fast.
They can take a variety of light conditions (but don’t put them in full sun) and are tolerant of you forgetting to water it for a week (or two). There are tons of different varieties, some of which can be costly. But most are inexpensive.
I love the shape of their leaves. Like little hearts. I also love the split-leaf variety (pictured above.)
Here’s a fun fact. Monsteras (also known as swiss cheese plants) are commonly called split-leaf philodendron. But Monstera is actually a separate genus with leaves that have holes and cuts. Philodendrons don’t have holes in their leaves.
Just Google Monstera and see how popular this plant is right now!
I’m really loving P. selloum and P.gloriosum. Google them. So dramatic and beautiful. These plants are one of the best at removing formaldehyde too.
However – this is also toxic to dogs and cats and mildly toxic to humans – so keep tabs on it!
Five // Snake Plant
Snake plant is such a great option because you can put it in a corner.
“Nobody puts Snake Plant in a corner.”
Sorry – terrible Dirty Dancing reference.
But seriously – these plants grow upright so they fit in those slim little corners and nooks of your house. I love the way they look in modern plant stands.
This is definitely one I need to add to our home as I don’t have one at the moment!
They love bright light best but can grow anywhere. And they remove benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene from the air. Wow! You go get em’ snake plant.
However, this is another toxic beauty. It can make your pets very sick if they ingest any part of the Snake plant.
There are different varieties so find one that speaks to you.
These air purifying plants will add so much beauty to your home – while helping keep the indoor air clean. They are all pretty easy to care for and inexpensive too. Definitely worth a try.
But be sure to watch your kids and fur babies around these beauties!