The Health Benefits of Houseplants

Continuum CEO & President Patti L. Walker's in-office garden

When you decorate your home with indoor plants, you’re not only adding beauty, you’re also improving indoor air quality and your overall health. Some of the most popular indoor plants for this include  aloe, English ivy, peace lily, snake plant, spider plant, and philodendron. Here are a few ways houseplants can benefit your health:

  • The presence of house plants is a natural stress reliever and can improve your wellbeing, making you feel calm and optimistic.
  • Plants release moisture vapor, which increases humidity levels and decreases dust, reducing common colds, respiratory issues, and dry coughs by at least 30 percent. In addition, increased humidity raises the moisture level in your home, helping to prevent dry skin.
  • Plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air, which can alleviate drowsiness
  • Plants increase oxygen levels, which can help alleviate headaches and improve sleep.
  • Plants such as eucalyptus can be inhaled to relieve congestion (however, beware that eucalyptus is very toxic if eaten).
  • Plants help purify and remove toxins from the air

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For the Novice: Houseplants You Can't Kill

Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)
It gets more beautiful with age. Tolerates room temperatures year-round. A succulent foliage plant, it's happy with indirect sun and little water. 

Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)
This plant’s swollen base stores water, so occasional lack of water will do no harm. It is slow-growing so buy one that is already the size you want. 



Snake Plant (Sansevieria)
Sansevieria thrives in full sun or partial shade and prefers dry air and soil. It rarely needs repotting and resists insects. 


Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron scandens)
This is the most popular of the philodendrons because it stays small and is so easygoing. It's drought-tolerant, but don’t let it go too long without a drink though it will recover nicely. 


ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
This plant practically thrives on neglect. It is forgiving if you forget to water, tolerates low light, and rarely needs fertilizer. 


Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
This is an impressive, dependable plant for beginners. It prefers bright, indirect light and produces stems that can be potted to produce new plants. 


Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)
This tolerates dry indoor air and low light levels and handles changing temperatures and humidity levels well. Just don't overwater.  Soggy soil can cause root rot. 


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