Aside from mere aesthetics, plants quite literally bring life to a room. They recycle the airflow, taking in carbon dioxide and pumping out fresh oxygen.
If your gardening skills are nonexistent, choose indoor plants that are easy to care for -- meaning they require infrequent watering and can get by in indirect light. Here are 10 house plants that can turn any home into an indoor garden:
- ZZ plant. If you're feeling fancy, you can call this plant by its formal name, the Zamioculcas zamiifolia, but it will gladly answer to its easier nickname, ZZ. And it won’t be offended when you forget to water it -- this plant has hardy green leaves that actually thrive in dryer soil.
- Spider plant. If you want to fake a green thumb, get a spider plant. The long, spindly leaves of this plant grow rapidly. Plus, the tiny offshoots can easily be rooted to make other offspring.
- Pothos. This plant is popular not only because of its sturdy green leaves, but because it doesn’t require much attention. The pothos is also easy to propagate -- if you want more greenery, you can root sprigs in glasses or small jars of water and place them in different parts of the home for pops of green.
- Asparagus fern. Despite this bright green fuzzy-looking plant’s name, it’s neither a vegetable nor a fern. And it will get along just fine wherever you put it, whether it’s a bright spot by the kitchen window or in a shady corner.
- African violet. If you’d prefer a plant that flowers, go with an African violet. Several times a year, these plants burst with purple, pink, or white flowers. When they're dormant, their velvety green leaves are still beautiful. Don’t overwater these beauties -- they are best kept slightly moist in pots that have drainage holes at the bottom.
- Aloe. A plant that is as beautiful as it is useful, aloe requires indirect light and infrequent watering (once every 1-2 weeks). And yes, if you slice off a chunk, the thick liquid on the inside of the leaves is the very same thing you’ll pay for by the bottle at the drugstore.
- Ivy. This leafy plant grows fast, which is why it’s a popular plant to climb along walls and trellises. Now imagine how beautiful it will look in a home with its tendrils cascading down a bookshelf.
- Calathea. Also known as the “prayer plant,” the calathea’s green, purple, red, and pink leaves make it a focal point in any room. Best of all? This plant does better in dimmer lighting, so you don't have to worry about putting it near a window.
- Cast-iron plant. This aptly named plant can get through the dry times just fine, so it will certainly withstand any absent-minded gardening -- but give it a drink when you do remember it's there.
- Just about any succulent. Succulents retain water in their leaves, making it easy for them to go for long periods without water -- perfect for the forgetful homeowner. Cacti are just one type of succulent, so if these spiky plants aren’t your favorite, you’ve got plenty of others to choose from. One is the kalanchoe, which sprouts bell-shaped flowers, usually in pink, red, or yellow. They can get by on little water and can even survive in colder temperatures.
Home decor by Mother Nature
There are many more low-maintenance plants out there to choose from. Your local florist can give you tips on which are right for your space and gardening abilities. You'll be amazed at what a bit of greenery can do to spruce up your space.