With many of us feeling the most comfortable at home, you might find yourself wanting to spruce up your living space and bring a bit of the outside, inside. Plants are a fantastic way to do this that can provide us with a heap of benefits. According to scientific research, they can make us feel calm as well as adding a burst of colour to an otherwise blank space. Having houseplants has also been proven to boost mood and help with concentration, as well as keeping the air around them clean. When we breathe we release carbon dioxide as a waste product into the air around us, but plants actually take in carbon dioxide and thrive off it, giving out the clean oxygen we need to survive. If you are interested you can read more about the benefits of greenery here.
It can be surprising how much plants can benefit us, but with all these options it's hard to know where to start. Bamae has compiled a list of some of the best plants for beginners who don’t have green fingers just yet, have a look and see if any of them take your fancy.
Spider plant (Chlorophytum)
The ultimate place to start, these plants are hardy and grow in most environments. They’re one of the best plants for keeping the air nice and clean and are a good choice for places that get less sun. If you’re worried about messing up their care they give clear signs- their leaves will fade a little when they need water and will perk up soon after they’ve had a drink. They won’t need this too often due to being native to hot climates, and will make it obvious when they do. This plant is both evergreen and can produce little white flowers too. An extremely reliable choice that can give you all the benefits with very little extra care.
Peace lily (Spathiphyllum)
A beautiful and distinct-looking plant, with lovely rich green leaves and white flowers that turn yellow over time, this plant is another great choice for keeping the air clean even with reduced sunlight. Peace lilies, like the spider plant above, don’t need too much water and will begin to droop dramatically when they do. Don’t panic! If this happens, simply give them a nice drink and they will perk right up like it never happened. This is a lovely-looking plant that is easy to care for and can be placed anywhere in your home.
Chinese money plant (Pilea Peperomiodes)
This is one of the most unusual-looking plants but is great for people that can see themselves adding more plants to their collection. Putting out many stalks with round, lily-like leaves on the ends, this plant will grow fast in the right conditions and can produce many little babies from its trunk. They’re certainly different to look at and look fantastic as they grow, plus the babies can be kept to grow into even more money plants or given away as gifts. Not needing too much care and quick to grow, you certainly get your money’s worth with this one.
Succulents and cacti
Succulents and cacti store their water and many of them are native to desert conditions, so they can do pretty well almost anywhere. These tend to be the first plant people get because they’re rather hard to kill. That isn’t to say it isn’t possible and there is no shame in it at all (we’ve all been there) The problem that many people face is these plants are essentially built to be left alone. Watering them too frequently can lead to them rotting because they simply don’t need it. These are a great choice for those of us that forget to check up on our plants.
Snake plant (Sansevieria)
A tropical flowering plant that thrives in dry conditions and low light levels, it can be kept outdoors in warmer climates, but since this is the UK inside is probably safer. This plant is similar to the spider plant in that it’s particularly good at cleaning the air around it and can remove toxins too. Snake plants can come in a variety of sizes and colours, so you can pick whichever works for you. That being said, this plant is mildly toxic when ingested, so if you do go for this plant it should be kept out of the reach of children and pets.
Lucky bamboo (Dracaena)
An increasingly popular choice that is hard to miss. The shoots of this plant are often shaped and braided in a multitude of different ways, and can often be seen because of the belief that it can bring good Feng Shui into a space. It turns out that this plant, despite looking extremely similar, actually isn’t related to bamboo at all. It does however share the long slender green stalks and can grow as fast as bamboo, and can grow well in lower lit areas.
Another great choice for those of us that tend to kill our plants, pothos is known to be a tough plant to kill. This is a gorgeous trailing plant that will keep growing as long as it’s able, is perfect for high places like a bookshelf. Many pothos have little speckles of lighter colours, and each plant varies in colour.
An extremely hardy plant that can survive on very little water, but does prefer a bit of indirect sunlight for the best growing conditions. Many of us know aloe vera because of its moisturising properties. Taking a cutting from an aloe plant can be used to help heal small cuts and to soothe sunburn. Aloe leaves are full of a cooling sap that is incredibly useful to us, but also keeps the plant healthy over long periods without moisture. When you buy an aloe you can use the leaves, but try to refrain from taking more than a third off before it has a chance to grow more.
Prayer plant (Maranta)
This is one of the best looking plants because of its round leaves and beautiful colours. This plant gets its name because of the way it folds its leaves away at night. With bright pink lines along the top of the leaves and a pink underside, these plants are a nice step away from the usual greens. Being a tropical plant, you will have the best luck keeping it in a sunny spot, but this plant is not particularly fussy. Cleaning the leaves can also help to keep the plant hydrated and encourage faster growth, which can be a nice way to switch off and keep your plants nice and healthy.
Polka dot plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya)
A small flowering plant that can add a splash of colour to any space. They come in a variety of options, but are usually found with shades of pink, white and red colourations across a green leaf. The spots on these plants can merge into solid colours across the leaves, and can vary even amongst the same plant. This is a great choice if you’re looking for something a little different that doesn’t take up too much space, and does well in shadier areas.