Plants are amazing. With just water, soil, and sunlight you can grow beautiful plants that add color and texture to many areas in and around your home. Plants can also improve the air quality of your home and help get rid of pests like stinkbugs and mosquitoes. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, there are flowers, herbs, and plants that you can easily grow to beautify your home and to improve the quality of your life.
There are many things that we have inside our homes that can create indoor pollution. They can be from the cleaners that you use, fumes given off from dry cleaning, wood finishes on furniture, cigarette smoke, carpeting, paints, perfumes, and pets. Try adding these easy-to-grow plants to help cleanse the air:
The rubber tree is a low-light plant and a great source for converting carbon dioxide to oxygen. Its large leaves help to quickly purify the air. If you have a cat or dog, you may want to avoid this one though as they are toxic to both.
A snake plant is also great for taking in carbon dioxide and releasing fresh oxygen. Many people keep these in their bedrooms, as they release oxygen at night where many other plants do this during the day. This is another low-light plant that is very easy to grow but it is also toxic to cats and dogs.
You may already have a spider plant growing in your home as it is one of the most popular and easy-to-grow plants, is a top air pollution cleaner, and is non-toxic for pets. They do well in many light conditions, but prefer bright light.
The peace lily is another excellent plant for cleaning the air, it is easy to grow, tolerates low light, and it has beautiful flowers. It is mildly toxic to cats and dogs.
The gerbera daisy can bring a splash of color to any room. It likes bright light, is non-toxic to cats and dogs, and is another top-performer for cleaning a wide range of compounds from the air.
Finally, the devil’s ivy likes bright indirect light, is easy to grow, but is toxic to cats and dogs.
Nothing spoils an evening outside quite a much as being bitten by mosquitoes, and over the past decade many parts of the country have been infested with stinkbugs. Instead of using chemicals to remove these pests, try using these plants:
Basil is great because it is easy to grow, can be used as an herb, and repels flies, mosquitoes, and other pests. While some plants are beneficial in repelling pests when you crush the leaves and rub them on your skin, just growing basil acts as a deterrent.
Catnip can repel ants, aphids, japanese beetles, roaches, stinkbugs, and other bugs. While it is non-toxic for cats, they often love this plant so much that you may not want to place it near any other plants you don’t want trampled by your over-zealous kitty.
Chrysanthemums (Mums) are amazing. They repel ants, japanese beetles, ticks, silverfish, stink bugs, roaches, and more. Like the plants listed above for use indoors, mums are also excellent at cleaning the air so you could have some inside if you have well lit areas. They are, however, poisonous to cats, dogs, and horses.
Lavender looks beautiful, smells beautiful, and helps to repel moths, fleas, flies, mosquitoes, and stink bugs. Lavender cuttings can also be brought inside for a fresh soothing scent.
Lemon balm is particularly excellent at repelling mosquitoes. You can take clippings and burn them on your grill to use as a repellent, or crush the leaves to release the lemony scent. Lemon balm also attracts bees, which are beneficial to other plants in your yard or garden.
Mint is another herb that you can grow that doubles as an excellent insect repellent when you crush the leaves, and can be used in food and teas.