Indoor plants aid our senses through texture, color, and beauty — enhancing their psychological benefit.

There have been plenty of mid-Atlantic days this year when everything outside appears to be the drab colors of brown and shades of gray. Even the clouds vary in these gray tones, adding to the lackluster colors in the outside landscape. Winter has finally turned on, bringing a significant chill and lake-effect snow across the Great Lakes. We gaze at the outdoor landscape from the windows inside our home or business, noticing the dazzling white snowflakes piled high on one another, creating sparkling beautiful mounds, especially when the sun shines. 

At One Planet Life, we encourage you to add beauty, a breath of life, and a connection to nature to your interior landscape. Brightening our interior with suggested green indoor houseplants gives way to energy that flows from living plants. The upcoming winter days may seem shortened as well. 

For many individuals, green is a favorite color as it represents a sense of connection to nature and signifies life or rebirth, balance, hope, and energy. So, for these reasons, adding a few plants to your domicile is the right thing to do during the cold winter months. 

Here are some of our favorite easy-to-care-for indoor plants.

They are reported to enhance air quality by removing household pollutants and toxins, producing oxygen, providing soundproofing from the plant’s large leaves, adding moisture, and reducing indoor chemical vapors.

  • Peace Lily 
  • Snake Plant, or Mother-In-Law’s Tongue
  • Golden Pothos, known as Devil’s Ivy 
  • Spider Plant
  • Dracaenas 
  • Gerbera Daisy – a beautiful plant of many colors (yellow, orange, pink, and fushia)
  • Bamboo Palms 
  • English Ivy

Information on how to care for these household indoor plants can be found in the Almanac.

Peace Lily Indoor Plant

Peace Lily

Snake Plant

Snake Plant

Golden Pothos Vine Indoor Plant

Golden Pothos Vine

If you have a bit of a brown thumb when gardening indoors, the indoor plants mentioned above are said to resist neglect.

We suggest that you begin with one plant. The University Maryland Extension has a link to Selection and Care of Indoor Plants, which is also a beautiful place to start. Your local library is an excellent resource. You can find up-to-date information on indoor plants from magazines and books to help you select and care for the best indoor plant for your location.

A word of warning: if you have small children and pets, it is imperative that you research indoor plants to make sure that the plants that you have selected are not toxic to them. Check the article on eleven common pet-friendly plants at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for more information. 

Beneficial effects on our health from indoor plants include :
  1. improving mood by lowering anxiety and stress levels
  2. Reducing fatigue and helping one to sleep better
  3. Sharpening the mind and helping with better decision-making
  4. Improving health by decreasing heart rates, lowering blood pressure, and improving recovery time for individuals recovering from surgery.

You may feel a sense of wellness and pride as you find your attractive indoor houseplant flourishing and notice its natural beauty. Your nurturing will reward you with a positive vibe every time you look at it, tempting you to add another indoor plant!

Yvonne Dwyer OPL Master Naturalist and OPL Content Contributor

This experience was shared by OPL Naturalist Yvonne Dwyer.

Learn more about Yvonne.