It’s no secret that I love nature and greenery. During a recent trip to Bali, I realized that plants have far more impact on my general level of wellbeing than I originally gave them credit for. There’s science to back that up, too – give this article a read if you’re curious to know more! Since that trip, my wife and I have been working to add more plants and greenery into our home and our life.
Here, I’ll share five of my favourite plants that fit well with the clean lines and style of contemporary homes. These plants are more than just pretty faces though. Are you lacking a green thumb? No problem, these guys will survive despite your best efforts to kill them! Have asthma or allergies? These plants also remove common pollutants from the air, so you can breathe easy.
#1: Fiddle-Leaf Fig
The Fiddle-Leaf Fig, or Ficus lyrata, is a beauty of a plant that really catches your eye. They like lots of light, so you’ll want to situate it near a window, but if you can give it that, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful green foliage. This guy only needs water when the top inch of soil is fully dry (once a week to 10 days, depending on the humidity of your home). It also appreciates a bit of balanced fertilizer once a month during the growing season!
I like the Fiddle Leaf Fig as a lone wolf in a neglected corner of a sunny room. It lends an air of peaceful calm wherever you put it, and I personally think it would look fantastic in a living room. Here are some examples!
#2: Swiss Cheese Plant
The Swiss Cheese Plant (latin: Monstera Deliciosa) is another plant with really interesting leaves. It’s an easy-to-grow plant that likes some sunlight, but can adapt to shadier areas of the home as well. In my opinion, you want to put this plant somewhere where visitors can see it, since it really is eye-catching.
BONUS: the Swiss Cheese Plant is great at removing formaldehyde from the air (furniture, upholstery and new flooring all release the toxin). It also helps to add a bit of humidity, which is great if you live in a colder region like I do!
#3: Snake Plant
This plant also goes by the name of Mother-in-Law’s Tongue… but we’re just going to call it the Snake Plant, mmk? It’s sleek, streamlined design makes it well-suited to a variety of uses in a contemporary home: stick it in the lobby, the bathroom, the living room, or just about anywhere else you can imagine.
The snake plant prefers low light and infrequent watering; basically, it likes being neglected. This is another plant that’s great at purifying your air, removing five of the most common toxins in your home: formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene and benzene.
#4 Golden Pothos
Another plant that adapts well to lower light conditions, Golden Pothos is a vine that looks great trailing down over the edge of a bookcase or cabinet. Heads-up: in really dark conditions, it’ll lose the patterning on its leaves.
You’ll want to water this plant once the soil has dried out (about once a week or so), and fertilize monthly during the growing season (i.e. summer).
#5 Janet Craig Dracaena
I personally have this plant in my living room, and I’m a big fan. It can grow up to eight feet tall, and really does a great job of adding a tropical feel to the room. Before putting this plant in my living room, I felt the space was missing something; now, it feels more cozy and rounded out, wouldn’t you agree?
The Janet Craig dracaena prefers moderate light and a watering/fertilizer schedule that lines up with golden pothos: water once a week or so, when the soil has dried out to about an inch under the surface. Fertilize monthly during growing season.
Wrapping it Up
If your home suffers from a lack of greenery, give these plants a try. They’re easy to grow, look great in contemporary homes and purify your air. Most importantly, having the greenery around you is soothing for the soul. I can’t believe the difference it’s made to the enjoyment of my own home. I feel a sense of well-being that I didn’t have before, and it’s one of the main reasons I consider nature to be an important part of my life.
It’s important to mention here that many plants (including the ones on this list) aren’t good for pets/kids to chew on. They can cause stomach aches, vomiting, or worse if eaten, so be mindful of that. The benefits outweigh the risks though, so don’t freak out about that. Just be aware!