Home & Garden Garden 10 Houseplants to Boost Well-Being By Melissa Breyer Editorial Director Hunter College F.I.T., State University of New York Cornell University Melissa Breyer is Treehugger’s editorial director. She is a sustainability expert and author whose work has been published by the New York Times and National Geographic, among others. our editorial process Melissa Breyer Updated May 02, 2021 Treehugger/ Lesly Junieth Share Twitter Pinterest Email Garden Indoor Gardening Planting Guides Urban Farms Insects A lot can casually be said about a plant’s ability to brighten up a room and bring good health, but some houseplants have the research to back up the claims. Whether you seek an improved mood with the aid of lavender or better air quality with the aid of a spider plant, these houseplants can help you on your way to feeling healthy and refreshed. Here are 10 houseplants to boost your well-being. Warning Some of the plants on this list are toxic to pets. For more information about the safety of specific plants, consult the ASPCA's searchable database. 1 of 10 Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Joanna Alderson / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 If you’re feeling overwhelmed and are looking for a natural remedy, consider the use of this fragrant herb. Research suggests that lavender essential oil may help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. A native of the Mediterranean, lavender not only has healing properties, but it smells good, too, and is often used in sachets and potpourris. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sun. Water: Dry to medium. Soil: Average, dry to medium, well-drained, and alkaline. Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs. 2 of 10 Bromeliad (Neoregelia carolinae f. tricolor) Daniela Duncan / Getty Images A native to Brazilian rainforests, the bromeliad plant has a proven ability to purify the air. In a study working from NASA findings, Vadoud Niri, Ph.D. from the State University of Oswego at New York found that of all the plants tested, bromeliads were the most powerful at “removing six of the eight studied VOCs,” or volatile organic compounds, from the air. Plant Care Tips Light: Part shade to full shade. Water: Medium. Soil: Sharply-drained potting mix. Pet Safety: Nontoxic to cats and dogs. 3 of 10 Jade Plant (Crassula ovata) mikroman6 / Getty Images Dry skin and itchy eyes caused by low humidity can be uncomfortable, but houseplants like the jade plant can help reduce the loss of moisture in the air. A study at Kansas State University showed that the presence of jade plants can actually slow down evaporation rates, acting as a natural humidifier. If you choose to keep a jade plant in your home, place it in a bright spot near a window. Plant Care Tips Light: Part shade. Water: Medium. Soil: Well-drained, loamy potting mix. Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs. 4 of 10 Orchid (Dactylorhiza hatagirea) Leslie Banks / Getty Images Not only are orchids pretty to look at, but they can be a useful medicine for achieving quality sleep. According to a study called A Critically Endangered Perennial Orchid from the North-West Himalayas, the orchid Dactylorhiza hatagirea has a “broad range of phytochemicals which exert a wide range of beneficial effects,” including treatment of insomnia. Plant Care Tips Light: Part shade. Water: Medium. Soil: Fertile, consistently moist but well-drained. Pet Safety: Nontoxic to cats and dogs. 5 of 10 Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) Leora Knight / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0 If you’re having difficulty with sleep, consider drinking a relaxing tea made with the flower heads of this beneficial houseplant. In a review published in Molecular Medicine Reports, chamomile was described as a “mild sedative” that could help ease anxiety and insomnia. Place your chamomile plant near a sunny window. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sun to part shade. Water: Medium. Soil: Average, medium, and well-drained. Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs. 6 of 10 English Ivy (Hedera helix) Aliyev Alexei Sergeevich / Getty Images The woody vine English ivy is well known for its ability to act as an anti-inflammatory. In a study published in Phytomedicine, scientists were able to prove that English ivy blocked “inflammation mediators” in rats. For relief from inflammatory conditions like arthritis, consider drinking a tea containing extracts of English ivy. Plant Care Tips Light: Part shade to full shade. Water: Medium. Soil: Rich, moist, and well-drained. Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs. 7 of 10 Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) FeelPic / Getty Although its name might not bring positive thoughts to mind, the spider plant can, in fact, improve your well-being. In a NASA study on air quality, scientists concluded that toxicants “can be removed from indoor environments by plant leaves alone.” Spider plants performed especially well in this task. Plant Care Tips Light: Bright, indirect sunlight. Water: Medium. Soil: Well-drained. Pet Safety: Nontoxic to cats and dogs. 8 of 10 Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema commutatum) Forest and Kim Starr / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 An evergreen perennial, the commonly called Chinese evergreen boasts an impressive ability to purify the air of intoxicants. The plant was shown to remove both benzene and formaldehyde from an indoor environment. While the Chinese evergreen can withstand some periods of slight dryness, do not allow it to completely dry out. Plant Care Tips Light: Part shade to full shade. Water: Medium. Soil: Well-drained and peaty. Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs. 9 of 10 Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) aon168 | Getty Images A terrific plant for pedestals or hanging baskets, the Boston fern can both brighten up a room and pury the air you breathe. In a study by NASA researchers, it was discovered that the Boston fern was effective in removing formaldehyde from the air. If you choose to keep one in your home, place it in a location with relatively high humidity. Plant Care Tips Light: Part shade. Water: Medium. Soil: Peaty, soil-based potting mixture. Pet Safety: Nontoxic to cats and dogs. 10 of 10 Aloe (Aloe vera) Carlina Teteris / Getty Images This commonly used perennial wonder plant contains medicinal properties that soothe cuts, scrapes, and sunburns. The sticky sap located inside aloe’s succulent leaves is applied directly to the wound and should provide immediate relief. Aloe has been found to contain “antioxidant capacities” as well. Grow your aloe plant in a dry, sunny spot, like a south-facing window. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sun. Water: Dry. Soil: Sandy and well-drained. Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs.