Have you ever gone outside and spent some time in nature, and felt refreshed when you returned indoors? That’s because nature literally makes us happier. It doesn’t just reduce feelings of anger and stress. Some studies show it can even reduce blood pressure, heart rate, and tension in the body.
For various reasons, it might be difficult to get outside and enjoy the beauty of nature every day. However, you can still get some of the same benefits by bringing nature inside. Studies show that houseplants naturally filter allergens and airborne particles and purify air indoors. Plus, nurturing a live plant is beneficial to mental health. In fact, gardening therapy is used as a treatment for depression and other conditions.
Still, not everyone has a green thumb, or wants to take care of a finicky plant like a bonsai or succulent. Luckily, there are some easy-to-care-for plants that will bring all the same benefits to your home. Here are some low-maintenance plants that thrive in average indoor temperatures (55-75 degrees) and low light.
1. Cast Iron Plant
This plant is called the cast iron plant because it’s able to survive even the toughest conditions. Also called aspidistra, these plants enjoy low light and may even flower occasionally. There are many different versions of aspidistra, including plants with variegated and dotted leaves.
2. Chinese Evergreen
This unique plant is both forgiving and adaptable. Most Chinese evergreens have a variegated leaf, with an attractive mottled green and white pattern. It does best in low or indirect light and in a room where temperatures are consistently above 60 F.
3. Mother-in-Law’s Tongue/Snake Plant/Sansevieria
Snake plants are known for their tall, stiff, hardy leaves and attractive yellow and green coloring. These plants don’t mind low light and also don’t need watered very often. In fact, you may only need to water it a few times per winter, depending on how dry the soil gets.
Pothos are incredibly easy to grow. They trail beautifully, making them a wonderful hanging plant, or an eye-catching addition to a shelf or bookcase. Plus, they’re also hard to kill—they can tolerate almost any light condition.
5. Dumb Cane
You can recognize dumb cane (or dieffenbachia) by its big, oval-shaped leaves and milky sap. It prefers warmer temperatures but tolerates low light. Just be careful around its sap. Dumb cane’s sap can irritate the skin and cause temporary inability to speak. (Hence the name.)
6. Peace Lily
Peace lilies are an elegant addition to any room, with their large, pointed leaves and striking tear-shaped flowers. As long as the temperature in a room is consistent, peace lilies are generally pretty happy. They’re also forgiving if you forget to water them—just soak the soil and the leaves will perk back up.
7. Spider Plant
These grassy plants can grow impressively large with little effort. Plant in a pot or a hanging basket to add some intrigue to your space. Spider plants also tend to grow babies—offshoots with their own roots attached—that you can cut off and plant in a new pot.
Regardless of which of these plants you choose, just be sure to only water when the soil is dry to avoid flooding the roots and causing root rot. Additionally, be careful if you have pets. Different plants are toxic to different kinds of pets, so you’ll want to do your research before you buy.