If staying indoors over the past several months has given you a case of the quarantine blues, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there is one affordable way to improve the look of your indoor space and boost your mood all at the same time. And the answer is greenery! By adding just a few plants to your home, you can spruce up your space and enjoy cleaner air with reduced toxins. Since plants release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, it’s no wonder they’re the perfect natural partner for human beings, who take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide when they breathe. Plus, plants release most of their water back into the air, helping to improve humidity levels and with it, certain health conditions like asthma and dry skin (to name just a few). And all of that increased oxygen helps brain function, leading to increased concentration, better energy and reduced stress and anxiety. With so many benefits to be had from one simple, natural source, adding plants to your bedroom, office or living area should be a no-brainer.
Not sure where to start? We’re here to help! And we’ve brought in a couple of experts. Our plant enthusiast friends, Jon and Jerrilyn have given us a list of their favorite plant species, along with their tips for keeping them looking their best.
Meet Jon and Jerrilyn
For Los Angeles couple, Jon Perdomo (@plantmanp) and Jerrilyn Peralta (@therealplantladyp), plants are more than just a hobby. When they moved into their apartment a few years ago, they began collecting plants as a way to add some extra color and life to their home, and the rest is history. Since then, they’ve cultivated a large collection, and they use their Instagram and YouTube accounts to educate people about the joy and satisfaction that comes with plant ownership. As they lovingly put it, “waking up to our plants every morning provides us with a fresh start to our day...caring for each of them, for example, giving them water and dusting off their leaves, is a form of not only plant care, but self care as well.” We can’t imagine a better, simpler way to lift our spirits from the comfort of home.
To turn their bedroom into a true plant lovers’ oasis, we’ve outfitted them with the unbeatable pairing of our Suzanne Platform Bed Frame and the Cooling Copper Adaptive Hybrid Mattress. Like true plant parents, Jon and Jerrilyn like to keep their decor and furniture “very minimal and neutral” so the plants can shine. For them, the first step in setting up a room is “studying the amount of natural lighting the room gets so we can choose the most suitable plants...lighting dictates how many/what type of plants we can add into a specific space.”
Take a glimpse into Jon and Jerrilyn’s finished space:
To help you get inspired to create your own plant paradise, we’re sharing a few of their favorite species of indoor plant life below.
Known for being notoriously beginner-friendly, snake plants are about as resilient as they come and can survive even if you forget to water them for weeks at a time. To help with asthma and allergies, Jerrilyn keeps one by her side of the bed because they’re especially good at purifying the air and releasing extra oxygen at night. To care for yours, Jon and Jerrilyn recommend:
- Watering only when the soil has become bone dry
- Making sure it gets some indirect sunlight
- Keeping it out of freezing temperatures
Another hardy choice, the Ripsalis (also known as a Mistletoe Cactus), unlike a typical cactus, has no needles. In fact, you can throw out your preconceived notions about cacti altogether when it comes to this rainforest native. Since the Ripsalis is used to some shade provided by jungle canopy in nature, it’s the perfect indoor plant companion. To keep yours growing strong, Jon and Jerrilyn suggest:
- Watering only when the soil is completely dried out
- Placing it in just about any indoor lighting situation, it’s not picky
Named for its tendency to droop or ‘pray’ at nighttime, the prayer plant is known for its striking, multicolored leaves. Similar to the snake plant, they effectively remove pollutants from the air around them, helping you breathe easier. And as an added bonus, the prayer plant is non-toxic to both dogs and cats! To help yours thrive, Jon and Jerrilyn advise:
- Keeping the soil moist, watering especially when the leaves begin to get droopy
- Placing it in low light
- Choosing a spot with higher humidity
With its velvet, iridescent leaves, the Philodendren grows in a draping, vine-like fashion (although if its gets too long, it can easily be pruned to your desired length). It also filters formaldehyde out of the air. And like many vines, it has no problem growing quickly and easily, if you follow Jon and Jerrilyn’s simple care tips:
- Give it moderate light
- Keep the soil evenly moist and water once the top layer becomes slightly dry
- Mist often for added humidity
Informally named the “swiss cheese plant” for its distinctive leaf holes, the Monstera Deliciosa is a fast-growing, tropical statement plant. And if you’re a lover of big and tall, this is the one for you. In general, it’s unfussy and a great option for beginners. According to Jerrilyn, “Not only are they fast growers, but they’ll also build up your confidence so you can move onto different types and a larger amount of plants.” To keep the Monstera Deliciosa looking its best, stick to a few pointers:
- Give it indirect light, and minimize exposure to direct sunlight since it can scorch the leaves
- Water it once the top few inches of soil are dried out
- Place it in an area with moderate to high humidity
What about pet friendly plants?
Regardless of its toxicity, when bringing a new plant into the home, it’s best to keep it out of reach from mischievous pets that might be tempted to chew or rub against it. In addition to the prayer plant mentioned above, Jon and Jerrilyn recommend parlor palms, orchids and air plants to pet parents. All are non-toxic to both cats and dogs, and can coexist well with your furry family members.