Forget about faux or plastic plants; even if your thumb isn’t the greenest or your bedroom isn’t the brightest, it’s worth adding a living houseplant or two to your room. A touch of living green in the bedroom goes beyond looking fresh and natural—houseplants can actually help purify the air. Studies by NASA and several universities have shown potted plants are quite effective at clearing indoor air of harmful chemicals released from common substances like cigarette smoke, fabric cleaners, detergent, and plastics.
Plus, the interesting shapes, peaceful vibes and natural beauty of real plants add a powerful dose of tranquility and calm to your bedroom—something you'll never have too much of in your private space. There's no decorating style that isn't improved by a touch of life, and living plants match any other color or pattern. Choose a pot that matches your bedroom's style, and voila! You've added the perfect accessory.
The trick is in choosing the right plant for your space, then meeting its simple needs. Don't think that nurturing healthy houseplants requires special knowledge; just match the plant to your room’s light conditions, water appropriately and fertilize occasionally, and you too can sport a green thumb.
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With its long, deep green leaves and pure white blooms, the peace lily (Spathiphyllum) would be a winner even without its excellent capabilities at air purification. It tolerates low light, though filtered sun through a window that doesn’t get too cold is also appreciated. Give it a drink when the soil feels slightly dry to the touch, but don’t let it get soggy. Use scissors to clip away brown leaf tips or edges, which can be caused by excessive heat, dryness, or too much salt in the water. Wipe the leaves with a damp rag, or spray the peace lily in the sink or tub every few months to keep the leaves clean.
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This low-light-tolerant plant is as easy-going as they come. Give the Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema) water once a week or so, keep it away from drafts or heat sources, add a bit of fertilizer to the water once a month, and your reward will be a thriving plant with intriguingly variegated leaves and occasional flowers. Mist it occasionally with purified water to keep the leaves clean and shiny. You'll find several varieties of Chinese evergreen at most nurseries, including a pink, yellow and green tricolor.
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It’s a staple of office buildings everywhere, and for good reason. Also called Devil’s ivy, the golden pothos (Scindapsus) is one of the easiest indoor plants to grow, and it’s also one of the best air purifiers. Set it near a brightly lit—but not overly hot—window, and watch it take off. Water only when the soil feels dry to the touch, and control the plant’s size with periodic pruning. Mist or wash the leaves occasionally to remove dust. There are several varieties available, most with variegated leaves.
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This large family of tropical plants has something for everyone. Most Dracaenas have pleasingly striped or bicolored leaves, with yellow, red, pink or white highlighting the medium-green foliage. Depending on the species, the leaves can be long and grass-like, or short and pointy. All Dracaenas prefer to dry out a bit between waterings, and most prefer a bright—but not overly sunny—location.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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Whether you like your English ivy (Hedera) spilling over the edge of the pot, in a hanging basket or trained to vine around a loop or up a support, this small-leaved ivy is an excellent air purifier and adds a touch of dainty life to the bedroom. Keep it moist and in a well-lit spot for the best growth. Give your ivy a dash of diluted fertilizer every few weeks during the warm months, and mist it with water each week to keep the leaves healthy.
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Also called mother-in-law’s tongue, the snake plant (Sansevieria) has rigid, pointed leaves that generally grow straight upward. A slow-growing plant, the Sansevieria tolerates drought, poor light and infrequent fertilizing, although it appreciates a well-lit spot. The leaves can be green and white or green and yellow and are typically marked with stripes or blotches. Wipe the leaves with a soft cloth periodically to remove dust.