Peace Lily

Once your Christmas tree, decorations and ornaments are carefully packed away, rooms sometimes feel empty. Cure those winter blues by filling your home with living, thriving green plants. Their presence helps create an enjoyable, comfortable and healthy environment. Not only do many common houseplants make indoor spaces more attractive, but they also help purify the air, according to a study by NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America.  Caring and tending plants can be therapeutic. Make nurturing Mother Nature’s creations a family affair. Teaching children how to care for plants and helping them understand the importance of plants is a rewarding experience as a parent. And if you’re returning to work after Christmas break, be sure to bring a beautiful green plant to brighten up the dull gray office walls. It’s good for business. Texas A&M University research demonstrates that idea generation, creative performance and problem solving skills improve substantially in workplace environments that include flowers and plants.

Not sure which plant to choose? Here are five houseplants that are easy to care for, will keep your air clean and are available at your local florist and garden center. So breathe easy, enjoy and let these beautiful plants help you chase away those winter blues.

Chinese Evergreen

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Known for its hardy nature, the peace lily features lovely white flowers. It is part of the philodendron family that originated in Central America and the northern part of South America and was domesticated by the Victorians in the mid- to late 1800s. Keep the plant moist, and out of direct sun and away from drafts. It enjoys high humidity, so mist often.  It droops when dry, and after you water it, it bounces back nicely.

Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema hybrids)

This adaptable plant originated in Southeast Asia. It tolerates low light and dry air better than most houseplants. It doesn’t like cold air, so keep it warm and water regularly. Any good potting mix will do. Feed it from spring through summer, monthly with a balanced fertilizer diluted by half. “Silver Queen” is a popular compact variety.

Golden Pothos

Golden Pothos (Epipiremnum aureum)

Also known as the Devil’s Ivy, golden pothos is native to the Solomon Islands. This easy to grow and care for plant is an excellent choice for a beginner. It likes low to bright light and moist soil. Don’t allow it to sit in water so discard any drainage. Feed it 20-20-20 Plant Food monthly. It is a gorgeous vining plant with heart-shaped leaves variegated in green and yellow and grows fast and up to 10 feet or more.

Spider Plant

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Originated from the South Pacific and South Africa, the spider plant prefers low to moderate light, not direct light. It requires light watering; so let it dry out before watering again. It doesn’t like hard water. Its leaves can be variegated green and white, or just green. Enjoy it as a hanging basket or as a potted plant, and since it is easy to propagate, you can make plants for others.

Snake Plant

Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Also known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, the snake plant is native to tropical Africa and features stiff, upright leaves that grow up to four feet. These are the toughest of all houseplants. They can survive and thrive in any household conditions from bright to dark, although they prefer warm and bright. Totally over watering or never watering will be the only ways to kill them. This plant is a rapid grower and can break a pot with its roots.

What is your favorite houseplant?