Are you looking to add a little Zen to your home or office? The right houseplant acts as a beautiful decoration helping to purify the air and can even de-stress the immediate area.
Safer® Brand came up with 26 beauties, and from that list, you’re sure to find the perfect houseplant — even if it’s for the office! Once you’ve made your selection, be sure to check out and use our wide variety of products that will help you keep your plants healthy. Remember growing and care instructions vary for each species, so consult your favorite plant care book for a complete rundown of its needs.
In each entry, you’ll see a picture of the plant and we’ll go over the pros and cons you need to know before committing to it.
Chrysanthemums, or mums, as they are more commonly called, make beautiful houseplants with bright, cheerful blooms. They are remarkably easy to care when you provide a bright location, well-drained soil and enough water. Once all that is in place, you’ll have an attractive addition to your room
- Mums are on NASA’s list of top air-purifying plants.
- Chrysanthemums remove ammonia, benzene and formaldehyde from indoor air.
- Leaves of the chrysanthemum plant are poisonous to pets and children.
- Mums have a difficult time reblooming.
- These flowers are generally considered disposable.
2) Spider Plant
Resilient spider plants seem to thrive even when neglected. They prefer moist soil but will forgive you if you forget to water occasionally. Keep spider plants in bright to moderate light, but avoid direct sun. Fertilize spider plants twice a month during the spring and summer.
- Spider plants remove benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and xylene from the air.
- Spider plant are considered safe for pets.
- Who knew? Spider plants are mildly hallucinogens to cats.
Ficus are popular houseplants and also often named the best plants for offices. Why are the great office plants? Because they have a striking appearance and are highly effective at purifying indoor air. A ficus prefers bright, indirect light, moist soil and occasional misting. Make sure you keep your ficus away from drafts.
- A ficus is a great plant to help you with air purity.
- Thanks to its decorative appeal, a ficus can serve as an attractive focal point for a room.
- Ficus sap is a skin irritant to pets and people.
- Pets who chew on ficus leaves may vomit or experience diarrhea.
- Keep your ficus in one place. It’s a finicky plant that doesn’t like to be moved.
- Is your ficus “dripping sap”? It may not be sap, but honeydew from an insect infestation.
4) Red-Edged Dracaena
Red-edged dracaena, also known as dragon tree, is beautiful and useful for purifying indoor air. It prefers a brightly lighted area, though it can tolerate lower light conditions, too. Allow it to dry out between watering to get the most from it.
- Dracaena helps remove formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and xylene from your home. (These airborne chemicals can emanate from a variety of household goods.)
- Dracaena is susceptible to leaf spot if the leaves get wet during watering. With that in mind, make sure you only water at the base of the plant rather than from overhead.
- Thrips can be a major pest for dracaena.
5) Peace Lily
The peace lily offers elegance and beauty with a unique look. It prefers bright, indirect light but also does well in medium, indirect light. When it needs water, it will tell you by getting droopy leaves. After watering, it perks back up in response. You can also mist it occasionally for added humidity.
- The peace lily helps remove benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, toluene and xylene from the air.
- It contains oxalates that can cause contact dermatitis, which is a medical term for skin irritation. The irritation is the result of salt crystals that cause a fierce burning sensation if crushed, chewed or eaten.
- Curious pets may also experience the same sensation if they try to eat or chew the plant.
6) Boston Fern
Boston ferns can grow quite large and make a showy but elegant addition to your home. They do especially well in bathrooms and other places that are humid but have soft, natural light. Give them moist soil, but allow them to dry out a bit during the winter months. Ferns don’t often need a new pot unless you want them to get bigger.
- According to a study published in 2011, “ferns had the highest formaldehyde-removal efficiency” of all plants tested.
- Boston ferns also remove toluene and xylene from the air.
- These ferns are nontoxic.
- Have your vacuum handy! Some homeowners find Boston ferns to be messy when the leaves drop.
- Boston ferns are highly susceptible to root rot, so only water until liquid leaks from drain holes.
7) Golden Pothos
Even if you think you have a “black thumb,” you can probably grow golden pothos. This plant does well in low light and is forgiving if you miss an occasional watering. In fact, the golden pothos prefers to dry out in between waterings.
- The golden pothos is easily one of the most common houseplants. It’s attractive and easy to grow.
- Golden pothos is considered an air-purifying houseplant.
- While root rot is a common problem with most houseplants, but the golden pothos rarely succumbs to this condition.
- You’ll know when you need to water a golden pothos by its drooping leaves. Droopy leaves that cannot be revived by watering are a sign the golden pothos needs to be repotted into something larger.
- This plant is toxic to ingest because it includes oxalates, so keep it away from pets and children who might try to eat the leaves.
8) Snake Plant
Also known as mother-in-law’s tongue and by its species name (Sansevieria trifasciata), snake plant is hardy and adds a unique look to your decor with its upright, strap-like leaves. It can tolerate low water and light environments, though it prefers bright, indirect light.
- Snake plants are on the NASA list of houseplants that clean and filter indoor air.
- Caring for snake plants is relatively easy. Water them at their base. They can survive with fluorescent lighting. If they’re in a window, rotate them a quarter turn every week.
- Saponins in snake plant leaves make it toxic to pets and may cause nausea and vomiting.
9) Bamboo Palm
Bamboo palms are great plants if you want to add a tropical feel to your home or office. While this houseplant, also called parlor palm, prefers bright light, it can do very well in low light as long as it receives enough water. However, make sure you don’t overwater the bamboo palm. Wait until the top of the soil is dry. This plant likes high humidity, so consider placing it on a tray of pebbles with water added. As the water evaporates, add more so the pebbles are almost covered.
- Bamboo palm is excellent at reducing the airborne formaldehyde that is released by new furniture.
- Bamboo palm is nontoxic to pets.
- Spider mites are common pests to the bamboo palm. If you see webbing in the leaves, spray Safer's® Insect Soap on the top and bottom of leaves.
10) Rubber Plant
You might be surprised to learn rubber plants are related to ficus. Both are members of the fig family. Rubber plants do well in bright, indirect light to low light, and they need to be kept moist. Misting will help keep humidity levels up, and the plant prefers to be watered with room-temperature water. Remember that too much water can result in yellow leaves.
- You’ll enjoy attractive, broad foliage offered by the rubber plant.
- As a houseplant or office plant, it’s know for cleaning indoor air.
- Rubber plants are relatively disease free.
- The milky sap of this plant is poisonous to pets and children.
- Rubber plant sap can cause serious skin irritation.
- Rubber plants are sensitive to temperature changes. Try to keep its environment between 55 degrees F and 80 degrees F.
- Rubber plants can grow up to 10 feet tall in a home or office, so be prepared for a big plant.
11) Aloe Vera
Aloe vera plants prefer bright, indirect light. While it prefers moist soil, it seems to do just fine if you forget to water it occasionally. Aloe vera is native to southern Africa, but is now a common household and office plant thanks to its usefulness.
- The gel-like sap from aloe vera helps heal cuts and burns.
- Aloe vera absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen at night, making it nice to have in bedrooms.
- Your aloe vera plant will regularly produce plantlets. These baby plants can be removed to easily start a new plant.
- If you take your aloe plant outside for the summer sun, don’t be surprised if it’s a pest magnet. The juices in this succulent are irresistible to sap-sucking insects. If that happens, douse your aloe vera plant with Safer's® Insect Killing Soap.
The kalanchoe is a beautiful flowering plant that needs to be watered frequently and prefers bright light. You should also allow it to dry between waterings. Sadly, kalanchoe is often considered to be a disposable plant once it is done flowering. However, according to Clemson Cooperative Extension Service, kalanchoes may rebloom the following season. Kalanchoe plants are natives of Madagascar, and you can grow them outside if you live in hardiness zones 8 to 10.
- The kalanchoe plant can help clean the air in your home or office.
- New kalanchoe plants can be quickly grown from cuttings.
- Many people don’t find kalanchoe attractive when it’s not in bloom. You can trick it to rebloom though — subject it to 12 hours of darkness (in a closet, for example) through a period of six weeks. After that, new flowers should form.
13) Money Plant
Also known as jade plant, it prefers bright light and needs to dry out between waterings. Because it is a slow grower, it rarely needs repotting and seems to do well even when root-bound.
- The money plant is one of three plants studied in India for its ability to improve air quality. The other two plants were the mother-in-law’s tongue and the areca palm. The study found that after 15 years, the building with these plants had better air quality than the other buildings in the city, resulting in:
- 52 percent less eye irritation
- 34 percent fewer respiratory problems
- 24 percent fewer headaches
- 12 percent less lung impairment
- 9 percent less asthma
- This plant can be toxic to pets.
- Jade plants are susceptible to oedema, where the plant pulls in water faster than it can be used. This results in lesions and black spots on the jade plant leaves.
- Pests that can infest money plants include aphids, whiteflies, mealybugs and spider mites. Apply Safer's® Insect Soap to destroy these invaders.
14) English Ivy
English ivy (Hedera helix) is an easy-to-grow plant that does not like direct sunlight but does prefer bright light. It needs moist soil and cooler temperatures than most other house plants at about 50°F to 65°F (10°C to 18°C). Ivy likes humidity, so make sure you mist it or place it in a tray of pebbles and water. Regular fertilizing, except during the winter, is important to English ivy.
- It can be toxic to children and pets. This is due to the fact that English ivy generates a chemical called glycoside hederin. This chemical can produce a number of symptoms if ingested, including nausea, diarrhea, fever and difficult breathing.
- English ivy can cause contact dermatitis to those sensitive to it. It’s not uncommon to confuse this rash with rashes caused by poison ivy.
- If your light isn’t bright enough, English ivy will become leggy and sickly in appearance. This also leaves them prone to pest problems.
15) Chinese Evergreen
Chinese evergreen is a popular houseplant not only because of its ease of care but because it comes in so many varieties. Chinese evergreens prefer well-drained soil. Provide them with medium to low indirect light, and with a little extra humidity. The plant also prefers warm temps but can tolerate temperatures as low as 60 degrees as long as you keep it out of drafts. Allow soil to dry between waterings, and fertilize the plant twice a year.
- The Chinese evergreen is one of the top 10 air-purifying plants, according to NASA’s list.
- The plant is easy to care for.
- It may be toxic to dogs, cats and even people.
- Chinese evergreen plants are known to be sensitive to fumes, particularly from oil or gasoline. Exposure results in brown patches on the leaves.
- Intense fertilizer application can cause brown edges.
- Susceptible to mealybug and scale invasion. If you recognize these bugs, apply Safer's® Insect Killing Soap on both sides of its leaves.
16) Heart Leaf Philodendron
Heart Leaf Philodendron is a vigorous vining plant that makes a great indoor plant for the home or office. It prefers moderate to low indirect light. You should keep the soil moist, and occasionally mist the plant for ideal watering.
- It effectively removes VOCs from the air, especially formaldehyde.
- Heart Leaf Philodendron plants may bloom at any time of the year. Its blooms look a lot like peace lily flowers.
- Heart Leaf Philodendron is toxic to pets and children. Pets will exhibit irritation to the mouth, tongue and lips, as well as drooling, vomiting and trouble swallowing.
- Expect vigorous growth, which will demand regular pruning.
- This plant is subject to a wide variety of pests, including thrips, scale, mealybugs, spider mites and aphids. Apply Safer's® Insect Killing Soap on its leaves to help your plant to recover.
17) Areca Palm
If you’re after a tropical look for your home or office, the areca palm is the one. Areca palm looks exotic, elegant and stately. It prefers bright, indirect light and moist, well-drained soil. However, be careful not to overwater. In the spring, you can try using a time-release fertilizer.
- The areca palm is featured on NASA’s list of air-purifying plants.
- It removes benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the air.
- Areca palm adds humidity to indoor air.
- Rarely suffers from problems from pests and diseases.
- Areca palm plants require a large pot and they can grow quite big.
- If not acclimated to office or home lighting, it can weaken rapidly after being removed from a greenhouse setting.
- Can succumb to root rot.
Dieffenbachia, also called dumb cane, is a beautiful plant with leaves that feature an attractive mottled pattern. Dieffenbachia plants need well-drained, moist soil. It does best with low, indirect light, which makes it a great indoor plant for the home and office. Your dieffenbachia can also get as tall as 4 feet or more if you care for it well.
- The dumb cane plant can improve indoor air quality.
- Dieffenbachia is easy to grow when exposed to filtered light.
- It’s toxic to pets and children. Pets will drool excessively and demonstrate oral irritation, including difficulty swallowing.
- Overwatering is a common problem for dieffenbachia plant owners. It needs well-drained soil that is consistently moist but not soggy.
- It can lean toward light sources, so rotate it regularly to keep it straight.
There are many types of peperomia available as houseplants, which allows you to have a variety of visually different plants that all share the same care instructions. In fact, there are over 1,000 different varieties, and they all belong to the pepper plant family. Peperomias prefer low to moderate light and moist, well-drained soil.
- Peperomia offers many unique looks and is easy to grow.
- Peperomia plants work great in small spaces since they never grow more than 18 inches tall.
- It’s nontoxic to pets or children.
- This plant effectively removes formaldehyde from the air.
- Overwatering can easily lead to root rot in pepermoia plants.
- Low temperatures — under 50 degrees F — and cold drafts can damage the leaves of pepermoia.
- Mealybugs and aphids often target pepermoia plants. Treat these pests with Safer's® Insect Killing Soap.
20) Warnack Dracaena
Warnack dracaena adds interest to your interior. It prefers bright, indirect lighting and can thrive in artificial lighting, making it one of the best office plants to grow. Allow it to dry out a bit between waterings. This plant does well even when you forget to water on occasion.
- Warnack dracaena can improve indoor air quality.
- No need for windows! Warnack dracaena thrives well under artificial light.
- Watch out, your warneck dracaena could reach a height of 12 feet. In an office, that’s probably OK. In a home, it may be a little overwhelming.
- Warnack dracaena is toxic to pets, and it presents different symptoms in dogs than in cats. Cats will show dilated pupils, drooling and increased heart rate. Dogs will experience vomiting, depression, loss of appetite and loss of coordination.
- Use purified water or rain water on your warnack dracaena because it’s sensitive to fluoride.
21) Fiddle-Leaf Fig
Fiddle-leaf fig is tall with big, violin-shaped leaves that make it seem more like a piece of art than a plant. It prefers bright, indirect light and should be allowed to dry between waterings. Make sure you keep it out of drafts when you add it to your home or office, and fertilize the plant monthly during the growing season.
- Fiddle-leaf fig trees offer a great, dramatic touch to a room or office space. They grow several feet tall.
- Fiddle-leaf fig trees and their leaves are nontoxic to people.
- Like many plants on this list, the fiddle-leaf fig improves indoor air quality.
- Fiddle-leaf fig trees are toxic to pets that try to eat it. They will show irritation of their mouth, tongue and lips while drooling and vomiting.
- Keep this plant in one place. Moving it can cause stress, which leaves it vulnerable to pests and disease.
22) Gerber Daisy
A Gerber daisy plant adds a pop of color to your home or office. It prefers bright, indirect light but not too much heat. Try to keep the soil moist during warm weather, and water the plant less in cooler weather. You should also give it a high-potassium fertilizer monthly.
- Gerber daisies improve indoor air quality of your home or office.
- They are bright and showy plants. Even a single plant can add a nice touch of color to an office.
- Though it prefers sunlight, indoor lighting can supplement it through winter months.
- Gerber daisies are considered non-toxic.
- It’s difficult to rebloom. To stimulate more blooms, pinch off blooms immediately when wilting is evident.
- It’s considered a disposable plant, but it can survive for a long time. Repot it if the plant gets too crowded.
- Aphids, leafminers, spider mites, thrips and whiteflies can all target Gerber daisies. Treat a Gerber daisy plant with Safer® Brand Insect Killing Soap to combat these pests.
23) Dwarf Azalea
The azaleas grown indoors for homes and offices are not the same as the ones you plant in your landscape outside. Both are rhododendrons, but they are different types. Indoor azaleas are often found in florist shops, and they like cool temperatures and indirect light. Make sure you keep the soil moist. If your plant is blooming, place it in an area where it can get at least 6 hours of indirect sunlight a day
- Dwarf azaleas offer beautiful flowers to look at. These plants are sure to be the centerpiece to your home or office decor.
- These plants clean indoor air and remove formaldehyde.
- Dwarf azaleas can tolerate a wide range of temperatures — from near freezing to 90 degrees F.
- The dwarf azalea is toxic to pets and children.
- It’s difficult to rebloom.
- Can suffer from root rot. If your dwarf azalea’s leaves turn brown while remaining attached, discard the plant. It will not be able to recover from this condition.
24) Umbrella Tree
The umbrella tree, or schefflera, is an excellent house or office plant. It likes bright, indirect light and, while it prefers moist soil, it will still do well if it dries out occasionally. Be careful not to get too generous with the watering can, since this plant does not grow well with excessive water. An umbrella tree can grow up to 6 feet tall, but you can keep it more manageable by pinching off new growths.
- The umbrella tree purifies the air.
- At most, umbrella trees need to be watered a few times a month.
- If you’re looking for a bold, showy plant for your home or office, the umbrella tree fits the bill.
- The tree is prone to spider mitesand scale. To treat these pests, apply Safer's® Insect Soap.
- Umbrella tree leaves are toxic to pets and children. Dogs and cats will exhibit mild vomiting and diarrhea.
25) Wax Begonia
Wax begonia will produce white and pink or red blooms all summer as long as it is well cared for. It needs moist soil and bright, indirect light. You should keep this plant in a pebble tray with water for humidity and also prune off dead flowers.
- You’ll enjoy ongoing flowers all summer thanks to your wax begonia. Remove wilting blooms to encourage more.
- A wax begonia will improve indoor air quality by removing benzene and other chemicals from the environment.
- Indoor varieties only grow to about 18 inches, creating a nice shrub for your home or office decor.
- The plant is toxic to pets. Tubers of this plant are most topic. Ingestion can result in major oral irritation, leading to drooling, vomiting and difficulty swallowing.
- Wax begonias are susceptible to diseases that develop when they dry out. That being said, avoid soggy soil, too.
- Scale, spider mites and whiteflies can be problems for wax begonias that grow indoors. Battle these pests with Safer's® Insect Soap.
Mint is one of the best herbs to grow inside because you can control where it spreads. When mint is outdoors, it tends to take over entire regions of your yard. When it’s in a small planter, it can be contained while still offering all the benefits that mint leaves present.
- Mint plants act as their own natural insecticide and repel bugs.
- Mint is great for adding natural flavor to iced tea and other beverages.
- Once mint buds, its sprigs lose their signature taste. Pinch off flowering buds as they appear to extend the harvesting season.
- Mint requires high-moisture conditions to grow, so watering is mandatory!
The Best Indoor Plants in Your Home or Office
The right houseplant can add so much to your indoor environment, including beauty, healthier air and a bit of Zen decor. So don’t worry if you haven’t grown anything before, many of these plants are very suitable for beginners. Pick one, and as your confidence grows, you can start adding more plants to your home.
Let us know how your indoor plant is growing! You can even ask questions about plant care when you visit Safer® Brand on Facebook. We would love to see pictures too, so snap one and post it!
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