Indoor plants not only look good and add ambiance to your home, they can also clean toxic pollutants, such as formaldehyde and benzene etc, from your air.
I've picked a few of my favorites for you to think about. These are all indoor plants, and they grow inside quite well. I've also tried to find the easier to grow ones (because I'm a “stick-it-in-the-ground-and-see-what-happens” type of gardener).
The first is the Peace Lily, aka Spathiphyllum . It's not a genuine lily, so this one is not toxic to cats (real lilies are) although I would not recommend feeding it to the cat, either, just in case.
It's easy to grow, loves indoor, indirect light and has sweet blooms quite a lot of the year. You can get these in the smaller leafed variety as well as the large leafed ones (those are the ones you see in shopping centers, usually). When the leaves start wilting, water the plant.
The rubber plant ( ficus robusta) , is a member of the ficus family. They're quite hardy, love semi-sun to semi-shade, and are the best at removing toxins, according to the scientists who research these things. Truly a great plant.
Also in the ficus family, the weeding fig, ( ficus benjamina ) is useful if you want a “tree” looking plant. These are great for those of us who want the “indoor forest” look – they're hardy enough to live in full or semi-sun, and can tolerate being indoors for a while. If you're going to do that, try to rotate them and let them spend some time outdoors too. Good nursery people will be able to give you the full rundown on caring for all of these lovely plants.
Another indoor plant you'll probably find familiar is the Schefflera, or umbrella tree. ( Brassaia actinophylla ).
Quite a pretty indoor plant, be aware that planting it out into your garden, these can quickly turn into pests. If planting outside, ensuring roots are contained in such a way to make it VERY difficult for them to get underground water or waste pipes … these are a great cause of roots in pipes! However, indoors in pots, they are excellent at removing toxins from the air and very hardy and easy to care for.
The Corn Plant ( Dracaena fragrans “Massangeana”) is often known here in Australia as a “happy plant”. The Dracaena family are all hardy and great for indoors, and excellent for removing toxins such as formaldehyde … which is actually quite common in homes.
If you're going for an indoor Christmas tree this year, the Norfolk Island Pine makes a beautiful one, and can also remove toxins. Do not cover it with that fake snow stuff though, that itself is toxic, and it stops the plant breathing (because it's covered in yuck) and because it's not breathing as well, it can not remove toxins as well.
Flowering plants which remove toxins include tulips, begonias, azaleas, chrysanthemums, some orchids and cyclamen, as well as zygocactus (below right). Although not technically a “flowering” plant, poinsettias also remove toxins and look quite spectular.
Do check with your nursery about what care your plant needs to thrive, and the best place to put it. Generally speaking, flowers need sun … but there are some wonderful indoor plants which can also remove toxins and assist you.
Enjoy your new plants and your lovely fresh air!