When you’re stuck at home, a bit of greenery doesn’t just add a pretty element to your space—it can also make you feel good. “Plants give us the benefits of proximity to nature,” says Rebecca Bullene, founder of Greenery NYC. “Incorporating them into our daily lives at home and work has been shown to reduce stress and increase productivity.” She also points out that a recent study by the University of Reading and the Royal Horticultural Society showed that they can be good for your skin and breathing because they increase relative humidity in your home. Consider that all the validation you need to pick up yet another succulent or splurge on a big leafy wonder.
Luckily, you don’t need to leave your home to stock up on some pretty pothos and positivity-inducing philodendrons, thanks to brands that will ship them straight to your front door. The only hard part about adding some new foliage to your space is figuring out what kind you should get. But never fear: We asked the experts for their top recommendations. Find your perfect plant partner, and let the good vibes flow.
For Soothing Skin: Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is purifying, in that it removes benzene and formaldehyde from the air, but its properties go far beyond producing clear indoor air. The gel found in its leaves can be used to soothe skin and heal minor skin irritations, according to Joyce Mast, Bloomscape‘s resident plant mom. To use it to its full potential, Erin Marino, director of marketing at The Sill, recommends cutting off a mature bottom leaf, splitting it open, and squeezing out the insides.
For Fighting Dry Air: Kimberly Queen Fern
This handy plant is great in colder months to help combat winter skin. As Mast explains, Boston and Kimberly Queen ferns are natural humidifiers. The leafy green also has purifying properties: It removes formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene from the air.
For Staying Focused: Ponytail Palm
A ponytail palms absorbs carbon dioxide, which can contribute to drowsiness and headaches, and releases oxygen, so Mast recommends it in particular for a home office. Just make sure it gets a good amount of sunshine so it will thrive.
For Keeping Mold at Bay: Rubber Plant
According to Bullene, a rubber plant can reduce mold and bacteria by as much as 50 percent—so consider it your new favorite cleaning tool. It can also tolerate medium light and fare well even if you neglect it a bit.
For Helping You Doze Off: Snake Plant
This insanely low-maintenance plant claims a spot on NASA’s most purifying plant list, and Mast recommends it for bedrooms in particular. It works its magic at night, converting carbon dioxide to oxygen as you sleep.
For Giving You a Sense of Accomplishment: Pothos
The pothos is a popular pick for self-described black thumbs. It can survive less-than-ideal conditions, according to Marino, but with some care it’s incredibly fast growing. Plus, it removes benzene, formaldehyde, toluene, and xylene from the air.