The best indoor plants for every room in your home

15 September 2021 | Celia Topping

Forget minimalism. For a stylish look with tonnes of health benefits, it’s all about making your home a luscious urban jungle. Whether they’re hanging, floor-standing, or or simply out on the landing, plants are where it’s at! 

So why are plants so good to have around the home? We know they soak up nasties like carbon dioxide as well as producing oxygen – which is already a pretty cool air quality combo. But plants can also boost happiness, improve productivity, relieve stress and calm your nerves1 – as well as making your home a tranquil, beautiful place to be. 

In this article, we’ll guide you through making the right plant choices for each room in your home. Every room is different, so we’ll help you find out which plants work in shady rooms, warm, sunny rooms and humid rooms. Plus: lots of ideas about where to buy them and how to care for them, whether or not you were born with green fingers.

The best indoor plants for your bedroom

man wiping a snake plant

Creating a peaceful sleeping environment is essential for what should be the most relaxing room in your home. Being surrounded by greenery promotes calmness and peace of mind – the perfect recipe for drifting off into a tranquil slumber. 

Here are 4 of the best plants for your bedroom:

  • Snake plant (pictured): most plants produce oxygen in the daytime, but the snake plant emits oxygen at night, which makes them perfect, air-purifying bedside companions. 

    Care: The most important thing is to not overwater. Snakes like it dry! 

  • Lavender and Valerian: both these plants are known for being relaxing. Their sweet scent is said to improve the quality of your sleep, by sending you into a deeper, calmer state2.

     Care: these pretty plants love the sun, so keep your pot by the window. 

  • Golden pothos (Devil’s Ivy): if you don’t have much space in your bedroom, try hanging 1 or 2 of these beauties from macrame plant holders. They’re great air purifiers and are super easy to look after.

    Care: just a little water each week and keep your plant out of direct sunlight. 

Plants and trees don’t only look great and make you feel good, they also help soak up the nasty air pollutants that are contributing to climate change. Read more about the benefits of planting trees in our blog. 

The best plants for in your kitchen

aloe vera

In most homes, the kitchen is the beating heart of the household. It’s usually a hive of activity where family and friends rush around in the hubbub of everyday life – yet also come together for cooking, meals, chores, socialising and perhaps the odd midnight snack! Here are 3 plants that will be winners in your kitchen:

  • Pleated Bird’s Nest Fern (also called Crispy Wave Fern): this bright green textured plant will brighten any kitchen corner. 

    Care: make sure you keep the soil moist but don’t let it stand in water. Water the soil, not the plant.

  • White Rabbit’s Foot Fern: this fern’s delicate fronds drape prettily over a pot, so it makes a great hanging plant. It’s a quick-growing fern that thrives in humidity, making it the perfect plant for your kitchen. 

    Care: find a sunny spot in a warm room and your White Rabbit will be happy! Watering isn’t essential, but he likes a gentle misting every now and then. 

  • Aloe Vera (pictured):  the healing properties of the gel-filled leaves can cool and calm scrapes and burns. Keep it in your kitchen for a quick first-aid remedy!

    Care: pretty much unkillable, Ms Vera likes sunshine and keeping dry. Do not overwater. 

Herbs are also a great idea for kitchens. Mint, rosemary, basil, oregano, chives, parsley, and thyme are all fab herbs to keep handy for the cooking pot, and grow well on a windowsill. 

The best plants for your bathroom

boston fern hanging

Want to create that rainforest feeling in your bathroom? Then you’ll need plants that love moisture, humidity and generally, fairly low light conditions. 

Luckily, many rainforest plants thrive in such conditions. Here’s a few you can trust to create the botanical bathroom you dream of:

  • Satin Pothos: if your bathroom doesn’t have much natural light, you can be sure this pretty, variegated plant can still flourish. The heart-shaped leaf tendrils can trail for up to 3 metres! 

    Care: very easy to look after. Just keep it warm and don’t overwater.

  • Boston fern (pictured): the classic bathroom bloom and a great air purifier. The Boston is one of the most popular plants in the UK due to its elegant leaves and hardy nature.

     Care: this Bostonian loves a bright spot. You may need to water 2 to 3 times in summer to keep the soil moist, but less is needed in winter. 

  • Lipstick plant: the Lipstick’s small waxy trailing leaves grow quickly, enhancing your bathroom shelves, or hanging from the ceiling. With proper care, it’ll reward you with vivid red blooms every year. 

    Care: leave in indirect, filtered sunlight and water every week in summer.

The best plant for your study or home office

african violet

During lockdown, it was vital to create a productive, pleasant setting for our home offices. Plants proved to be the best way to bring the natural environment inside. 

Research shows that filling our workspaces with foliage improves our creativity and productivity. Here’s our top picks for your workstation:

  • Peace Lily: a feature about plants wouldn’t be complete without the Peace Lily. Graceful white flowers, shiny green leaves, and great air-purifying properties make this one of the nation’s favourites.\ Care: this delicate bloom doesn’t like direct sun. Keep the soil moist, and it’ll bring you peace for many years to come. 

  • African Violet (pictured): if you fancy a bit of colour among your green jungle, this tiny plant blossoms with pretty purple flowers, given enough light. The mini version can be as small as 6 inches across, meaning even the smallest of spaces can enjoy a splash of colour. 

    Care: although the plant needs light to blossom, even a fluorescent light will do. They need a careful balance of warmth, humidity and light, so are not the easiest plant to care for – but it doesn’t stop them being one of the world’s most popular indoor plants4

  • Zamioculus zamifolia: another African favourite is the ZZ plant. This striking plant grows well in low light (and artificial light), and needs little water. So if you neglect it for a while, it’ll forgive you and still be as vibrant and robust as when you bought it.. 

    Care: one for beginner plant people. Just remember to water it now and again. 

And if you’re already starting to return to the office, make sure you go back to work the eco-friendly way and take one of your plants with you! 

Best indoor plants for your living room or lounge

man watering a swiss cheese plant, monstera deliciosa

The room where pretty much anything, and everything goes. You probably relax, work, entertain and even exercise here. Filling it with plants will not only add some colour, but make you feel good too, no matter what you’re doing. 

Here’s a few corkers to make your living space super stylish:

  • Dischidia Oiantha: trailing plants make a lovely addition to living areas, either hung from the ceiling or placed on a high shelf. This beauty is not the most common of indoor plants, so its shimmering leaves could be a conversation starter for your guests too. 

    Care: this one likes bright, indirect light and occasional watering when the soil feels dry. 

  • Swiss cheese plant (Monstera Deliciosa, pictured): this 70s stalwart has made a huge comeback over the last few years. And it’s not surprising. Monsieur Fromage is a fast grower, and makes a superb statement plant for your lounge. 

    Care: place your plant in a warm room with indirect sunlight. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings. 

  • Chinese Evergreen (Key Lime): If space is a little limited, this pretty variegated plant doesn’t grow too large. It’ll fit snugly into those nooks and crannies that are in need of a bit of brightening up. 

    Care: though small, it’s pretty hardy, and can tolerate most conditions. But keep away from scorching sunlight and don’t overwater. 

For the best trees to plant at home, indoor or outdoors, head over to our informative blog. 

Unkillable plants

bunny ear cactus

Go on, admit it. This is the section we all need the most! Hectic lives, multiple distractions and perhaps not the greenest of fingers mean a lot of us accidentally kill more plants than we’d like to admit. 

So here’s our list of the superheroes of the plant world, to help you be a happy, successful plant parent:

  • Bunny Ear Cactus (pictured): the first plants you probably think of as unkillable are cacti. And you’d be right. Cacti are infamously hard to kill, and this is one of our favourites – plus, you may have seen its spiky splendour featured in several Spaghetti Westerns. Bunny is a very low maintenance plant that is the very definition of unkillable. 

    Care: Although Bunny loves bright light in summer, it prefers indirect light in winter. And contrary to popular belief, it does need watering, but only every few weeks. Handle with gloves – this is definitely not a plant for homes with children or pets! 

  • Aspidistra: another retro plant that’s made a comeback, this one once took pride of place in Victorian households. Poor light and air quality and lack of watering doesn’t put this bruiser off. It’s not nicknamed the Cast Iron Plant for nothing!

    Care: it’s difficult to kill, but that doesn’t mean you should try! Go for low-to-moderate watering and low-to-moderate lighting conditions and your Aspidistra will be fine and dandy. 

  • Corn plant (dragon tree): favoured for their hardiness and quick growth, corn plants look palm-like. But they can also grow pretty white flowers in the right conditions. 

    Care: this plant can withstand lack of water and lack of light, but doesn’t like harsh sunlight particularly. Gentle misting will keep it happy. 

If your plant does start to look a bit sickly, there are plenty of apps around to help you diagnose the problem and heal your poorly plant before it’s too late. Hurrah! 

If you have a bit of outside space, don’t forget to check our blog on how to create an eco-friendly garden, for some top tips on what to plant, and more! 

Pet friendly plants

fatsia japonica

For those with 4-legged friends (or young children), you need to be careful about which plants you allow to hang or stand in accessible places. Some plants can be toxic to animals (and toddlers!). Here are some non-toxic options that will brighten up the place:

  • Fatsia japonica (pictured): this tropical-looking plant is native to Japan and Korea. Its handsome good looks and easy care make it one of the UK’s most popular indoor plants. Most importantly, it’s safe around little people and pets.

    Care: keep it away from direct sunlight and the FJ will thrive in most homes. Water when soil feels dry

    Prayer plant: the pink undersides and red veins in this distinctive plant make it stand out from the crowd. It won’t hurt your pet if it takes a nibble, and sweetly folds up at night just like praying hands  – hence the name!

    Care: easy to look after, but enjoys a misting with warm water occasionally. Place in indirect light.

  • Kentia palm: tall, lush, and tropical, the Kentia looks fabulous in any corner of your home. The long fan-like leaves spread elegantly from thin stems that can grow up to 3 metres tall. 

    Care: one of nature’s hard nuts, it’s pretty tough to kill a Kentia, but a little dusting and misting will make its life more pleasant. 

While we’re on the subject of pets. Did you know that your furry friend could be contributing as much to climate change as you are?! Read our blog on carbon pawprints and the environmental impact of pets to find out why, and how you can easily reduce it.

Where’s the best place to buy indoor plants?

Lugging a huge swiss cheese plant home on the bus is no one’s idea of fun. Nor is tramping around multiple local garden centres, failing to find the perfect leafy companion. 

Fortunately, a bunch of plant delivery services have sprouted up over the last year or so, making the whole process simple – and eco-friendly. Check out Bloombox Club, Patch, and Beards and Daisies for a vast array of plants and pots, useful indoor gardening tips, and quick, reliable service to your door. But it’s important to remember to avoid peat-based compost – peat is largely taken from peat bogs, meaning precious ecosystems are being destroyed. Plus, peat bogs work as invaluable carbon sinks, so mining peat contributes to climate change.    

We dig trees: how OVO is helping the natural environment flourish

We know how crucial trees are in the fight against the climate crisis – they’re carbon-munching machines! That’s why we plant 1 for each member, every year you’re with us5

If you upgrade to OVO Beyond, we’ll plant a further 4 (plus lots of other benefits!). Join our green community and you’ll also get:

Sources and references:

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5. Each year, OVO plants 1 tree for every member in partnership with the Woodland Trust. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, so tree-planting helps to slow down climate change.

6. The renewable electricity we sell is backed by renewable certificates (Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates (REGOs)). See here for details on REGO certificates and how these work.

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