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Indoor Houseplants and Health: Improving the Air Quality of Your NYC Apartment

By Tiffany Smolick


January 30, 2023

Spring- when nature comes to life with color and foliage. It leaves us inspired to bring some of that green indoors to spruce up our NYC apartments.

In any big city where the air quality isn’t at its best, adding plants to your home will not only liven up your space it will increase the quality of the air you breathe. Indoor houseplants are quickly becoming the new must-haves in NYC kitchen design and are being carefully curated to reflect the personality of the homeowner.

In this blog post, you’ll find a few important tips for bringing plants indoors; plus, 5 plant types that are apartment-friendly.

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Tip # 1: Houseplants For Health

It adds to the design of your kitchen, dining room, or bathroom when you add plants. They are not only beautiful; they contribute to your family’s overall health.

Indoor air pollution is becoming more of an issue with poorly ventilated spaces in older buildings, mold, and even synthetic building materials. Many of us learned in grade school how plants give off oxygen and absorb carbon monoxide. But, did you know that some of the hardier indoor houseplants thrive on consuming toxins, chemicals, and gasses inside our homes? It’s true. These plants break down these pathogens into harmless byproducts and store them in their soils and leaves. This allows us the breath cleaner, purer air in our homes.

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Tip # 2: Choose a Houseplant that fits your Lifestyle

In order to become a responsible plant owner, you need to be clear about what your space offers. The most important questions you need to ask yourself are

  • Do you have ample amounts of natural light or little to no light?
  • Are you looking for low maintenance or do you enjoy the ritual of tending to your greenery while enjoying your morning coffee?
  • Do you need pet-friendly plants?

Once you narrow down these answers, it’s time to start looking for your new houseplant. Before you go running out to buy a million indoor houseplants, below is a list of apartment-friendly plants you can purchase.

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5 Indoor Houseplants that are Apartment Friendly:

Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)

A very tolerant house plant, perfect for the first-time plant owner. This means they are hard to kill. They can thrive in environments with low light and they help purify the air by removing toxins like formaldehyde and benzene. See it on Amazon

Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum)

A leafy green plant that is perfect for high places like hanging baskets or as a climbing plant. They also purify the air of formaldehyde found in household items like carpets and area rugs. They do better with more light but can survive in low light, however, this will reduce the leaves’’ variegation. See it on Wayfair

Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea Seifrizii)

This lovely plant enjoys part sun and part shade which makes it the perfect NYC apartment plant, water it when the soil gets dry with room temperature water, and clean the leaves once in a while with soapy water. See it on Amazon

Dragon Tree (Dracaena Marginata)

Let me start by saying this plant/tree is toxic to both cats and dogs, so if you are a pet owner this might not be a good option for you. For the rest of you, this plant is on NASA’s air filtering plan list. It reduces benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene from the air. It is one of the easiest indoor houseplants to grow but can get pretty big so make sure you have enough room because it can get up to 6’ tall. See it on Etsy

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum ‘Vittatum’)

Another easy-to-care-for houseplant they are tolerant to a wide range of conditions. Great for hanging, they prefer bright light but will do fine in lower light conditions. Water them when they are mostly dry and make sure to let the water drain all the way through the pot. They are a propagating plant so you will see babies growing off all the time, make sure to remove them from time to time or they will drain the life from the mama plant. See it on Amazon

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We hope these tips were inspiring for spicing up your NYC kitchen, bathroom, or dining room. No design is truly finished without the health benefits of plants in your apartment. So, If you live in a beautiful loft with floor-to-ceiling windows or a basement apartment with fluorescent lights there is a houseplant out there for you. Your local nursery or websites like My City Plants can help you find the perfect match.

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