Love the idea of gardening, but lacking a green thumb? An indoor plant is the perfect stepping stone on your road to becoming a master gardener. Keeping it alive, however, requires research in addition to water and sunlight.

From the layout of your home to the pets and kids that live inside it, there is a number of factors to consider when choosing a houseplant. By doing your due diligence before bringing your leafy new friend home, you can avoid morphing into a dreaded plant killer and instead take in its beauty and benefits for months to come.

  • Go for a laid-back variety – Like any living thing, a plant can be finicky about its living conditions. Give it too much sun, and a once perky plant can shrivel up. Give it to little attention, and it will wilt away.

While flowering plants like orchids and azaleas add beauty to a home, it’s best to go with a hearty variety that can handle low light and requires little watering. For instance, a Christmas cactus thrives in darker rooms while pothos does well even under the fluorescent lights of an office. It’s important to read the care recommendations on any plant you buy to see if they can be followed with your busy schedule. Good Housekeeping also suggests setting plants in gravel-filled saucers so they don’t drown in extra water or suffer from salt build-up.

  • Choose a plant that goes to work for you – One of the best things you can do for your home, especially in the winter months when fresh air is limited or if you live in a poorly-vented space, is to choose houseplants that purify the air, but require little care from you. English Ivy, bamboo palms, fichus, and peace lilies can all remove toxic pollutants like formaldehyde, mold and ammonia from your environment. Best of all, they’re harder to kill so you can sit back and relax when breathing in fresher, cleaner air.
  • Avoid a toxic relationship – Certain plants when touched can irritate the skin, and if swallowed, can be poisonous. But their bold leaves and eye-catching colors can be hard for pets and kids to resist. If you have plants like philodendrons, dumb cane and daffodils inside, make sure they’re out of reach. Be especially wary about ivy-style plants that grow downwards to kid-level even when they’re on a high shelf.
  • Skip the drama and go for fake – If you’re more plant slayer than plant savior, save yourself money and time by outfitting your home with high-quality silk flowers. To care for them, just use a dry paintbrush or microfiber cloth to lift dirt away. For a smaller plant, slip it in a paper bag, toss in some salt, and shake free the dust. Be sure not to use cleaning products on silk plants as the chemicals can cause the color to run.

As a green residential cleaning company, Annointed Hands believes in the power of plants for a cleaner, fresher home. That’s why we use cleaning solutions with plant extracts derived from nature instead of the lab. With the right houseplants and the right cleaning service, you can breathe easier inside and so can your family. To get a quote on our residential cleaning services, contact us today.