Turn Your Kitchen Into a Jungle Oasis with These No-Sweat Indoor Plant Varieties

Turn Your Kitchen Into a Jungle Oasis with These No-Sweat Indoor Plant Varieties
Turn Your Kitchen Into a Jungle Oasis with These No-Sweat Indoor Plant Varieties

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Every room in your house deserves a splash of greenery, from bedroom plants to bathroom plants. Whether you opt for adorable succulent plants, cactus gardens, or indoor trees, you’ll find something to suit your taste. But don’t forget your kitchen! You spend tons of time there, so why not surround yourself with the calming effects of nature with kitchen plants? Plants can purify the air too; a now-famous 1989 NASA study found that houseplants can reduce indoor air pollutants, such as formaldehyde and benzene. Other more recent studies show that plants boost creativity, which is perfect when you’re trying out that new recipe!

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A south-facing window is best for plants that like bright light, but east- and west-facing windows work too, though the light is less intense. But even if your kitchen doesn’t have sunny windows, many plants tolerate low light conditions. And if your kitchen has zero windows, consider mounting LED grow lights under cabinets to provide supplemental light for small potted plants. LEDs don’t emit heat like old-school incandescent or halogen bulbs, so you add light without heating up your workspace. Here are a few of the best kitchen plants to bring the outdoors in—not to mention act as an easy kitchen decor idea.

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Aloe Vera

Aloe vera likes bright light, so you’ll need a window for this one. Let it dry out between waterings, because it does not like to be soggy. Burn yourself? Pinch off an outer leaf and squeeze the gel-like substance onto minor burns. Compounds in the leaves have anti-inflammatory properties that speed healing of skin tissues. (Learn to grow more healing plants here!)

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Herbs

It almost goes without saying that fresh herbs on your counter are a must-have! But some herbs are more suited to lower light levels than others. If you have a sunny window, small pots of basil and rosemary will thrive. But if your kitchen is on the dark side, stick with less fussy herbs such as parsley, mint, and chives—unless you provide supplemental light.

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English Ivy

This hardy plant likes moderate light, but it can adjust to low light. English ivy works in pots, hanging baskets, or trained as a topiary. Let it dry out before watering.

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Peace Lily

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Peace Lily has shiny green leaves and white spoon-shaped flowers. It tolerates low light, but only blooms in bright light. Overall, it’s a carefree plant that you (almost) can’t kill, as long as you keep the soil lightly moist.

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Air Plant

Also called tillandsia, air plant is an epiphyte, which means it grows without soil in bright light. It’s honestly the closest you can come to a no-care plant, so it’s a good choice if you’re a newbie plant parent. It’s usually sold in a hanging pot, glass globe or mounted on a piece of wood. Water your plant by misting occasionally or rinsing once a week, then letting drip dry.

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Cast Iron Plant

Cast iron plant, also called aspidistra, is as tough as they come. It doesn’t mind low light at all, and its long, strappy upright leaves are naturally glossy and attractive. Keep it lightly moist in spring and summer, and let it dry out between watering in fall and winter when it’s not actively growing.

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Pothos

This vining plant with shiny green leaves is a good choice for the kitchen because it works in hanging baskets, which don’t take up valuable counter space. It likes moderate light, but will adjust to low light. Let pothos dry out between waterings.

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Chinese Evergreen

Chinese evergreen, also known as aglaonema, has pretty, long leaves with a silvery tinge. It doesn’t mind low light, but keep its soil moist at all times.

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Arrowhead Plant

Attractive arrowhead-shaped leaves with a silver tinge make this an interesting, easy-care plant to dress up a corner of your counter. Arrowhead plant likes moderate light and lightly moist soil.

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ZZ Plant

ZZ plant (a shortened version of its tongue-twisting name of Zamioculcas zamiifolia) is tough as nails. It has dramatic upright waxy leaves that tolerate the darkest corners. Water only when the top few inches of soil are dry; stick your finger in to check.

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African Spear Plant

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This striking plant, a relative of the more common snake plant, has spiky, upright cylindrical leaves. It tolerates almost any light level. The pot can become top-heavy, so place the pot somewhere it won’t be bumped. Let it dry out between waterings.

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Spider Plant

An old-fashioned favorite that requires little care, spider plant looks best in hanging pots. It prefers bright light, but it will adapt to low light levels. The cute plantlets that form on long, arching stems can be pinched off and planted to make new plants. Keep moist in spring and summer, but let it dry out between waterings in fall and winter.

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Swedish Ivy

Swedish ivy has cascading stems with rounded leaves, making it a pretty choice for tall pots or hanging baskets. It’s not a fussy plant and also comes in variegated types. It prefers moderate light. Keep the soil lightly moist.

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Polka Dot Plant

Need a splash of adorable polka dots to make you smile? A polka dot plant, with its brightly speckled leaves in splotches of pink or red, is a pretty addition to bright window sills. It’s not a long-lived plant and looks best for only about 2 years, but it’s inexpensive to replace.

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Heartleaf Philodendron

The small heart-shaped leaves of this plant have a shiny luster. Heartleaf philodendron needs moderate light, but it will adapt to low light. Pinch it back to keep its shape more compact, or train it up a trellis or repot in a hanging basket as the plant grows. Allow the soil to dry out a little between waterings.

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Arricca Elin Sansone Arricca SanSone has written about health and lifestyle topics for Prevention, Country Living, Woman’s Day, and more.

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