Bringing the outdoors in

Just because the cooler weather has kicked in it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on fresh air and leafy surroundings. With the right indoor plant selections, you can bring the outdoors (and some of the benefits) to your living space.

Indoor plants have been around for awhile but they are becoming fashionable again. Use them to add some interest and give corners, entrances and window sills a lift - they can compliment your interior design. Consider the leaf and flower colour, the shape and size and also the pot or hanging basket to ensure the right match. Using a wave style basket in a country style home works well but if your interiors are more modern a pot with a stone or metallic finish will work best.

Aside from being a great design feature, indoor houseplants have health benefits too. Indoor plants can improve your home’s air quality, reduce stress levels and boost creativity.

Furniture, cleaning products and other home materials release toxins into the air. Research has found that indoor plants can effectively filter out these trace pollutants and improve air quality. Plants will also absorb carbon dioxide and convert it into oxygen through photosynthesis. Increased levels of carbon dioxide can make you feel sleepy so indoor plants can actually assist boost your energy levels and creativity.

Caring for indoor plants is easy. Most will actually die from over-watering rather than under watering. To ensure your plants are getting enough water simply dip a finger into the potting mix to ensure it’s damp. During the cooler months you’ll also need to consider the impacts of your home’s heating. Try to keep plants away from your heater as they don’t enjoy dry heat.

Still not confident in your green thumb? That’s ok - here are our top three low maintenance indoor plants for you to try.

1. Peace lily

Shade and weekly watering are all the peace lily needs to survive and produce blooms.

2. Aloe vera

This easy-to-grow, sun-loving succulent helps clear formaldehyde and benzene, which can be a byproduct of chemical-based cleaners, paints and more. Aloe is a smart choice for a sunny kitchen window or your bathroom. Beyond its air-clearing abilities, the gel inside an aloe plant can help heal cuts and burns.

3. Chinese evergreen

This easy-to-care-for plant thrives in low light and can help filter out a variety of air pollutants. In a low light position you can let the soil almost dry completely between waterings.