As Chicagoland winter rolls in, acquiring a house plant or two can be a great way to keep a daily connection with nature alive, among other aesthetic and health benefits. If you’ve never wanted to put in effort to maintain real house plants in your home, the good news is that you really don’t have to. Let’s look at five household favorites to get you started.
Aloe vera is a crowd favorite for a good reason. It’s aesthetically pleasing, low maintenance, and a great addition to your skin care routine. As with most succulents, aloe doesn’t need much water — every two to three weeks should suffice, and be careful not to overwater it. The plant enjoys plentiful, yet indirect sunlight. As for the skin care benefits, remove a leaf and cut it in half to access the moisturizing and protective power aloe vera provides the human skin.
Perhaps the ultimate house plant for those not looking to add a regular chore, the snake plant may only need to be watered once or twice for an entire winter. It uses a unique type of photosynthesis that absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen overnight, allowing it to thrive in drier environments and purify your air. It doesn’t need full sunlight either, and you may not want to give it maximum sun if you don’t want its hard and pointy leaves getting too tall.
The ZZ, short for zamioculcas zamiifolia, is an excellent interior addition in home areas that may not get as much light, such as the bathroom or kitchen. This plant also rarely needs to be watered and is more likely to die from drowning than drought.
If looking for a more robust visual, perhaps to fill a corner of a room, consider the monstera deliciosa, also known as the swiss cheese plant for the holes in its leaves. It can grow up to three meters tall, so don’t plan on sneaking it under anything. Unlike the last two, it does prefer a hearty amount of indirect sunlight. Watering is an infrequent requirement, as this plant adapts to its surroundings well – in the wild, it is even able to survive solely on tree branches.
Another air-cleaning plant is the peace lily, which comes from South America and actually isn’t a lily at all. These are common in offices due to their versatility in indoor spaces and levels of sunlight, as long as they are still kept at a reasonable temperature (around 70 degrees or higher). You don’t need to water them too often, but the peace lily still makes your job easier with strong communication: its leaves will droop noticeably when it’s in need of a refill. In the meantime, enjoy its beautiful white flowers.