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I love plants. I have many houseplants and recently discovered that having houseplants in my bedroom could improve my sleep.
As I haven’t been sleeping very well lately, I figured it was worth a try. I did more research and compiled a list of plants that may help a person sleep.
Even if they don’t help with sleep, they can help clean the air. NASA did a study and found that houseplants can remove VOCs (volatile organic compounds), such as formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene, from the air.
Between my love of plants, the NASA study, and the possibility of having a better night sleep, it was easy to decide to put a few plants in my room.
I wish I could have purchased all the plants on my list, but I had to make due with only a few. I had some of the ones on the list but did purchase a couple.
Part of the problem is that many of the stores around here don’t have much for plants in March. It’s just too cold out. The garden centers do have houseplants year-round, but they charge a lot more than the big box stores.
I’ll make due with what I have, but also keep an eye out for some of the others on the list.
Another way to get some of these plants is to ask around and see if anyone you know has some that need to be split or thinned. Some of these can be propagated easily if you know someone with one.
Snake plants are relatively easy to care for. They can tolerate many lighting conditions, though they do best in bright, indirect light.
Snake plants produce oxygen at night and also remove several toxins from the air including benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.
This plant is considered toxic to dogs and cats.
English Ivy is another easy to grow plant and can grow in moderate light. This one also cleans benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the air.
English Ivy is a vining plant, so it would look great as a hanging basket.
It is also considered toxic to dogs and cats.
Aloe Vera is another easy to grow plant. They seem to tolerate most light conditions, though not low light conditions. They don’t like soggy soil, though they also don’t like getting too dry.
Aloe is considered a succulent and many succulents will produce oxygen at night. This, along with their ability to remove benzene and formaldehyde from the air, make it a good plant for the bedroom.
It is considered toxic to cats and dogs.
Spider plants are also very easy to grow. They can tolerate many light conditions, though they don’t like direct sunlight. If they are in too dark of an area they won’t produce pups, but otherwise they will do fine.
This plant removes formaldehyde from the air and is considered non-toxic to cats and dogs.
I do recommend keeping it away from cats even though it isn’t toxic. It produces a chemical similar to catnip. Allie loves it so much that she killed my first spider plant.
I left the plant within her reach and by the next morning she had mowed down the whole plant. She was fine. The plant was not.
Jasmine was also not in the NASA study, but its scent can have a calming effect.
It needs direct sunlight to grow during the summer. It can have a little less light in the winter, but still likes a lot of light.
It is considered non-toxic for cats and dogs.
Lavender also wasn’t in the NASA study, but it has been known to help with sleep. This is mostly from the scent of lavender. It can be calming, which can help a person sleep.
Lavender does better as an outdoor plant, so may be difficult to grow indoors. The smaller varieties, like French Lavender, would be easier to grow indoors.
I would not recommend starting with growing lavender if you are new to houseplants. It is also considered toxic to cats and dogs.
Succulents aren’t just one plant, but a category of plant. Aloe Vera is a succulent that is on this list already. Other examples of succulents are Jade, Christmas cactus, and sedum.
Succulents weren’t specifically studied in the NASA study, so I can’t say what they clean from the air. But many succulents will emit oxygen at night.
Pothos also seems to be an easy plant to grow. I have mine in the bathroom and it seems to be doing fine in such a low light environment. Though it can tolerate such low light, it does prefer bright, indirect light.
Pothos can clean benzene and formaldehyde from the air. It is also considered toxic to cats and dogs.
This is another easy to grow plant. They like indirect light and high humidity. Misting their leaves helps keep them humid enough.
They are also good at cleaning the air. They can remove benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from the air.
Peace Lilies are considered toxic to cats and dogs.
Bamboo palms like indirect or filtered sunlight. Not enough light can cause the fronds to start dying back. It also likes to be kept moist, but not soggy.
Bamboo palms can remove benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from the air. It is also considered non-toxic to cats and dogs.
I tried to list whether each plant is toxic or not toxic for cats and dogs. I did not list whether they are toxic for children. Some of these plants are while others are not.
I recommend keeping all plants out of the reach of young children, whether toxic or not.
It is possible to have plants considered toxic to cats and dogs in your house with cats and dogs. You just need to know your pets and adjust accordingly.
I currently have several plants that are toxic to cats and dogs, but I know my pets. Allie refuses to jump on anything higher than about 2 to 3 feet, so all I have to do is keep the toxic to cat plants 4 feet or higher and she leaves them alone.
Luna leaves all my plants alone if they are in a pot. If a leaf falls on the floor, she’ll eat it if she sees it. As long as I keep my plants healthy, and trim off any dead or dying leaves, I’m fine.
Morgan leaves all my plants alone. But she loves to eat quack grass. Not exactly sure why…
I used to have another cat that would do everything he could to get to my plants. He would eat anyone he could get to. I had to limit my toxic plants to those I could hang from the ceiling away from anything he could climb or jump from.
As you can see, each pet is different and only you will know what your pets will handle. If you are unsure, please research the plant before bringing it home.