Green Your Space: 17 Calming Indoor Plants for Stress-Free Living

The modern world throws a constant barrage of stressors our way. From traffic jams and deadlines to financial worries and social media overload, our nervous systems are constantly on high alert. This chronic stress can have a significant impact on our physical and mental health, leading to anxiety, depression, and even physical ailments.

Thankfully, there’s a simple and beautiful way to combat stress and bring a touch of serenity into our lives: indoor plants. Biophilia, the innate human love of nature, has been scientifically proven to have a calming and restorative effect on our well-being. Indoor plants not only connect us with the natural world within our homes, but they also act as natural air purifiers, filtering out toxins and increasing oxygen levels, further contributing to a healthier and more relaxing environment.

This blog post introduces you to 17 of the best calming indoor plants, perfect for creating a stress-free living space. With their easy care requirements and beautiful aesthetics, these botanical companions will not only add a touch of life to your home but also promote relaxation and mental well-being. To add an icing to the cake, we’ve included links to alternative realistic fake plants for a stress-free maintenance.

The Top 17 Calming Indoor Plants

1. Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)

This architectural wonder, also known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, is a popular choice for beginners thanks to its resilience. Its upright, sword-shaped leaves boast a vibrant green color with striking vertical stripes or bands of yellow or white. They add a touch of modern elegance to any room, and their air-purifying properties help remove common toxins like benzene and formaldehyde. Snake plants thrive in low light conditions and require infrequent watering, making them perfect for those with busy schedules.

2. ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia)

Nicknamed the “Eternity Plant” for its durability, the ZZ Plant is another low-maintenance champion. With its glossy, deep green leaves emerging from upright, cane-like stems, it creates a sense of lushness and vibrancy. The ZZ Plant tolerates a wide range of light conditions, from bright, indirect light to low-light corners. While underwatering is preferable to overwatering, this forgiving plant will bounce back even after periods of neglect.

3. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum Wallisii)

True to its name, the Peace Lily is renowned for its calming presence. Its elegant white flowers, which resemble miniature calla lilies, and lush, dark green foliage create a sense of peace and tranquility. Not only does the Peace Lily act as a natural air purifier, but it also helps to increase humidity levels, making it ideal for dry environments. This plant thrives in medium to low indirect light and prefers consistently moist soil (but not soggy).

4. English Ivy (Hedera Helix)

With its cascading vines and lush, green leaves, English Ivy adds a touch of whimsy and elegance to any space. Its trailing nature makes it perfect for hanging baskets or placing on shelves, where it can drape gracefully. English Ivy is a powerful air purifier, known for its ability to remove airborne allergens and mold spores. This versatile plant can tolerate a wide range of light conditions, from bright, indirect light to medium shade. However, it requires regular watering to keep the soil consistently moist.

5. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)

The Spider Plant is a cheerful and easy-to-care-for choice. Its arching green leaves with white stripes produce adorable spiderettes (baby spider plants) that cascade from the mother plant. Spider Plants are not only known for their air-purifying properties, but they also help to increase humidity levels. These adaptable plants thrive in bright, indirect light but can tolerate lower light conditions as well. They prefer moist soil but can recover from occasional underwatering or overwatering.

6. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)

If you’re looking for a plant that brings a touch of the rainforest indoors, look no further than the Boston Fern. Its lush, feathery fronds create a cascading waterfall effect, adding a sense of volume and texture to any space. This elegant fern is known for its exceptional air-purifying capabilities and its ability to increase humidity levels. Boston Ferns prefer bright, indirect light and consistently moist soil. Since they thrive in humid environments, misting the leaves regularly is recommended, especially during dry winter months.

7. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Lavender is more than just a fragrant herb; it’s a powerful stress reliever. The beautiful purple flowers and silvery-green foliage not only add a touch of color and texture but also fill the air with a calming and soothing aroma. Studies have shown that inhaling lavender oil (derived from the flowers) can reduce anxiety and promote better sleep. While Lavender prefers bright, sunny locations, it requires well-draining soil and infrequent watering. Overwatering can lead to root rot. To enjoy the full fragrance experience, brush lightly against the leaves to release the essential oils.

Pro Tip: While these plants are generally non-toxic to humans, it’s important to exercise caution if you have pets or small children. Ingesting certain plant parts can cause mild stomach upset. Always research the specific plant before bringing it into a pet- or child-friendly home.

8. Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis Miller)

This succulent not only boasts a range of medicinal properties but also exudes a peaceful presence. The upright, fleshy leaves with jagged edges add a touch of sculptural interest to any space. Beyond its calming aesthetic, Aloe Vera is known for its air-purifying abilities, removing common toxins like formaldehyde and benzene. This low-maintenance plant thrives in bright, indirect light and requires infrequent watering, making it perfect for forgetful plant parents.

9. Chamomile (Chamaemelum Nobile)

The calming properties of Chamomile extend beyond its use in soothing teas. This low-growing herb features delicate, white daisy-like flowers with feathery green leaves. While not as readily available as other houseplants, Chamomile offers a unique charm and the potential to enjoy home-grown tea for ultimate relaxation. Chamomile prefers bright, indirect light and consistently moist soil.

10. Bromeliad (Family Bromeliaceae)

Bromeliads, with their vibrant colors and unique architectural forms, add a touch of the tropics to your home. These air plants, available in a wide variety of species, don’t require traditional potting soil. Instead, they thrive mounted on driftwood or placed in a container with loose, well-draining medium. Most Bromeliads prefer bright, indirect light and high humidity. Regular misting is recommended, especially during dry winter months.

11. Valerian (Valeriana Officinalis)

Valerian, known for its calming and sleep-promoting properties, is a lesser-known but rewarding houseplant choice. This flowering herb features clusters of small, pink or white flowers and feathery green leaves. While the flowers may not be the most visually stunning, the potential for improved sleep makes Valerian a valuable addition to a bedroom oasis. It thrives in bright, indirect light and prefers consistently moist soil.

12. Jade Plant (Crassula Ovata)

The Jade Plant, also known as the Money Plant, is a popular choice for its symbolic association with prosperity and good luck. However, its calming presence and easy care requirements make it a valuable addition to any stress-free space. The plump, oval-shaped leaves boast a vibrant green color and add a touch of succulent charm. Jade Plants thrive in bright, direct light and require infrequent watering, making them perfect for sunny windowsills.

13. Philodendron (Philodendron Bipinnatifidum)

Philodendrons, with their trailing vines and lush foliage, are popular choices for creating a cascading jungle effect. These versatile plants come in a wide variety of sizes and leaf shapes, offering options to suit any space. Philodendrons are known for their air-purifying properties and their ability to adapt to a range of light conditions, from bright, indirect light to moderate shade. They prefer consistently moist soil but can tolerate occasional drying out.

14. Air Plants (Tillandsia spp.)

For a truly unique and low-maintenance option, consider Air Plants. These fascinating plants don’t require traditional potting soil; they absorb moisture and nutrients from the air through tiny scales on their leaves. Air Plants come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, offering endless possibilities for creative displays. They thrive in bright, indirect light and require regular misting, especially in dry environments.

15. Baby’s Tears (Soleirolia Soleirolii)

This charming little plant, also known as String of Pearls, creates a mesmerizing tapestry of tiny, round, light green leaves. It spills beautifully over the edges of pots or containers, adding a touch of whimsical texture to any space. Baby’s Tears thrives in bright, indirect light and prefers consistently moist soil, but be careful not to overwater. This low-growing plant is ideal for terrariums or hanging baskets, adding a touch of delicate greenery to your stress-free haven.

16. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema spp.)

Chinese Evergreens are known for their beautiful, variegated foliage and air-purifying properties. Available in a wide range of varieties, they boast captivating leaf patterns in shades of green, cream, and silver. These low-maintenance plants tolerate a wide range of light conditions, from bright, indirect light to moderate shade. They prefer consistently moist soil but can bounce back from occasional underwatering. Chinese Evergreens add a touch of vibrant elegance to any space, promoting a sense of calm and well-being.

17. Kentia Palm (Howea Forsteriana)

For a touch of tropical luxury, consider the Kentia Palm. This elegant palm tree features feathery fronds that gracefully arch outwards, adding a touch of vertical interest to any space. Kentia Palms are known for their air-purifying properties and their ability to thrive in low-light conditions. They prefer consistently moist soil but can tolerate drying out between waterings. This low-maintenance palm adds a touch of sophistication and serenity to your stress-free environment.

Creating a Zen Indoor Oasis: Tips for Maximum Impact

Now that you’ve discovered some of the best calming indoor plants, let’s explore some tips to maximize their stress-reducing impact in your living space:

  • Strategic Placement: Consider the light conditions in your home and choose plants that will thrive in each location. For instance, place low-light tolerant plants like Snake Plants or ZZ Plants in dimly lit corners, while light-loving varieties like Spider Plants or English Ivy can grace sunny windows.
  • Grouping for Harmony: Create a visually pleasing arrangement by grouping plants of various heights and textures. Taller plants like Boston Ferns can act as focal points, while trailing varieties like English Ivy can add a sense of flow and movement.
  • Pottery Power: The right pot can elevate your plant and enhance the overall aesthetic of your space. Choose pots that complement your décor and create a cohesive look. Consider using natural materials like terracotta or ceramic for a calming effect.
  • Light Up Your Life: While natural light is ideal, strategically placed lamps can supplement a plant’s light requirements, especially during winter months.
  • Rotate for Balanced Growth: Most plants have a preferred side for receiving light. To encourage even growth, rotate your plants every few weeks.

Beyond the Greenery: Enhancing Your Indoor Sanctuary

While plants are a powerful tool for creating a stress-free environment, consider incorporating other elements to elevate your indoor sanctuary:

  • Aromatherapy: Add essential oils like lavender, chamomile, or sandalwood to a diffuser to create a calming and relaxing atmosphere.
  • Calming Colors: Opt for paint colors that promote relaxation, such as soft blues, greens, and lavenders.
  • Declutter and Organize: A cluttered space can be visually overwhelming and contribute to stress. Regularly declutter and organize your belongings to create a sense of calm and order.
  • Natural Sounds: The sounds of nature, such as babbling brooks or gentle rain, can be incredibly calming. Play nature sounds through a speaker or use a white noise machine to create a peaceful ambiance.

Wrapping Up

Incorporate any of these calming indoor plants and mindful design elements to transform your living space into a personal oasis of tranquility. Caring for your plants not only provides a sense of accomplishment but also strengthens your connection with nature, promoting a sense of well-being. So, take a deep breath, embrace the beauty of the natural world, and start cultivating your own stress-free sanctuary today!

Let us know in the comments below what your favorite calming indoor plants are, and share any tips you have for creating a serene atmosphere in your home!