Having a Healthy Home: Nature In Your Living Room

The health benefits of indoor plants

For those craving a little green in their living space, indoor plants help not only to spruce up the décor, but the atmosphere as well. Brian Whitfill, owner of Whitfill Nursery, says that plants help to create more oxygen and clean the air.

“Indoor plants create more air filtration in the house,” Whitfill says. “It’s like bringing all of the benefits of the outdoors inside.”

In fact, a study by NASA (yes—the NASA!) showed that houseplants can remove up to 87 percent of air toxins in 24 hours. Other studies show that indoor plants may also help to boost mood, improve concentration, and reduce stress levels.

Whitfill says that the average lifespan of a houseplant is 90 days, but that home dwellers can extend that lifespan with proper care. He recommends following each plant’s care instructions exactly. As a general rule, most indoor plants require regular water checks and do well if their soil goes dry between waterings. He notes that most indoor plants come with their own special soil—some even benefit from tea bags or coffee grounds. When watering, water them thoroughly, he advises.

“The water quality here in Chandler varies throughout the year,” Whitfill says. “In the winter and spring, it’s usually fine to use tap water, but consider switching to bottled water in the summer as pH balances in the water may change.”

For those new to indoor plants, it’s recommended to do some research first before purchasing. Whitfill notes that many tropical plants do well indoors.

For locals with questions about indoor plants and other gardening topics, the Whitfill Garden Hour Radio Show airs on Saturdays from 7-9 a.m. on KFYI. WhitfillNursery.com

Plants Sidebar:


One of the easiest indoor plants to take care of, pothos plants do well in low light and are a hearty breed. They offer a tropical look to the indoors.


With several varieties available, the dracaena is a vertical plant that does well with low water and filtered indoor light. Caution: this plant is harmful to dogs and cats if eaten.

Palm Species

Plants in the palm family include bamboo palm, kentia palm, fishtail palm, and others. These are larger houseplants that are hearty and slower-growing.

Fiddle-leaf Fig

This eclectic plant features broad leaves, does well indoors, and is easy to grow.

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