9 Houseplants that Improve Air Quality, Don’t Die Easily, & Cat Safe!

Hi all! Not much progress to report on the master bedroom: this past weekend we had a lot of yardwork to catch up on after approx 10 straight days of rain (yikes), and this upcoming weekend we’ll be spending time with my bro and sis-in-law. We’re planning to get right back into the thick of things next week with taking out the former closet – can’t wait!

In the meantime, y’all may recall on the mood board for the living room that I wanted to incorporate lots of live indoor plants. In my experience, green plants add an extra “life” to a room, and given the bright and airy feeling I am aiming for in the living room, not to mention the great natural lighting that particular room already receives, it seemed the perfect room to incorporate plants.

I wanted to especially concentrate on plants that are easy to take care of and are known to improve the air quality in your home, for obvious reasons. On top of that, we hope to add a cat to our family in the near future, so I also have been researching what plants are cat-safe.

So, the plants need to:

  • thrive indoors and be easy to care for
  • improve air quality
  • cat safe

After some time spent on the interwebs, here’s the plants I’ve found that meet all 3 criteria to share:

Spider Plant

via homedit

Being a full and bushy plant with long stems, it is an attractive plant that also requires very little care. Place in indirect sunlight and allow the soil to dry in between waterings. Very easy to care for plant that would be easy for beginners.

Boston Fern

via bloomiq

I love me the Boston Fern! One of my favorite porch plants for hanging or sitting in pots by a doorway. They have such lovely full leaves and give an immediate presence to a room with their size. Keep them in well lit areas but never direct sun (thus why they’re great porch plants). Water them 2-3 times per week or when their soil feels dry during the Summer, and about once a week in the Winter.

Succulents (Jade, Kalanchoe, Echeveria, etc)

via thesucculentsource

Succulents come in a variety of colors of shapes and require very little maintenance; they only require sunlight (though be careful it’s not direct sun or they may dry) and weekly watering in the summer or warmer months – winter you can go every-other week.

African Violet

via yankeemagazine

The African Violet has delicate flowers (especially love the purple) and fuzzy leaves. This is a pretty tough little flower, and will be able to thrive as long as it is not over-watered. Be careful to keep the leaves clean. They do not like direct sunlight (such as a south facing window) so keep them in a room that gets lots of morning or late afternoon sunlight. Water them when the soil feels dry – I water mine about once a week. It’s important to let the soil dry in between waterings. Also, an interesting tip I found is to use lukewarm water on them, not cold.

Lemon Butter Fern

via southernsophisticate

Like most indoor plants, these little ferns prefer indirect sunlight. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. If the air in your home is especially dry, giving it an occasional misting of water will help.

Areca Palm

via flowershopping

A great plant for filling out corners of a room or near a piece of furniture. This palm like most of its kind do not require much maintenance; keep in a well lit sunny area but not direct noon sun and let the soil dry between waterings.

Rubber Plant

via serennatalplants

Keeping the soil moist in the warmer months is key. Giving the leaves an occasional misting or wiping a damp cloth on the leaves also helps it breathe. During winter months watering can be kept to a minimal of only 1-2 times per month. Keep in indirect sunlight such as near a window with sheer curtains or a corner of a room that gets only morning or late afternoon sunlight.

Parlor Fern/Palm (chamaedorea elegans)

via houseplantsexpert

Like most indoor thriving plants, the parlor fern is especially resilient and easy to care for. Requires only early morning and late afternoon lighting and water when the soil is dry (it’s important not to over-water). These ferns can get big but they grow slowly. A great beginner’s plant!


A fun plant with its ability to have twisted stems and that one especially seems to find doing well in bathrooms because of their low-light needs, bamboo only needs occasional watering. One tip is to water using only distilled or fresh water; tap water can contain harmful minerals that will yellow the leaves.

So far there’s a parlor fern sitting in the corner of our living room, rubber plant in our kitchen, and an african violet in our laundry room. I have about 5 boston ferns but am keeping them all out on our porches for the warmer months. I’ll probably be nabbing a spider plant to add to our little collection soon.

Any plants y’all recommend most from this list? Do you have a fave?

We’ll be back again with master bedroom progress next week – till then, have a great weekend, y’all!

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