December 18, 2018

7 indoor plants your home needs now

Back when I was little Johnny Fong in middle school, I did not dream of becoming a design maven. No, I wanted to be a botanist. It even says so under my picture in the eighth-grade yearbook. 

I was probably interested in botany because of my fascination with indoor plants. My parents filled our home with foliage, and I loved helping take care of all the plants and watching them grow. While I never became a botanist, I still love houseplants. And as an interior decorator, I’m a big advocate for bringing the outdoors in. Indoor plants add a splash of greenery that can act as a backdrop to your furnishings or fill in unused spaces in the corners of a room. 

More important, though, houseplants provide substantial health benefits. They help us with our breathing by releasing oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide. A study by the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that interaction with indoor plants can reduce stress and lower diastolic blood pressure. And a NASA study showed that indoor plants can help clear the air of common household toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene.

You may already have some houseplants in your home or office. My advice: Get more. The rule of thumb is to have one potted plant per 100 square feet. You can start with these to create a living space that’s a breath of fresh air — literally and figuratively.

Fiddle-leaf fig


Snake plant



Madagascar dragon tree

English ivy

Word of warning

Keep in mind that many of these plants are poisonous to humans and pets, so keep them away from anyone or anything that will nibble on them.

Jonathan Fong is the author of “Walls That Wow,” “Flowers That Wow” and “Parties That Wow,” and host of “Style With a Smile” on YouTube. You can see more of his do-it-yourself projects at