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Better-for-you plants

The story of plants is long. They first appeared on earth about 700 million years ago and have since evolved into the weird and wonderful. Take Nepenthes Attenboroughli as an example. It looks like a green kitchen jug, harmless enough until you take a peek inside and discover a concoction of acids and enzymes.  Unlucky mice and rats fall into it, are digested, never to be seen again. And yes, it was named after the far kinder natured David Attenborough.

Lucky for us, most plants are not the carnivorous type and make a nice addition to the office. According to NASA, some even have the ability to purify air and eliminate certain airborne impurities. Sounds good, so here’s our top pick of better-for-you plants.

1. Areca Palm

Like donning on Versace and making an entrance? Then the Areca Palm is for you. They grow big, bold and command attention. Most are purchased as pups and then add an iPhone in height every year until they could give Usain Bolt a run for his money. They love bright airy rooms so make sure you have enough space for them grown up in.

2. Peace Lilly

Keep things posh, pretty and do your bit for a harmonious world with a Peace Lilly. They’re very popular and great if your green fingers are a little forgetful since they rarely need watering. They may be small but are excellent at keeping air fresh. Keep them sparkling with the occasional damp cloth wipe down.

3. Snake Plant

Remember the “If everything in life was as reliable as a Volkswagon” adverts in 80s? Well, if VW made plants, this would be it. Stick one in the corner, water every fortnight and it will purr away as happy as a kitten’s first encounter with catnip. And while it’s not bothering you, NASA has shown it’s one of the best plants to remove some of those not so friendly impurities in the air. 

4. Philodendron

Become a plant whisperer with a Philodendron, they (kind of) talk to you. They love the indoors and will love you more if you place them in bright, indirect sunlight. Place near a window but where the sun never catches its leaves. If they start looking a droopy that’s its way of telling you that it needs a drink.

5. Spider Plant

It may lack the ability to spin a web, but like Peter Parker, the Spider plant is tough. You can grow it in most office spots and rarely suffers problems, apart from the occasional brown tip. They’re great if you’re lacking a green thumb, unlike the Green Goblin then.

6. Red-Edged Dracaena

More tree than houseplant, the Dracaena can grow to ceiling hit with the right love. Its ribbon-like green and red leaves make it a bit of a stunner, and it likes to keep things dry too. Once grown up, it enjoys a draught so water infrequently.

7. Golden Pothos

Not the rich cousin of Porthos, one of the musketeer trio, the Golden Pothos is a fast grower that creates a cascade of green. NASA rate it as one of the best ways to tackle air impurities so a few in the office will keep things fresh. But not so great for pets and children, it’s poisonous so keep somewhere away from little fingers and paws.