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If you do put plants in your bedroom, you just need to choose the right ones and make sure they get the TLC they need. “All plants need sunlight, good airflow, water, etc., no matter where it lives,” says Lisa Griffin, the greenhouse horticulturist at Filoli, a historic house and gardens in California. “Choosing the right place for your plant should be based on its light requirements,” adds author Sarah Gerrard-Jones, known as The Plant Rescuer on Instagram.
So if you want to breathe new life and color into your sleeping quarters but aren’t sure where to start, here are six plants that experts say will make beautiful additions to your bedroom.
When you need a bit of encouragement to drift off to sleep, take a cue from pink pinstripe, which is also known as calathea. “This plant signals that it’s time for bed as it folds its leaves upward,” says Debbie Neese, a horticulture expert at Lively Root. “It shows off under the pinstriped leaf to reveal a purple underside, which is like having two plants in one.” Calatheas are also an easy plant to take care of, as they love medium light and prefer to be on a pebble tray to encourage humidity as water evaporates, which keeps the leaves from turning brown.
The snake plant is a welcome addition to the bedroom, especially if you have more intense light coming in through your windows. This durable plant holds up well to brighter light conditions and comes in a variety of heights, colors, and leaf shapes, says Griffin. She often adds snake plants near west-facing windows, where they’ll thrive on sunny afternoons, although she refrains from putting them directly in the beam of light, which could harm the plant. Snake plants also reproduce and can be split up into other pots if your plant starts to outgrow your windowsill.
If you’re looking for an appropriate bedside companion, try the wonderfully low-maintenance ZZ plant. Although the acronym comes from its scientific name, Zamioculcas zamiifolia, its nickname makes it a perfect match for your bedroom. ZZ plants are also great for first-time plant owners as they will flourish with little care. “They thrive in about any light you put them in and don’t need a lot of attention, either,” says Neese.
Gerrard-Jones recommends finding the dark cultivar of the ZZ plant. “The new growth is particularly striking due to its lime green appearance, which makes a dramatic contrast to the almost-black mature leaves,” she says. In addition, the darker plant with pops of lime green can be a beautiful accent to a bedroom color palette.
Peace lilies are a popular plant as their name evokes a sense of calm and rest. You can choose several species for your bedroom, such as the domino, which has variegated leaves. Griffin enjoys utilizing them both at her home and office. “Peace lily is my favorite plant for poor growing conditions,” she says. “They come in various sizes and a few different leaf colors.” For open spaces, she tends to use the traditional larger form, and for narrow areas, she says medium and small cultivars are best.
When plant experts weighed in, one plant was mentioned repeatedly: the philodendron, which has more than 450 varieties. The imperial green has wide leaves, creating a lot of surface area. “Its large, deep green leaves are adept at harnessing light, making it a good choice for an area with lower light,” Gerrard-Jones says. Just be sure you give this philodendron ample room as it grows, she says, as it can get big.
Have a ledge or shelf for a trailing plant? The velvet leaf and sweetheart vine philodendrons are lovely to hang in front of a window or place on a dresser. Gerrard-Jones says the velvet leaf can have tendrils up to 6.5 feet long indoors, so make sure you have room. Sweetheart vine, also known as lemon-lime, is tolerant of low to medium light and perfect for beginners. “Its trailing vine is a multi lemon-chartreuse-green leaf version that will spill over your bedside table quite romantically,” adds Neese.
For more of an island flair, the Kentia palm adds a tropical touch to any room. “It will survive in lower light than many of its counterparts,” says Gerrard-Jones. Although it’s a tolerant tropical plant, it still needs a bit of bright light, so place it by the window if possible. These plants grow slowly, but it’s best to make a long-term plan to move them outdoors as they can grow quite tall over time.