8 of the Best House Plants for the Kitchen

8 of the Best House Plants for the Kitchen

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Sadie Trombetta
Mar 1, 2017

No matter what color your thumb happens to be, you can probably keep these plants alive in your kitchen. And you should want to give it a shot: Not only do household plants serve as beautiful and sustainable home decor, but they can also help purify your air and increase humidity (a particularly appealing benefit in the dry winter months). Plus, studies find that office plants increase morale and productivity — two things we can all get more of in the kitchen.

Consider bringing one of these plants into your kitchen. They're all pretty easy to care for, which means you can't really mess this up.

1. English Ivy (Hedera Helix)

A lush, green plant that's perfect for hanging over your sink or by a window, English ivy is easy to grow indoors (as long as it gets time in direct sunlight) and adds a beautiful splash of color to any kitchen. Its pointy leaves come in a variety of shades of green with accents of whites, yellows, and blacks, so you can be sure to find a variety to match your kitchen.

Why it's great for the kitchen: The ivy plant can help purify the air, as it's one of the top reducers of indoor air pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene, mold, and bacteria. Just be sure to keep this guy out of reach of cats and dogs and other four-legged friends, because English ivy is toxic to them.

(Image credit: Abbye Churchill)

2. Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis Mille)

Referred to as the "plant of immortality," aloe vera is one of the most difficult plants to kill, even if you keep it in your kitchen. A beautiful and distinctive-looking plant filled with vitamins and minerals that are great for your skin, having a potted aloe vera is like having 24/7 access to a pharmacy.

Why it's great for the kitchen: Keep it next to the stove and it'll come in handy the next time you inevitably burn yourself. Just cut off a lower leaf near the stalk, remove any spines along the edge, split the leaf lengthwise, and score the gel-filled interior. Rub the gel right on the burn and you'll feel almost instant cooling effects.

3. Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra Elatior)

Add an unusual cast iron piece to your kitchen in the form of this hearty, hassle-free houseplant. Bright green and leafy, the cast iron plant can tolerate much more than your average houseplant, including extremely low light, extreme and fluctuating heat, and infrequent watering. No matter how bad you think you are at keeping things alive, you'd be hard-pressed to kill this evergreen.

Why it's great for the kitchen: Its cute and fitting name isn't the only reason to add this plant to your kitchen decor. You never know what climate your kitchen will be (one day, it's sticky and humid from the simmering stovetop; another day, it's dry and hot from the hours of the oven being on). No matter what happens in your kitchen, though, this plant will survive it.

4. White Jasmine (Jasminum Polyanthum)

It's difficult to keep most flowering plants alive indoors, but the white jasmine (sometimes called pink jasmine, depending on the coloring) does well inside, especially in the winter months. Although it requires a little more care than some of the other green plants on this list, the plant's sweet smell and beautiful blossoms make it worth the extra effort. To ensure yours thrives, keep it in a partially lit area of your kitchen and keep its soil moist.

Why it's great for the kitchen: While it may seem counter-intuitive to put a fragrant flower in a room that has enough delicious daily aromas, this plant can actually enhance your kitchen environment with its sweet scents. Delicate and not too overpowering, the houseplant's subtle fragrance will help keep your kitchen smelling fresh and clean, no matter how many dirty dishes are piling up in the sink.

5. Aluminum Plant (Pilea Cadierei)

Have all stainless steel appliances? The aluminum plant's green and metallic silver leaves will be a fitting addition. Keep this in a hanging basket and away from hot or cold drafts (like your heater or air conditioner).

Why it's great for the kitchen: Another plant that is easy to care for, the aluminum plant's main appeal in the kitchen is its coloring. And the fact that it's a hanging plant means you'll save valuable counter space.

6. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)

Also easy to care for, the spider plant is capable of thriving under a variety of conditions, and doesn't require much care at all. Keep this plant anywhere in your kitchen — by the window in the sun, on the countertop underneath overhead cabinets — and watch it grow with the help of occasional waterings and infrequent pruning.

Why it's great for the kitchen: A great natural air purifier, the spider plant helps remove odor, fumes, and pollutants from the environment.

7. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema Crispum 'Deborah')

A hybrid of two other tropical plants, the Chinese evergreen is an adaptable houseplant capable of growing in dry, low-light conditions. Its green leaves are marbled with shades of white, cream, and even silver. And because all the plant's new growth comes from its crown, it never requires pruning.

Why it's great for the kitchen: The Chinese evergreen is another houseplant great for removing toxins from the air, and it practically takes care of itself.

8. African Spear (Sansevieria Cylindrica)

Basically foolproof, African spears are bold and beautiful plants that can survive drought, cold spells, and low-light conditions. Their unique and pointy leaves are sure to stand out among your cabinets.

Why it's great for the kitchen: Between cooking, cleaning, and organizing, you have enough to do in the kitchen. The African spear is technically a succulent and doesn't require much attention.

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