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Welcome to the first installment of our Houseplants In Your Home, a series dedicated to enhancing your spaces and bringing the outdoors inside, to reap the green benefits. Even the addition of a single plant can make a palpable difference. With emphasis on the wellness aspect of introducing plant life, we begin in the hub of many homes, with kitchen houseplants. Almost 50% of people agree that the kitchen is the most important room of any home. Therefore, it’s only natural to enhance this space with the beauty of nature.

Now, as we separate our selections based on rooms, you may be skeptical as not all kitchens are alike. Rest assured, we’ve thought that through! When we assess the modern kitchen, there are a few points that tend to be consistent. The first is that due to the influence of running water, dishwashers and believe it or not your refrigerators, kitchens tend to have a higher humidity than other rooms. Secondly, due to appliances like stovetops and ovens, temperatures can be slightly above the rest of the home’s average. Major inconsistencies however, are in the natural light your kitchen will see. While we all wish to have big, light-filled cooking/eating spaces, it’s not always the reality. Our plant selections therefore are separated by low-light lovers and high-light thrivers.

ZZ Plant | Kitchen House Plants | Emerson Wild

Low-Light Kitchen Houseplants 

ZZ-Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

The ultimate low-maintenance option. Not only do they require very little light to thrive, if you tend to forget to water your houseplants this is an excellent candidate. Owing to their rhizomes, which help retain moisture, you should only be watering this plant once every 2-3 weeks.

Peace Lily  (Spathiphyllum wallisii)

According to Feng Shui, peace lilies are helpful in soothing and harmonizing a space. Energy boosting and promoting feelings of optimism combined with their air purifying abilities make these a dramatic yet beautiful selection. Dark green shiny leaves really help the bold white flowers pop.

Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Another excellent air purifier, this plant removes toxins like benzene, formaldehyde, toluene, and xylene from the air. Its vining habit additionally makes it an ideal candidate for hanging, thus not taking up any additional counter space in the kitchen. Considered a wonderful choice for beginners for not only being drought-tolerant, but additionally due to their ability to adapt well to various light offerings.

True Aloe (Aloe vera)

Unlike any other selection on this list, Aloe provides a different kind of medical benefit. For thousands of years, this plant has been used to treat various types of burns. Keeping it close at hand in the kitchen allows for quick and easy application if you burn yourself on a sizzling cast iron, or on the freshly baked cookie tray. The sticky, sap-like substance can even be used to soothe sunburns. Opt for a larger plant as aloe is considered to be slow growing. And if this particular succulent doesn’t excite you, read about other low-maintenance succulents that may do the trick.  **An allergy to aloe is possible, if you are allergic to garlic, onions or tulips you may additionally have an allergy to aloe. Aloe vera should not be used in lieu of proper medical attention. If you have a serious burn, please contact emergency services.**

Kitchen Houseplants | Mediterranean Herbs | Emerson Wild

Medium to Bright-Light Kitchen Houseplants

African Violet (Saintpaulia ionantha)

Selected as the National Garden Bureau’s Houseplant of the Year for 2024, African violets have delicate, small flowers, furry leaves and are available in a variety of colours. With proper care, they can bloom year round for that floral boost that is sure to make you smile. Did you know that scientific studies have shown that looking at flowers can have long-term mood boosting effects? These plants do best in indirect bright light and enjoy frequent watering. As humidity lovers, try to place your violets as close to the sink without sacrificing their light. 

Coffee Plant (Coffea arabica)

To answer the first question that comes to mind, yes! This is the same plant that your morning pick-me-up comes from! Not many people know that the coffee plant is also an attractive and lush kitchen houseplant. While you’re not likely to ever be able to harvest your own coffee beans, these vigorous growers will eventually produce beautiful white flowers and can get fairly large. Look for variety ‘Nana’ for a more compact option.

Mediterranean Herbs

If you’re not quite ready to say goodbye to a Mediterranean-inspired gardenscape outdoors, extend indoors with a small selection of edible favourites. Really, there are few simple pleasures more satisfying than having to take a few steps to harvest a fresh ingredient. Consider using a terracotta pot for herbs like rosemary, thyme and oregano as the highly porous material will help dry out the soils between waterings. Furthermore, by including Mediterranean herbs it may help inspire you to keep the Mare Nostrum lifestyle year-round, in other words, a slow and simple living.

A Note on Light

Natural, indirect light is highly sought after but not always possible. If you think the light in your room is inadequate consider utilizing a grow-light system or using grow-bulbs (light bulbs that act as grow lights) to help supplement additional light for your kitchen houseplants.

May your kitchens come alive with the addition of the natural world. Our next installment will focus on plants that boost productivity, houseplants in your office! Join us in two weeks. Until then, if you’re looking for inspirational reading material, check out The Wild Blog, for more on all things garden and lifestyle. Lastly, we’d love to connect, be sure to follow us on Instagram and Pinterest!

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