Sustainability and Eco-Friendly Houseplants

Becoming Eco-friendly these days is a norm and for a good reason. We choose our foods, packaging, health, and Mother Earth.

So, why not make the same choices when choosing your plants? Still, how do we select our houseplants to impact us and this beautiful world we live in positively?

Please keep reading about how we can become more sustainable with Eco-Friendly houseplants for the living space.

What Environmental Impact Do Plants Have

outdoor plants and the environment

We need plants to survive, but we need them for long-term health and environmental systems’ sustainability. So one crucial thing about plants is that it improves our environment in different ways.

Take trees, for example; they provide clean oxygen to breathe as they absorb carbon dioxide. Plants also provide nutrients to animals, and they regulate the water cycle. Still, they do so much more:

Plants Provide us with Clean Air to Breathe

The oxygen we breathe we receive from plants as they use sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water to convert energy for other living things.

Earth’s biggest threat is high carbon emissions in the atmosphere. These result from fossil fuels created by manufacturing and vehicles. But plants reduce the carbon footprint through photosynthesis to store and use.

Hence, they are natural air purifiers, and the leafier your plants absorb more carbon dioxide to release oxygen.

Plants Help Regulate Our Water Resources

plants and the environment

The water cycle keeps the water moving below and above the surface of the Earth. The plants help regulate the runoff of stormwater.

The plants absorb the water after it rains, saving cities a lot of money to maintain pumping out the excess runoff. Hence, planting green infrastructures across the city helps leverage the soil while vegetation infiltrates and redistributes the water for the environment.

In turn, the vegetation returns that water to the atmosphere using the soil. The water vapor returns to the atmosphere to stock up Earth’s water supply through rainfall.

Cultivates Biodiversity

A crucial step to sustaining biodiversity is to create a safe place for animals to live. But unfortunately, urban sprawl impacts the ecosystem and, in turn, disturbs the animal population.

The best way to cultivate biodiversity is not to disturb animals’ habitats.

When you create green spaces around a city or town, you provide a natural habitat for animals to live in as it provides them with food production.

It provides us with a Source of Energy and Food

vegetable plants

Plants play an essential role for us to provide us with food. Plants provide us with the minerals, nutrients, fiber, and vitamins our body needs to survive.

We need plants to feed our farm animals to utilize dairy and meat. Furthermore, they help save on our heating and cooling costs.

For instance, planting vegetation on the west side of a building reduces the demand on the electrical grid.

Helps Fight Climate Change Resulting From Carbon Emissions

A big challenge we all face is climate change. When you burn fossil fuel, it releases high amounts of carbon dioxide into the air we breathe. Thus it adds to the air pollutants we breathe.

But when you have terrestrial and oceanic plants, they store carbon dioxide to decrease polluted gasses in the environment.

Growing trees will help reduce pollution and the effects of global warming. Here at Plantly, we believe in sustainability to help you and Mother Earth.

Benefits of Choosing Eco-Friendly Houseplants

eco-friendly indoor houseplants

Now that you have seen how important plants are for the environment, let’s look at some essential benefits houseplants can have in your life:

  • Having indoor plants can help reduce your stress levels. A National Library of Medicine study shows that plants in an office or home can make people feel comfortable and soothed.

  • With real plants in the workspace or at home, it helps to sharpen your mind as it allows you to concentrate better.

  • Working with your houseplants is therapeutic and increases your well-being to prevent anxiety and depression.

  • Looking at flowering plants can help plant parents recover faster from an illness when working with greenery.

  • Lastly, working with plants can boost your productivity and outlook on your work.

  • Most importantly, having plants indoors can improve the air quality, leaving you with fresh air to breathe.

Sustainable Methods for Indoor Plants

While having house plants, the industry in our natural world has a lot of negative benefits for the environment.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society, there are many nurseries in the trade with heated greenhouses that causes environmental impacts. This is because they grow most plants at the correct temperature to get them out quickly in the production chain.

Thus they emit a lot of heat that takes the burning of more fossil fuels and releases greenhouse gases. Then you have the peat moss found in compost, air miles to transport them, and the plastic pots.

So, how can you play your part in your houseplant hobby to help with fewer carbon emissions when building your houseplant collection? Here are a few tips to get started:

Opt for an Organic Potting Mix

organic potting mix

The first thing is to invest in sustainable brands when repotting your houseplants.

Think of buying an earthy substance with not too much excess packaging and peat-free. In the Eco-system, peat bogs are vital in homing plants and animals.

On the other hand, peat grows slowly, and harvesting peat is unsustainable as it does not lessen the carbon footprint. Organic potting mix out for your houseplants here.

Or invest in compostable coconut fibers, a natural fiber taken from the coconut husk. The coconut coir is durable and rot-resistant to use with different plant applications.

Furthermore, it also helps retain moisture for longer compared.

Water Conservation and Proper Irrigation Practices

Where possible, collect rainwater for most houseplants as they will thank you. You can leave the rainwater to stand inside, reaching room temperature before you use it. Think of it this way your plants will thank you! Even using the correct irrigation practices in your garden will help save desperately needed water.

Opt for Organic Fertilizer


When you are a plant nurse caring for your plants, giving them extra nutrients is essential to caring for house plants.

So, instead of giving your plant synthetic fertilizers, invest in decomposed plant matter or vermicompost.

Using worm castings helps with fresh soil compaction and adds nutrients to the soil. Look for organic fertilizers packaged in recyclable packaging.

Reuse Plastic Pots

Plant lovers usually have a lot of plastic nursery pots lying around when transplanting their plant babies into bigger plastic pots.

So, why not clean those plastic plant pots to reuse when planting seeds or propagating your plants? You can even invest in buying biodegradable pots for your seed germination to plant directly into pots or the garden.

Still, if you have loads of plastic pots you want to get rid of, it helps to take them to the local recycling centers to reuse in other products.

Another great alternative is your old tea kettles change into containers to grow your plants.

Other Sustainable Ways When Investing in New Plants

supporting local businesses in buying eco-friendly houseplants

While the above tips are great for becoming more aware of saving the environment at home by reusing black plastic pots, using organic composts, and saving water. You can buy at least one houseplant by doing the following:

Support Small Businesses with Sustainable Practices to Save Plant Miles

Okay, when adding these tips, we have gone back and forth as there is much to say about the economies of scale.

The large greenhouse operations have more money to invest in their sustainable methods. Some of them do make that extra effort when growing sustainable houseplants. But at Plantly, we still believe in supporting our small business.

We support a small garden center as it can make a difference and you can communicate with them easier. When you shop locally or order your plants with us online, we always consider the packaging and the time of year based on how cold it is.

Support Local Growers to Prevent Commercial Extraction

local produce by local farmers

Yes, you can start buying your houseplant hobby from big box stores as they are easy to pop into when shopping.

Still, you are sacrificing sustainability and quality for convenience by buying a plant on sale. When you shop locally at your family-owned garden center, you help the smaller business stay afloat, and it cuts down on the plant miles for that plant to travel.

Reservation of Native and Indigenous Plants

This goes hand-in-hand with illegal plant traders. Where possible, reserve your plants found natively that are not indigenous, becoming extinct made possible by illegal plant traders. Illegal traders remove many plants from the environment playing a huge part in keeping this world alive.

Start Composting


Start using natural ingredients around the home, like eggshells, coffee grounds, and Epsom salts for your houseplants.

You can start a composting heap at home for all the organic matter found in the garden to your kitchen scraps.

Or invest in vermicompost, starting a worm farm at home. Check out our exciting article to begin your vermicompost here.

Another alternative is if you have a fish tank to use the fish emulsion available to feed your houseplants.

Waste Management

Waste management goes hand-in-hand with composting as you can do careful pruning to place the non-diseased leaves in a compost heap with other garden clippings and kitchen scraps.

Thus, you prevent all the garbage from ending up in landfills. Instead, you can send all your recyclable packing, boxes, to plastic plant pots to the nearby recycling depo.

The newspapers collected are great bedding when you start with a worm farm for worm castings.

Plant Swaps

plant swapping

A great way to gift other plant lovers is by propagating your houseplants. Thus you are not adding to the carbon footprint. Some houseplants you can propagate easily. Or you can do a plant swap with other plant lovers if you and they have more than one cultivar.

You can join a plant-swapping community.

Air-Purifying Houseplants

Great, now that we covered the importance of investing in sustainable houseplants, we have a list of some plants you can buy at your garden center or here with us at Plantly.

Snake Plant

snake plant

Get a good night’s sleep with the Dracaena trifasciata, better known as the Mother-in-Law’s Tongue. The succulent will help you breathe easier while sleeping.

It is exceptional at filtering the air from benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene. The succulent has yellow-tipped foliage.

It is important not to overwater your succulent and provide it with well-drained soil and enough drainage holes.

Peace Lilies

potted peace lily plant

The Peace Lily is a long-time favorite of houseplant parents. It is effective at cleaning the air and filtering out harmful compounds. If you plan on adding the Peace Lily to your collection, an important thing to remember is that it is poisonous to animals.

Spider Plant

spider plant in water

Chlorophytum comosum goes by different common names and is a perfect choice for the houseplant beginner. It will remove carbon monoxide and xylene from the air to provide fresh oxygen. Spider ivy, another interesting name, is non-toxic to pets.


aglaonema air purifying plant

The Chinese evergreen is a needled conifer available in different cultivars. It makes for an excellent air-purifying houseplant. It has large glossy oval leaves with a short stem and flowers as it matures. The color variations range from dark green to silver or red. The Chinese evergreen is toxic to pets.


alove vera in a white pott near a sunny window

Add the Aloe to your kitchen as it thrives in a sunny spot. It has medicinal to air-purifying properties. The succulent removes benzene and formaldehyde from the air.

Boston Fern

boston fern

Boston ferns make for beautiful houseplants and grow well in tropical areas. It has sword-shaped blue-green foliage with tiny leaflets growing upwards and starts to arch when the fronds grow larger.


Dracaena fragrans

It is a small slow, growing, spiky plant that removes pollutants in the air. The foliage is bright red to add color to the home. Still, it can reach up to eight feet tall.


potted pothos near a sunny window

Pothos has large waxy leaves called the Devil’s Ivy and is ideal for keeping the home’s air clean. It grows in most light conditions but prefers a bright spot and makes for a beautiful bathroom houseplant.


areca palm in a concrete planter near a glass window

One standout palm is the Thatch Palm which flowers and is resilient to grow in small spaces. It prefers bright indirect light and can tolerate some share. Also, avoid overwatering and ensure the pot has enough drainage holes.

Low-Maintenance and Drought-Tolerant Houseplants

Now, if you want a low-maintenance plant that is drought tolerant, we have introduced you to some of them as air purifying, but there are some new ones on the list as well.

Cacti and Succulents

cacti and succulents plants

You can find different cati to succulent plants with us that are drought tolerant as they do not enjoy being overwatered. They prefer a potting mix that retains moisture but does not get waterlogged. Still, we do not recommend investing in sprayed cacti as it is a sad market, and your plant is not going to live for long so sad.


pothos plants

We have already introduced you to the Pothos, but it is not only an air-purifying cultivar but can go without water for a while.

Spider Plants

spider plants

The best part when you keep cultivars like the Spider is that it produces spiderettes you can grow to gift to other plant lovers.

ZZ Plant

raven zz plant

The ZZ is another unique species that can go without water for a while, and caring for this beautiful cultivar is not too difficult.

Peace Lily

flowering peace lily

The Peace Lily can tolerate periods of drought, but a sign it does need water is when the leaves start turning brown.


potted indoor palm

We touched on the palms as air-purifying plants, but it is also easy to care for and drought-tolerant.

Indigenous Plants in Your Area

Another helpful way to become more sustainable in the yard or home is to use native plants from your area. You can find many native wildflowers that adapt well to the environment. Think about the Black-Eyed Susan, Cardinal Flower, and so much more.

Final Thoughts

Like most things we buy, our houseplants are far from sustainable. They grow in massive greenhouses, leaving a large carbon footprint.

Yet with some minor changes, you can get sustainable houseplants that do not have an environmental impact. All it needs you to do is make those small changes by investing in small businesses and thinking about the fertilizer, potting soil, to containers you use.

Every little bit of change helps.

Whether you want to buy, sell, or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!

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