Winter weather is a great excuse to cosy up indoors by the fire with a warm drink and a good book. However, our insulated, draft-free homes can mean our indoor air quality suffers.

Common-sense ways to breathe fresher air indoors include opening a window in each room for a while every day, taking your shoes off at the door, washing pillows and duvets regularly and vacuuming. But did you know that houseplants can give you a helping hand to clean the air inside too?

A breath of fresh air

NASA scientists used this down to earth solution to tackle a space-age problem of space shuttle air quality. Research shows having plants in a room makes people feel more positive, lowers blood pressure and reduces stress levels. Just what you need to blow away the winter blues.

Don't worry if you're not 'green fingered' - we've listed the most effective and hardy house plants for you here.

  • Ivy - Hedera Helix
  • Spider plant - Chlorophytum Comosum
  • Peace lily - Spathiphyllum
  • Mother-in-law's tongue - Sansevieria Trifasciata - voted hardest to kill!
  • Aloe Vera
  • Lady palm - Rhapis Excelsa
  • Red-edged dracaena - Dracaena Marginata - beware: toxic to cats and dogs
  • Weeping fig - Ficus Bejamina
  • Chinese evergreen - Aglaonema
  • Areca palm - Chrysalidocarpus Lutescens

You can find out more information about any of the plants listed on the The Royal Horticultural Society's website.

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