10 Essential Plants for Your Kitchen
Sprucing up your space with a few plants can help bring the wonder of nature indoors. In turn, you experience all the air-purifying benefits that plants have to offer. Most of us spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking with loved ones or trying to nail down that new cookie recipe you just saw on your favorite Food Network show while in quarantine (we’ve all been there).
With all the time spent in your kitchen, why not add to this well-used space? If it isn’t as big or bright as you might like it to be, adding some green might be exactly what you need.
But what kind of plants make the best kitchen plants?
Below, we’ve got 10 of the best kitchen plants for you. If you’re skeptical and not the best at taking care of plants but want to fill your home with some green anyways, don’t fret, most of these plants are super low maintenance if you just don’t have that green thumb.
Take your pick and begin making your kitchen a little more green (and freer of air pollutants)!
10 Essential Plants for Your Kitchen
1. English Ivy
English ivy is a resilient and tough plant for your kitchen. In other words, it can thrive in little or almost no natural light. If your kitchen is shady most of the time, this plant is perfect for you. It can take up a higher shelf while tangling pieces from up high, or you can place it in a hanging basket - whatever works for you, your kitchen, and your design aesthetic.
Keep its soil nice and loose but full for optimal results. The other good news here? You don’t need to go overboard worrying about watering. This air purifying plant does well with slightly dry soil.
What makes this one of the best air purifying house plants around? It helps filter out formaldehyde, a common indoor air polluter.
Is it pet-friendly? Unfortunately, no. You’ll want to keep this one well away from your furry friends, which works well with our high shelf or basket hanging strategy. If you’ve got a cat that loves exploring higher shelves, it might be best to find a different plant friend for your kitchen.
Alright, so herbs might not be the most effective and best air purifying plants. Although, there is some evidence showing that herbs, like rosemary and lavender, may help remove some chemicals from the air (but this was shown in a lab setting). In other words, maybe don’t fully rely on these guys to purify your air.
But they do make great kitchen plants. Not only do they look nice and smell nice, but you can also grab fresh herbs for all those homemade meals.
Plus, if you’re new to indoor plants, herbs keep things fairly simple. In fact, there’s a ton of easy starter herb kits you can buy on Amazon and other online retailers.
Is it pet-friendly? Heck yes! But be careful here. It really does depend on the herb, so do your research before leaving them in arm’s (or snout’s) reach of your dog or cat.
Starting an indoor garden might just be your next hobby. Make sure to read: How to Start an Indoor Garden
3. Aloe Vera
Got a bright windowsill in your kitchen? An aloe vera plant would look great. These air purifying plants require a substantial amount of sunlight, meaning you want at least partial sun on this plant during the day for it to thrive. And they are so so easy to take care of.
Aloe vera plants only require watering about every three weeks.
Another reason they make a fantastic kitchen plant? You can use the leaf extract to help calm burns or cuts - injuries that are common in the kitchen while you cook. All you need to do is cut off a leaf and use its inner gel to soothe those sore spots.
Is it pet-friendly? Definitely not. Keep this one away from your furry friends.
4. Venus Fly Trap
Flies in the kitchen are so unappealing and the last thing you want. This is where a venus fly trap plant comes in. They really do trap flies (they are actually a carnivorous plant - pretty cool, right?).
Keep this guy away from direct sunlight. Ensure you use acidic soil, and make sure you keep the soil moist. This means frequent waterings (but potentially fewer flies around your fruit and garbage!).
Is it pet-friendly? The verdict is… they are non-toxic! Phew. Small bites from your cat or dog likely won’t cause them any harm.
5. Air Plants
Air plants are tough to kill - that is unless you neglect it for weeks and months at a time (I managed to do this, and no plant will survive five months without water. Yes, I have regrets).
These plants don’t just add a little greenery. They also add simple decor pieces within your home and kitchen. Hang them from the ceiling or put them on your fridge. There are so many options here.
They don’t require direct sun and only need to be watered every one to two weeks. This is done by soaking it in water for 5-10 minutes. Once you’ve finished soaking it, shake off the excess water and place it back in its hanger or vase.
Is it pet-friendly? Yup! They aren’t toxic to pets, to the relief of many pet owners.
6. ZZ Plant
ZZ plants help clear your air of xylene, toluene, and benzene - toxins that, trust us, you don’t want a ton of in your indoor air. They also do fairly well in low or bright light, as long as it is not direct sunlight.
If you forget about watering it, don’t fret. These plants do well with a little less watering and a little drier soil.
Plus, these plants just look cool and can be a great decorative item for an otherwise pretty blankly decorated kitchen. It’s got that modern and simple vibe.
Is it pet-friendly? Definitely not. In fact, some experts recommend wearing gloves when handling it yourself due to its high toxicity. In other words, keep it well out of the way of anyone’s reach. It may work well on a high shelf.
7. Cast Iron Plant
The name itself makes this plant fitting for your kitchen. A good ol’ cast iron plant is super low maintenance. Ensure you keep it in low light since the sun can actually cause tons of harm to this plant’s leaves.
It’s also super easy to take care of. While it requires consistent watering, it can withstand a bit of dryness occasionally. It’s also a good idea to be careful not to overwater this one since it can definitely kill it.
Is it pet-friendly? It is indeed non-toxic to cats and dogs!
Want more indoor plant ideas? Make sure to also read: 13 Air Purifying Plants to Detox Your Home
8. Spider Plant
When I hear this plant’s name, all I want to do is start singing the Spiderman theme song. Once you get over that hurdle, we can move on to why this plant is one of the most popular house plants around.
The spider plant thrives in shade or sun. And you only need to worry about watering it once a week (so easy!).
Place this one up on a shelf or in a beautiful hanging basket (again, this is what works for you and your kitchen).
Is it pet-friendly? Yes and no. It’s non-toxic, but your dog or cat will likely get sick when nibbling at too much of it. In most cases, you should play it safe and keep your plants out of your pet’s reach.
9. Calamondin Orange Tree
You’ll need a bit more space for the calamondin orange tree. But it’s so worth it. This beautiful tree also needs direct sunlight. It can grow to 10-20 feet, though, so, again, ensure you have enough space!
It takes about a year for the fruit to ripen, but this cute tree brings a bright color burst into your kitchen, along with a nice aroma.
Is it pet-friendly? No. These trees are just as toxic as any other citrus fruit to cats and dogs.
10. White Jasmine
This is another indoor plant with an appealing fragrance. You can place this one in a hanging pot or basket, ensuring it has good amounts of light in the spring and summer. In the winter, it can do well with less light.
This is definitely a seasonal plant in that you also want to keep the soil moist in the spring and summer. However, in the winter, you can leave it a little drier.
Is it pet-friendly? Technically, white jasmine is not toxic. But like any other plant, if your cat or dog ingests too much, they will likely experience digestive discomfort.
Brighten up Your Kitchen With Plants!
Narrow down which plants you prefer and find places for them. Even if your kitchen is not exactly the right space, these plants work for most other spaces of your house! There a multitude of benefits that plants bring into our lives, so make sure to embrace them, even if you just end up trying out a small potted herb.
Indoor plants bring nature inside - what’s not to love?
Related article: 5 Purifying Bedroom Plants for Cleaner Breathing & Better Sleep