Setting up your little one’s nursery is a key part of the “nesting” phase, and what could be more nest appropriate than including a gorgeous life-giving plant?
Before you do, of course, it’s vitally important to investigate the plant’s toxicity, preferably by buying the plant in person at a garden center so you can question an expert.
Also, consider the plant’s lighting needs (since the nursery drapes may be closed for daytime naps) and how easy it is to knock over or keep out of reach.
With this in mind, here are 20 beautiful baby-safe plants to give you some serious nursery inspiration!
1. Spider Plant
This timeless, laid-back houseplant has slender green and white-striped leaves and looks stunning whether spilling out of pots or cascading over hanging containers.
They’re also among the top air-purifying plants in the world – a study by NASA found them to remove 95% of harmful air pollutants in 24 hours!
Place spider plants in indirect light a few feet from the window, ideally on shelves or hanging planters so they have room to spread.
2. Wandering Jew
The striking cream, dark green, and purple leaves on this bushy vine plant certainly brings a touch of the exotic to the nursery!
These houseplants will also clean up air irritants, benefiting anyone with allergies or asthma, not to mention encouraging a sweeter slumber for your little one.
Keep them in an east-/west-facing window to protect the stunning leaf pattern from the afternoon sun.
3. Parlor Palm
Tall and stately parlor palms are super graceful with their arching feathery fronds, and they grow to reach 6 feet tall – perfect for decorating an empty corner space.
These lush mini trees survive on little light and low temperatures and strip the air of carbon monoxide and other toxins.
Place young parlor palms near east-/north-facing windows on a shelf or bookcase, and keep larger plants in partial shade a few feet away.
Hoyas are fast-growing, waxy vine plants featuring leaves of all shapes, sizes, and patterns, complemented by cute clusters of white star-shaped flowers.
These hardy tropical beauties have one of the highest removal rates of indoor toxins too!
Hoyas tend to grow in a spreading habit, so keep them on a high shelf or hanging basket a few feet from a south- or west-facing window.
5. Money Tree
Planning a jungle-themed mural in the nursery? The money tree’s stunning braided trunk and lush-green umbrella-shaped leaves would fit right in!
In addition to removing benzene and other air toxins, these plants are of course said to invite fortune and positivity into your space, according to Feng Shui wisdom.
Place them in partial shade a few feet away from an east- or west-facing window (or a southeast direction for Feng Shui purposes!).
6. Cast Iron Plant
Cast iron plants feature broad and glossy lance-shaped leaves of dark green, growing in an elegant arching shape.
True to its name, this plant is super resilient and absorbs harmful chemicals from your home like formaldehyde and benzene.
Place these hardy houseplants anywhere out of direct sunlight. Keep them by doors, windows, or near heating/cooling vents since they’re super tolerant to drafts and temperature swings.
7. Baby Rubber Plant
Though a different species altogether, these resemble perfect mini-mes of the rubber tree plant with their glossy and ovular emerald-green leaves.
Baby rubber plants emit high levels of oxygen, decreasing nighttime air pollution while your own mini-me sleeps!
These are tolerant of low light but prefer partial sun, so place them close by any window in the nursery.
8. Watermelon Peperomia
The broad, fleshy leaves of this show-stopping plant are light green with bold dark green striping along the veins, bearing an uncanny resemblance to watermelon skin.
As beautiful as they are beneficial, Peperomia plants are known to eliminate significant amounts of formaldehyde from the air, according to a Clean Air Study led by NASA.
Keep your watermelon peperomia anywhere in an east- or west-facing nursery (or in a south-facing windowsill with a sheer curtain in place).
9. African Violet
African violets add a bright pop of color to the nursery with their purple, pink, or blue flowers set among thick, rounded deep-green leaves.
These plants absorb many air pollutants and just staring at the cheery blooms is thought to have a calming effect.
Place African violets in a north- or east-facing spot out of direct sunlight but not in heavily shady areas as they’ll struggle to flower.
These are fittingly nicknamed mosaic plants due to the intricate network of light veins on their dainty leaves, which can be light/dark green, purple, or maroon!
Fittonias help eradicate nitrogen, toluene, and other toxins from the air, creating respite for allergy sufferers, and they’re super low maintenance too.
Place Fittonia plants in areas of filtered light near east- or west-facing windows, and keep them far from any radiators and other heat sources as they love to stay moist.
11. Chinese Money Plant
Not to be confused with money trees, these cute and compact plants grow 12 inches tall and have near-perfectly rounded emerald-green leaves.
Chinese money plants are said to bring wealth and prosperity owing to their coin-shaped foliage. They’re also easy to propagate and are great air purifiers.
Keep your plant in bright, indirect light a few feet from a south-facing window to prevent unruly, leggy stems.
Calatheas are one stunning houseplant with oodles of pattern variety in their broad heart-shaped foliage (just wow!)
These pretty plants also boast amazing respiratory benefits, not only by absorbing air contaminants but by trapping dust on their large waxy foliage.
Place calatheas in a warm spot of bright, indirect sunlight, ideally nearby a west- or east-facing window with sheer curtains drawn.
13. Trailing Jade Peperomia
This dainty trailing vine has bright green button-like leaves on slender stems, making it perfect for shelves and wall planters or even in terrariums.
Trailing jade plants are ideal for those short on space as they can fit snugly in alcoves or on small stools. Like all peperomias, they also do their bit to cut down on air toxins.
These vines love a sunny spot but will scorch in direct light, so within 1 foot of a south- or west-facing window is best.
14. Baby’s Tears
This delicate creeper plant resembles a moss-like carpet of tiny bright green bean-shaped leaves that spill gracefully over hanging baskets.
Contrary to the name, the beautiful waterfall display of baby’s tears in the nursery will promote relaxation while clearing the air, creating a truly restful atmosphere (for the most part!).
Place this plant in bright indirect sunlight a few feet from a south- or west-facing window.
15. Christmas Cactus
This festive succulent features deep-green scalloped-edged leaves and blooms bright with pink/lilac flowers around early-midwinter – a sweet choice for welcoming a December baby!
Unlike other plants, Christmas cacti releases oxygen during the night, contributing to a healthier, sounder sleep for your little one.
Ideally, place this cheery houseplant in an east-facing window for plenty of bright filtered sunlight.
16. Kentia Palm
Kentia palms make a décor statement with a lush fountain of large palm-shaped leaves arching out gracefully.
This stunning tropical plant is an excellent air detoxifier and is tolerant of various conditions, making it ideal for busy households.
Place your kentia palm in a spot of indirect sunlight near an east-/west-facing window or within several feet of a south-facing one.
17. Polka Dot Plant
This compact but striking houseplant will steal focus with its bright white, pink, or red freckled-patterned leaves, depending on the variety.
Polka dot plants also help rid the air of formaldehyde and other pollutants linked to worsening respiratory conditions.
A few feet from south- or west-facing windows is this plant’s Goldilocks spot to prevent the leaf pattern fading and the stems becoming leggy.
18. Bird’s Nest Fern
This small plant features wonderfully curled and crinkled bright green leaves that grow mostly upright.
This chaotic but compact display is perfect for adding texture to small nurseries without taking up much space. It also boasts fantastic rates of CO2 and formaldehyde removal.
Keep your bird’s nest fern on a top shelf or dresser near a spot that receives plenty of morning or afternoon sun.
19. Moon Valley Pilea
The odd but eye-catching plant features densely textured almost quilted green leaves with dark-bronze veins and toothed edges.
Moon Valley Pileas tend to propagate easily and are great for removing dust and other airborne irritants in the home.
These Pileas love moderate to bright light, so any spot out of direct sunlight will be perfect.
20. Boston Fern
Lush and feathery Boston ferns feature long sword-shaped leaves of bluish-green that gradually arch over their pot with maturity.
These classic plants are wonderfully low-maintenance as well as being effective removers of formaldehyde and other airborne germs and bacteria.
Allow Boston Ferns to drape down from a single wall shelf near an east- or west-facing window or in a south-facing windowsill with sheer curtains.
Whether you need to fill a large space with a tall palm or put the finishing touches on a shelf with a teensy trailing succulent, there are many forms of safe and stunning greenery for your baby‘s nursery.
If buying a plant we haven’t mentioned, always be sure to confirm its non-toxicity with an expert and try to look for low-maintenance plants with a low risk of shedding to keep the nursery hazard and headache free!