The nearly indestructible Golden Pothos — also called Devil's Ivy or Money Plant — is a common house plant that reduces indoor-ozone levels.

The nearly indestructible Golden Pothos — also called Devil’s Ivy or Money Plant — is a common house plant that reduces indoor-ozone levels.

Plants not only look good, but they can make us feel good, too. I always enjoy receiving plants and flowers. Sometimes, I even give them to myself, placing beautiful cut flowers around my home and in my office. When people ask, “Who gave you flowers?” I respond, “They’re to me, from me.”

Study after study indicates that plants can improve your memory, mood, recovery time from illness and indoor-air quality. For example, researchers at Pennsylvania State University found that common houseplants such as Golden Pothos — or Snake and Spider plants — reduced ozone levels when studied in a simulated indoor environment.

So, spend some time this weekend adding green to your life:

Need some vitamin D? Soak up the vitamin D benefits of the sun by heading outdoors to plant flowers, ornamental plants or shrubs around your home. Be sure to wear sunscreen to protect your skin. (Also, see the Fierce article “‘Black Don’t Crack,’ but It’s Still at Risk for Skin Cancer.)

Want to burn calories? A woman who weighs 150 pounds can burn 272 calories an hour by gardening, according to Calorie Count.

Live in an urban setting? You can still add some green by placing plants and flowers in window boxes or on decks, tables and other surfaces around your home.

Worried about killing your plants? You aren’t alone. I’m a confirmed plant assassin. While I have a plant rescuer at work, I’m on my own at home, which spells danger for anything green. I’ve even murdered a cactus or two.

Bigger pots work better for us than smaller ones to prevent the deadly effects of dehydration. For hardy plants that are nearly indestructible, look for names like Ponytail Palm, Aloe, Pothos, Ox Tongue, Cast Iron, Snake, Ghost or Dracaena, also known as a Corn or Yucca plant.

If all else fails, drop some hints to a loved one or catch a sale on cut flowers at your local supermarket. And let me know if the bulbs that have been sitting in my garage are still good.

About Fierce Fridays — Tips for Weekend Well-Being

We each cherish those precious days off at the end of the week, but increasingly those of us who are charter members of the sisterhood of the stressed and overworked are losing our Saturday and Sunday leisure time to weekend work and domestic duties.

To make sure that you do something every weekend that’s just for you, we’ll be sharing a little advice to make those 48 hours a great time to recharge your batteries, bring a little good news into your life or discover a quick and easy way to improve your health.

Yanick Rice Lamb, publisher of, teaches journalism at Howard University.