You need houseplants. They're good for you.

Plants take in carbon dioxide and other pollutants and emit oxygen. This is a definite advantage in winter when our houses are shut up tight.

Many popular houseplants thrive in our homes because they have low light requirements. Many evolved beneath trees so that they can survive in dim light. 

If you're just starting to grow houseplants, start small. The plants are less expensive and are good investments. I've had my parlor palm since college. A plant can become a life-long friend.

Easy, low-care houseplants include pothos, spider plant, mother-in-law's tongue, succulents and purple passion plant.

One of the main reasons houseplants fail is over-watering. Don't baby them to death. Use a moisture meter if you're in doubt.

Yellow leaves are a sign you're overwatering. It's natural for plants to shed lower leaves as they grow. Brown tips on the leaves are no big deal--in our dry climate they're to be expected. So don't over-compensate by over-watering.

All my houseplants go outside in summer. If you take your plants outside, don't just throw them out in the full sunlight. You might as well blowtorch them. Expose them gradually to the sun and leave the shade-lovers in the shade.

Get started with houseplants. You'll breathe easier.