Sure we’re in the winter season now and the landscapes outside the window at times look barren, cold and wind blown. But don’t let that get you down. Beat the winter blues with houseplants. As shown above, houseplants are great for indoor décor. This relic of bygone days, an old Remington Typewriter in its carrying case is surrounded by a plethora of complimenting houseplants of various growth habits. The Ivy and Spider Plants cascade new growth over the keys while the fern to the backdrop draws one’s eye to the center, creating a fantastic focal point in any room and adding fresh air at the same time.
You’ll be doing yourself and your family a favor at the same time due to all the beneficial health attributes that indoor gardening with houseplants contributes to the air you breathe. Many of these houseplants are super easy to grow and care for also, so its a good way to polish up your green thumb for the coming garden seasons or perhaps get a green thumb by investing in a few to brighten up the atmosphere.
Now that I find myself spending more of my time in the office catching up on the latest in landscaping and getting ready for the big push that is coming with the spring thaw that is less than two months away, I find myself in my spare time reading about the various house plants that surround me. When you decorate your interior spaces with houseplants, you’re not just adding greenery. These plants are living organisms that interact with your body, mind and home in ways that enhance the quality of your life, your surroundings and enhance the overall atmosphere for all.
Houseplants bring life into a room and can even enhance mood. Those that flower bring color and sometimes even scent into your home. Foliage plants are available for all types of light conditions and can add a touch of green to any home or office. And, you’d be surprised how some can survive on the most minimal attention. There have been several scientific studies into the health benefits of houseplants, and the results are pretty remarkable.
As we breathe, our lungs takes in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. During photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. This opposite pattern of gas use makes plants and people natural partners. Adding plants to interior spaces can increase oxygen levels.
At night, photosynthesis ceases, and plants typically respire like humans, absorbing oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. A few plants – orchids, succulents and epiphytic bromeliads – do just the opposite, taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Place these plants in bedrooms to refresh air during the night.
Reduce Respiratory Diseases
All plants release moisture as vapor as part of their photosynthetic and respiratory process, which increases humidity of the air around them. Most plants release roughly 97 percent of the water they take in. By placing several plants together, and you can increase the humidity of a room, which helps keeps respiratory distresses at bay. Studies at the Agricultural University of Norway document that using plants in interior spaces decreases the incidence of dry skin, colds, sore throats and dry coughs.
Purify the Air
Plants remove toxins from air – up to 87 percent of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) every 24 hours, according to NASA research. VOCs include substances like formaldehyde (present in rugs, vinyl, cigarette smoke and grocery bags), benzene and trichloroethylene (both found in man-made fibers, inks, solvents and paint). Benzene is commonly found in high concentrations in study settings, where books and printed papers abound.
Modern climate-controlled, air-tight buildings trap VOCs inside. The NASA research discovered that plants purify that trapped air by pulling contaminants into soil, where root zone microorganisms convert VOCs into food for the plant.
Indoor Gardening – Easy to Grow Houseplants
Aloe Vera is a great plant to start with. Not only is the aloe vera plant very attractive, but it is also widely used for its medicinal properties. Just cut off a leaf/stem and rub the juices onto a burn or a wound (just be sure that you aren’t one of those few who are sensitive to it first). To ensure a healthy aloe vera plant, make sure you allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Also try to give it at least a couple hours of direct sunlight each day. This plant can have sharp edges on its leaves, so make sure that it isn’t in a location where people might brush against it and get scraped. Only repot plant it once the roots are starting to push out of the pot. Follow these guidelines, and you’ll have a super easy, super useful, and super awesome little succulent.
Another is to grow houseplant is Jade; one of my favorite succulents! I love that it can grow from a simple cutting up to the size of a small tree! Some tips to succeed with this plant is to not over-water it. Wait until the soil dries out completely before watering. But don’t wait until its leaves look dull or withered. This means you’ve waited for too long and most likely those leaves will eventually fall off. So find a happy medium, but err on the side of dry. Another nice thing about the jade plant is that because of its small root system, you won’t need to re-pot it that often. So sit back and enjoy the beauty of this large, but easy succulent!
Peace lilies are indisputably terrific as houseplants. Small varieties look attractive on a tabletop and bigger ones can occupy a nice-sized spot on the floor. They filter more indoor pollutants than most other plants. A striking plant when used in mass display, the peace lily blooms in spring with long-lasting flowers that cascade gracefully over the leaves on the stalks. The plant has glossy oval leaves with an interesting vein structure. These plants really prefer moist warmth. Avoid cold drafts and temperatures below 55 degrees F, since the plant will die with cold temperatures. Ideal temperature range is 65 to 80 degrees.
Just get a couple of books on houseplants and read how to care for them and what their needs are and choose what appeals to you. Everybody will appreciate it and benefit from your “indoor plants”. I, myself, have also noticed that as I find myself working more in the office that I am more relaxed and my thought process flows easier when I am gazing upon a plant, it’s foliage and flowers and the atmosphere thereof. You don’t really need a lot of plants either, just healthy ones. You’d probably need approximately 20 plants per 2,000 sq ft of living space. I usually have two or three groupings of 2 or 3 per room inside the house in 6 to 8 inch pots. One large potted plant can purify about 130 sq ft of space.
So don’t let the winter blues get you down, spring is just around the corner. In the meantime, garden inside. You’ll love it. And some of these plants you can take outside on the deck or patio to dress it up too.
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