The Surprising Benefits of Household Plants
Most people think of household plants as just a way to liven up a room, but they are so much more than that. Bringing plants into your home or office can actually improve your health. Plants are natural air fresheners and can remove chemicals in the air. And, there are a lot of common household plants that are easy to maintain so you can keep them alive and growing.
Hidden benefits of houseplants
Houseplants offer multiple hidden benefits that might convince you to start planting.
Houseplants make your home more inviting:
-Add character to any room
-Improve the fragrance of a room
Houseplants provide real health benefits:
-Improve your air quality by removing toxic air emissions in your home.
-Absorbs carbon dioxide and emits oxygen
-Can remove allergens
-Can increase humidity levels through transpiration
Houseplants inspire serenity:
-Reduce noise by absorbing and reflecting sound waves
-Can make people feel calmer and lowers stress levels, which is better for your overall psychological health
Common and easy-to-maintain houseplants
African Violets are easy to care for and will continue to bloom throughout the winter months. They like normal indoor temperatures and do not need direct sunlight. They only need to be watered when the soil feels dry to the touch and like being watered from the bottom.
Aloe Vera plants are a great household plant, can have healing properties and can be a wonderful soothing aid for mild burns or abrasions. They have thick serrated leaves and are available in many sizes. Aloe Vera plants like a lot of sunlight and do not require a lot of watering. The soil can dry out before it should be watered.
Chinese Evergreens have interesting leaf patterns and can add an aesthetic appeal to any home or office. Only water when the soil is slightly dry with room temperature water. Chinese Evergreens are sensitive to cooler temperatures and dislike anything cooler than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity is their friend. If the growing conditions have low humidity, mist the leaves with warm water.
Peace Lilies like medium to low light and do not need to be watered very often. Direct light can harm the leaves causing burns. If you notice yellow leaves, this is usually a cause of too much sunlight and the plant should be placed in a darker room. Peace Lilies like humidity. Brown leaves indicate that conditions are too dry. Move your peace lily into a place with higher humidity or mist the leaves with warm water. They like to have the soil dry between waterings. If you notice wilting plants, this is an indication that it needs water.
Bamboo Palms are a larger plant that can reach up to six feet. It likes moist soil at all times, but dislikes sitting in water. Bamboo palms like to be pruned; leave that are turning colors or wilting should be removed with a pruning shears at the base of the leaf.
Jade Plants are easy to grow and have an interesting appearance. They only like to be watered when the soil is dry. Jade plants like smaller pots to avoid excess water sitting in the soil and only needs to be repotted every few years.
Cactus Plants require very low efforts to maintain. They like bright areas, smaller pots and little watering. Keeping your cactus plant by a south facing window is best. A typical watering schedule for a cactus plant is to water when the soil is dry, about once a month.
Snake Plants make a great starter plant due to the low maintenance. They have leaves that grow upright and can reach four feet. Snake plants can adapt to almost any light, but prefer bright light and temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. They like to have the soil dried out before watering and in winter months should only be watered about once a month.
Spider Plants are very hearty and grow in most conditions, making an excellent choice for new growers. They can expand up to thirty-six inches and are ideal for hanging baskets. Just place your plant near a window in an area that won't receive direct midday sunlight. If you notice the plant rotting in the center, it's receiving too much water. Let it dry out before you water again. Spider plants are very easy to transfer outside in the spring, especially in a hanging pot.
Boston Ferns are a large potted plant that is ideal for indoor growing. Ferns have extensive root systems and may need to be repotted often. After repotting, place the plant in the brightest area of your home out of direct sunlight, then move it after a week to its permanent home. The plant doesn't like extremes, so try to keep a consistent moisture level throughout the year. Ferns are extremely vulnerable to chemicals, so don't use cleaners or pesticides on or near your fern. This plant can be taken outside in the summer, but should be kept on a covered porch or patio.
While indoor planting does not require a lot of special equipment, we have a few recommendations (and a lot more in-store) for products that will make your indoor growing easier.
Start with the right soil. Since over-watering is the number one cause of dead house plants, be sure to line the bottom of your pot with an inch or two of small stones or mulch. Then, use a soil designed for potted plants, such as Miracle-Gro® Moisture Control Potting Mix, which holds more water than most soil and will protect against over and under watering. (266-7828)
For many household plants, a plant food spike (such as Jobe's® Houseplant Plant Food Spikes) can provide an extra bit of nutrition to keep your plant beautiful, especially in winter months. In summer, as your plant grows quickly, replace spike every 30 days. In winter, replace every 60 days. (Before you add a food spike, check the ingredients of your soil. Many potting soils contain plant food that will last up to 6 months.) (263-4717)
Schultz® Plant Shine® is a product that will enhance the look of your leafy plants by adding a coat of shine. It's water-based and does not contain oils, so it won't harm your plants when used correctly. It dries in a few minutes without wiping. (263-5059)
Houseplants add peace and tranquility to a home and provide health benefits to its inhabitants. For all the products, tools, and expertise you need to start your own indoor growing project, visit your local Menards®!