Growing tropicals and houseplants throughout my adult life, “green” has long been a part of my scenery. I have grown probably hundreds of different types of potted plants from African violets to zebra plants. Exotics such as orchids and bonsai are also part of the current mix. It makes me sad when I hear people say they have a brown thumb, so in part two I’ll share some tips to help turn that thumb green.
Besides their beauty and the wonderful living energy plants bring to a space, there are practical reasons for including plants in your decor. The presence of healthy plants in your home or office actually has been shown to lift the mood and spirits of the occupants. They actually do improve air quality by removing pollutants such as ammonia, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, benzene, xylene and trichloroethytene. Plants also promote well-being by continuously absorbing carbon dioxide and emitting oxygen.
In addition to the quantifiable benefits, there are advantages to growing plants that are purely intangible and psychological. Promoting a sense of well-being, houseplants brighten every room with their rich color. They reduce stress and produce a sense of calm, optimism, and are thought to promote creativity. The direct health benefits are also significant, especially in the winter when the air is dry. Plants increase humidity through transpiration and remove dust, thereby reducing the incident of coughs, colds, sore throats, and related illnesses.
Plants need to be kept in premium condition to be pleasing aesthetically and to be effective workhorses that contribute the benefits described. Specific plants are easier to grow and less fussy about their growing conditions. There are many new cultivars of some tried and true houseplants that should respond beautifully to some basic care practices (see post 2.)
See “GREEN” YOUR INTERIOR WITH PLANTS… part 2 for tips on house plant care.