soothe the emotions because of their visual
impact. Besides being naturally appealing,
interior house plants filter your air naturally.
Natural air filters, house plants remove up to 70
percent of indoor air pollutants. Plants such as
English Ivy, scheffleras, spider plants, and
philodendrons absorb large quantities of
formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and benzene.
The most effective plants at removing air
pollution include spider plants, pot mums, snake
plants, and aloe vera. These house plants remove
so many pollutants that environmental scientists
recommend one plant per 100 square feet in your
home and office.
House Plant Benefits
Indoor plants make you feel
cooler on hot days, especially when they move
softly in the breeze from a ceiling fan.
Indoor plants connect you to nature. People who
feel connected to nature feel happier.
Plants make great design statements. Highlight a
houseplant to cast dramatic shadows on your walls
and ceilings. Uplights, placed under palm trees
cast magnificent line-type shadows, while plants
with holes in their leaves, such as Swiss Cheese
Philodendron, cast lace-like shadows.
You can use houseplants to make a uniquely
individual statement. For instance, one of my
friends has only spiked-leafed plants in her home
-- spider plants, snake plants, corn plants, cast
iron, and bromeliads. My cousin could only get
Pothos to grow in her home, so she filled her
entire house with the easy-to-grow Pothos.
Delicate houseplants soften your space, while
spiky plants add interesting texture.
Collections of African violets, ferns, or trees of
all sizes look fantastic, too. Topiaries, shaped
like globes or animals, add feelings of luxury and
amusement, while Bonsai plants add a sense of
richness to a home.
to Keep Plants Healthy
Because some houses don't have adequate daylight
for houseplants, the best method for keeping your
houseplants healthy is to have two plants for each
desired space. Keep one plant in a sheltered
outside area and one in its decorative site, and
switch the plants at least once a week. Special
plant light bulbs help.
Low light plants include the cast iron plant,
philodendrons, Pothos, Chinese evergreen, English
Ivy, and Satin. Flowering plants, like begonias,
impatiens, and fuchsias, require more light.
Plants requiring considerable amounts of water
generally have hair-like roots, such as ferns and
coleus, while plants requiring less water have
thicker roots, like spider plants and cactuses.
You can remember to fertilize your plants by doing
it on the first of every month, except in cold
winter. Adding fish emulsion in the middle of the
month during spring will help feed hungry plants
like ferns. My staghorn fern has thrived for 15
years on banana skins and an occasional misting of
Flowering plants, like white flag or peace lilies,
need water-soluble fertilizer with a 20-20
concentration. Apply "Plant Shine," a spray
available in garden centers, once a month to clean
and beautify leaves.
House plants take some effort to help them
continue to thrive, but the benefits you'll derive
from keeping house plants in your home will be
well worth any inconvenience, and you'll be
healthier and happier as a result.
Joy to you and your healthy, happy home!
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