These cold, grey winter days may find us craving the warmth and sunshine, but did you know that there is an easy, and relatively inexpensive way to boost your mood? One that is aesthetically pleasing to boot? Indoor landscaping! Or, to put it in simpler terms, adding a few houseplants to your décor.
There are several benefits to adding greenery indoors. First of all, plants and humans make for great roommates. When we breathe, our bodies take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. During photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. In this case, opposites really do attract. Adding plants to our interior spaces increase oxygen levels, and reduce carbon dioxide levels in the air. Houseplants also help increase humidity in your home, as plants release approximately 97% of the moisture they consume back in to the air. Especially helpful this time of year. They improve our air quality by reducing airborne dust levels and certain toxins, such as benzene and nitrogen dioxide. These living wonders can also help to reduce background noise, because plants and their leaves absorb, diffract, and reflect it. And, studies have shown that adding plants to your environment can subconsciously make you feel calm and relaxed and enhance concentration and memory. Convinced yet? Okay, time to go pick up a few houseplants already!
And because we don’t want you to negate that calming influence your new plants will offer, we want to share a few varieties that are very easy to live with, no green thumb required.
Jade is a great plant for a newbie or a gardener that swears they were born with a black thumb. It is a succulent that stores water in its fleshy leaves, so it prefers to be ignored and will thrive in dry conditions. You can actually forget to water this plant for a few weeks and it won’t complain at all! Give it moderate light and watch it grow. Jade appreciates being watered when the soil is completely dry, and will only need to be re-potted every few years. Could there be anything easier than that?
Aloe Vera is not only beautiful and easy to take care of, it’ s also useful. The plump leaves contain a soothing gel that is a natural healing remedy for cuts and burns. It requires a sunny spot and minimal watering, as little as every two to three weeks. It is dormant in winter and needs little attention. Move it out into the bright sunshine in summer when it will grow the most.
The snake plant is sometimes known as ribbon plant, or mother-in-laws tongue(!) because of its sharp, pointed foliage. This succulent has thick, waxy leaves that grow upright and doesn’t require a lot of care. Place it somewhere with indirect sunlight. Water very little, when soil is dry to the touch, taking care to water from the side, keeping water away from the center leaf clump. Unlike your mother-in-law, this one thrives when being ignored.
This classic indoor hanging plant is one for even the most timid plant owner. It prefers bright, indirect sunlight, and well-drained, moist soil to thrive. They like to dry out between waterings and don’t mind being a bit root-bound, so don’t worry about re-potting until the roots become visible. It will produce small plantlets or “pups” that can be rooted in potting soil.
A member of the rhododendron family, pothos is fast growing and practically foolproof. This leafy green plant grows well in low light, so it will thrive in any room of your house. Don’t stress too much about watering, they prefer the soil to dry out completely. One warning, this plant can be toxic if ingested, so take care to keep away from children and pets.
Cast Iron Plant
The name truly says it all on this one. It can handle low light, high light (just not direct sun) and extreme temperature changes. It is slow-growing and drought tolerant. This plant will live forever and can grow to be two feet tall. Treat it like a piece of your furniture, remembering to dust its beautiful, long green leaves every once in a while.
And if you prefer to throw a flowering plant into the mix…
African violets are indoor plants known for their varying shades of purple flowers. They prefer bright, indirect light and a warm room (65 degrees or warmer). Water to keep the soil moist, but not soggy, taking care to water from the bottom, as water on the leaves may make them spotty.
Known for their beautiful white flowers, Peace Lilies are one of the best air-purifying indoor plants and very easy to grow. They prosper in low light. They love a lot of water all at once, and then prefer to dry out between watering. In fact, this plant will tell you when it’s time, as its leaves will start to wilt when it requires a drink.
We all know that plants are living things and that even the toughest of plants are not indestructible. With a little TLC and a little water, having houseplants around are not only nice to look at, but a great mood enhancer than can offer health benefits as well. Go on, pick up a few, we promise taking care of your new housemates is as easy as it sounds.