Using Houseplants for a Healthy Home

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Pink Bromeliad in the Late Afternoon Sun

“Bring houseplants into your space to add vibrancy, air quality and color to every room.”

Houseplants are the perfect way to bring color and life into any area of your home. While beautiful and enjoyable, house plants also positively impact air quality. They support the natural carbon dioxide and oxygen cycle inside the walls of your home, and can purify the air of toxins.

Spider Plant
Spider Plant

A study from NASA shows that a variety of common houseplants including Palms, Ivy, Ficus, Aloe Vera, Peace Lily, Rubber Plants, Philodendron and Spider Plants actually filter harmful toxins from the air emitted by common household items including paint, carpet and plastics. The study suggests you should have at least one small, potted six inch plant for every 100 square feet of interior living space. The primary scientist on the study has also written a book, How to Grow Fresh Air.

Plants add vibrancy and color to every room. Colorful pots should be chosen to further enhance the room’s color scheme. Accessories surrounding the plant should be complimentary and inspiring.

Bird's Nest Fern
Bird’s Nest Fern

Some of my favorite plant varieties are Ferns, Violets, Palms, Jade Plants, Bromeliads and Philodendrons. If you have specific questions about the variety of houseplant you’re keeping I suggest the detailed links of Plant Care Guru. Your local garden stores are also extremely helpful is choosing the correct plants for your needs. Be prepared to discuss available light, proximity to windows and space allotment. And don’t be afraid to speak up if you need low maintenance plants. There are numerous options that require little to no attention.

Houseplants last for many, many years if cared for (my Dad recently gave me a Tree Philodendron propagated from one he’s kept for over twenty years), and can bring a whole new level of compatible life into your home.

Jade Plant with the Buddha
A Palm in the Kitchen
A Palm in the Kitchen
Tree Philodendron Soaking Up Some Rain
Tree Philodendron Soaking Up Some Rain

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3 Replies to “Using Houseplants for a Healthy Home”

  1. Lovely plants! And great suggestions. I wonder, do you have to keep cutting back your palm tree? Or tie it up? Mine always falls over.

    1. Hi Tim! Certain varieties of palm will stand tall over long periods of time with little help, while others have a tendency to splay and spread. Many palms naturally grow into larger varieties, but you can make some effort to control their size by keeping them in a smaller pot that tightly binds the roots. If some of your lower branches start to fall and spread you can either i) make some small trimmings at the base of outer fronds (promoting new growth), or ii) bind them gently together with some gardening twine to keep them upright. A little trimming here and there is helpful, but be light on palm trimming. Many palms feed from older fronds. Always leave plenty of existing fronds and try not to trim old branches until they are fully brown. The palm pictured in my kitchen gets its lower fronds trimmed occasionally. Most palms do well in low to full light, and like warmer temperatures. Also, remember some palm varieties are desert palms and don’t require as much water while others are tropical and require heavy watering. But do ensure there is adequate drainage in your pot and allow the soil to dry to damp, at a minimum, before re-watering to prevent root rot.

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