January 10th every year marks National Houseplant Appreciate Day. The day is all about raising awareness of the benefits of tending to indoor plants. Did you know? Back in 500BC houseplants were reserved by wealthy families to decorate their large estates but thanks to open borders and some out of the box thinkers we now have the luxury of having the option of adding a plethora of plants into our homes.
Let’s start with the facts.
What’s so cool about houseplants?
- Houseplants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen for us to breathe, improving the air quality in your home. Extensive research by NASA has revealed that houseplants can remove up to 87 per cent of air toxin in 24 hours.
- Plants release moisture into the air, conditioning it with refreshing humidity that can make your house feel cooler!
- Studies have also proven that indoor plants improve concentration and productivity (by up to 15 percent!), reduce stress levels and boost your mood — making them perfect for not just your home but your workspace, too.
An indoor garden can be your refuge from the outside world, and for many people it is a source of great joy. Whether you live in a small apartment, or a large house, by introducing certain plants into your home, you will start to notice improvements to your health, and overall happiness. As well as enhancing your mood and creating a living space that is soothing to be in, plants can also help with loneliness and depression: caring for a living thing gives us a purpose and is rewarding — especially when you see that living thing bloom and thrive.
What’s more, many houseplants are easy to care for and have an array of household uses that help you save money.
To create your perfect green haven, it’s worthwhile spending a little bit of time researching the plants are best suited for each room and what kind of environment.
Here are a few pointers:
- Choose the right plants for the an optimal night's sleep. Although plants release oxygen during the day, it is worth remembering that, at night, when photosynthesis stops, most plants switch things up and release carbon dioxide. However plants such as orchids, succulents, snake plants and bromeliads do the opposite and emit oxygen, making them perfect plants for the bedroom (and getting better sleep).
- Beware of too much sun. Most indoor plants don’t like direct midday sun, so please be wary of this when placing plants in your home. There are obvious warning signs to look out for, such as leaf burn, spotting or sudden leaf-fall. Most plants can be easily rescued, so don’t panic! Often it is a case of not watering them too much, or letting the soil dry out a bit if it is feeling too soggy. Check if your plant is sitting by a cold draft as this can case the leaves to curl and eventually drop off. Organic fertilizers are a great way to revive your plants.
- Plants are inexpensive way to spruce up even the most boring rooms. Plants are an easy and gorgeous way to style up your living space. You can have fun with the pots and display your plants in beautiful ceramic and copper containers. Owning plants doesn’t have to be expensive: just take a cutting from a friend’s plant or from your local plant shop and propagate your plant from scratch.
- Some plants like it hot. Knowing what plants are best for what room is crucial when it comes to plant styling: the bathroom is perfect for air plants and kokedama (Japanese hanging moss ball), as the excess moisture from your daily shower helps those plants flourish. If you’re lucky enough to have a sunroom or a super-hot room, then fill it with ferns, palms, succulents and cacti as they will love the heat.
A Beginner's Guide to Decorating With Plants
If you are new to gardening, here is a selection of plants that will suit you perfectly. All will provide you with lots of greenery, are easy to look after and reasonably priced.
- Swiss Cheese Plant: It is fairly inexpensive to buy a 12 inch Monstera and it grows quickly, so you could get some easy height and beautiful leaves in under 3 months.
- Golden Pothos or Devil’s Ivy): This is a great group of plants to get started with as they are relatively low maintenance. The trailing varieties sprout new leaves regularly and are great in a hanging planter such as a macramé hanger. However, they are toxic to cats and dogs.
- Ivy: Ivy is almost indestructible and has a good telltale sign when it needs watering as the leaves will look limp and soft.
- Spider Plant: These are great low maintenance plants, which need watering from the bottom perhaps once a week and a misting every now and then. They sprout babies regularly, off the end of their leaves, that are easy to propagate; you will be inundated with baby plants, which you can then share with friends and family.
If you don’t have a green thumb and want to start adding plants to your home, try something easy like a cactus or succulent. They’re easy to look after and don’t need much watering either.
Plants Based on Your Mental Health Needs
If you're interested in plants that are good for your mental health. Here are our recommendations. We chose these plants 1. For their properties 2. for their care routine. Having them in your home and taking care of them should help you reflect on your lifestyle and grow.
Aloe Vera: If you’re the type to give a lot (emotionally, monetarily, or physically) to others, you and aloe vera may make the perfect pairing.
During the repotting process, you may have to trim away any dead pieces that are no longer contributing to its growth. Doing this can serve as reminder of your own growth: as you approach different life stages, you sometimes have to let go of who or what may be stopping you from thriving.
Lavender: For those that forget to unwind and make time for themselves.
The scent is great to for those that need to destress, it can also be used in topical form as part of your self-care beauty regime.
- Peace Lilies: Needing to create a better work-life balance this one is for you. This flower is known for its energising flow and is also believed to help people flourish mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Snake Plant: For easy-going folk who need a reminder of how resilient they are when times get tough, snake plants are here for you.
Snake plants serve as a reminder that even when you may feel alone or experiencing a difficult time, you can still choose to grow through and survive even the hardest situations.
- Eucalyptus: For those who need a reminder to appreciate the present and what the day will bring, the eucalyptus is the ideal plant. Take a few moments to inhale its healing and powerful scent. Doing this brings you back into the present moment.
We could go on and on about plants and how amazing they are but think this is enough to get you going. If you ever want to have plant chat, please feel free to pop us a message.