There are so many reasons to use houseplants:
- Plants make you happy - a Chicago cardiologist conducted a test, and the findings were that if a hospital patient faced a window with a garden view, they recovered quicker then patients who faced a wall.
- Plants fight fatigue and colds - It was found the plants reduced fatigue, coughs, sore throats, and cold related illnesses by more then 30% partially by increasing humidity levels and decreasing dust.
- Plants Clean the air - NASA did a study that showed, houseplants can remove up to 87% of indoor air pollutants in 24 hours.
- Plants can remove a variety of toxic air emissions, such as: ammonia, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, benzene, xylene and trichloroethytene.
First is our DUMB CANE (Dieffenbachia): It is one of the most common houseplants, and one of the easiest to care for (which makes it perfect for me :)
He needs Moderate to Low light, Moderate to Heavy watering, a little bit of 'food' once a month, we've have NO problems with this green guy. They prefer to be within 8 feet of a window but can survive a bit farther away (ours is about 10 feet away). They like it humid so daily misting is a must!They hate Drafts so keep them away from registers and opening doors.
They are a 'poisenious' plant so if you have young kids or pet who have an interest in eating plant leaves this is NOT the plant for you, luckily Max has no interest in plants!
This plant basket is actually a waste paper basket!
Next is our: BURGUNDY RUBBER PLANT (Ficus Elastica) Also a very common houseplant, very easy to take care of. They require Moderate to Low levels of light so 5-8 feet from a window is ideal. A rubber plant requires heavy watering once or twice a week. Because you want to water it heavily but you don't want the roots sitting in water so a pebble tray is super handy under one of these guys.
This is the plant and basket we bought as part of our $50 hallway challenge!
Then we have our BOSTON FERN - again one of the most common houseplants (I feel very ordinary thanks to this post hehe) They require Medium levels of light so 4-7 feet from a bright window is necessary, I've found that our Fern needs A LOT of light we have him in the library next to a south facing window, although I'm suspecting come summer he'll need to be moved a few more feet away from that window. Ferns like moist soil, however during the winter months water when the top soil feels dry (but don't let it dry completely, that will make him angry). Misting is also necessary!!!! They like it warm during the day, cool during the night, they hate drafts and like to 'eat' once a month :)
Our ORCHID is a favorite of mine. Some people say they are finicky, some say they are the easiest of houseplants, my view on them is somewhere in between. I've had one that required no work at all, and bloomed for 6 months straight (then we left it in the garage after the move and it died). I have one now, where the blooms are doing great but the buds that were about to bloom died and fell off. But in general they are not as difficult as I thought they would be. The most important part is the soil, the roots need to breathe so using bark for soil is the only way to go. The also like orchid fertilizer, other fertilizer just won't cut it. They require low levels of water once a week to once every two weeks should do it. They love a daily mist! And they LOVE bright light at least 10 hours a day of indirect light a day!
If the leaves turn yellow, your giving it too much water.
If the foliage turns brown you are giving it too much light, essentially burning the plant.
and last is POTHOS IVY (Devils Ivy) The number 1 most common houseplant (I feel super original now :)
It is the easiest plant to keep! It can handle a variety of indoor conditions. The Pothos does have one pet peeve, It hates wet feet, so a pebble tray or good drainage is a must. To ensure success with a pothos ivy of your own Pick a plant with a good root system (pop it out of the pot at the store and ensure all the roots are strong and active, not mushy), and avoid over watering :)
Pothos is also slightly toxic if you eat it, so if you have kids or pets who won't eat their dinner but somehow find a potted plant irresistible avoid this plant.
Nasa suggests that for an 1800 square foot home you'll need 15-18 "good sized" houseplants, in 6-8 inch containers. It looks like we'll be needing some more plants :)
Here's some I'm looking to add to the menagerie of plants:
- Chinese Evergreen
- Asparagus Fern
- A jade plant
- I would LOVE to try my hand at a Lemon Tree again (I definitely won't be leaving the next one in the garage when we move :(
- Some herbs on the kitchen window sill
- I want to add some ferns to the front porch during the spring and summer and those will need to come in over the winter so those count as future houseplants.
- I always wanted a peace lily but heard the are VERY toxic so I always avoided them.