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Houseplants to brighten up your home
Taking care of houseplants is a gardening activity for everyone to enjoy. Whether you want to add some nature to your home, or you don’t have a garden to plant in, houseplants are the way to go. In this blog post, we talk about some easy-to-grow houseplants and how to take care of them.
But before we dive straight into the deep end, here are some fun facts about houseplants that you may not have known:
– Indoor plants help reduce stress and boost productivity! According to Ulrich (1979), viewing nature can help our brains relax and have a positive effect on our emotional and physiological states (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/254315158_Visual_Landscapes_and_Psychological_Well-Being). Therefore, having houseplants in your home and work environments can improve your mental well-being.
– Many houseplants are air purifiers. While we know that all plants have the ability to photosynthesise and generate oxygen, did you know that many houseplants such as the Peace Lily and the Snake Plant can remove harmful pollutants from the air? So not only are they a beautiful addition to your home, but they make the air cleaner as well!
– Having houseplants dates back to the 17th century, when an English agriculturalist wrote about the cultivation of plants indoors using glasshouses and glass boxes (https://www.britannica.com/science/houseplant). These have very famously turned into greenhouses and terrariums.
Even with their creepy-crawly name, Spider Plants are one of the most popular houseplants to grow in the UK. Due to the cascading foliage, they make excellent hanging plants. For indoor use, spider plants do best on windowsills in indirect sunlight, with light shade. They can grow in a variety of potting mixes, but prefer soil with a neutral pH. CoirProducts coco peat with added plant food is ideal for houseplants. Keep the soil moist but be careful not to over-water, as over-watering will result in root rot. Spider plants grow well in humid conditions. Try to keep them away from drafty areas, and regular misting can help keep humidity levels up.
Spider Plants – known also by their scientific name Chlorophytum Comosum, and there are three varieties which make popular houseplants, ‘Variegatum’, leaves have adrak green stripe in the middle and white margins, ‘Vittatum’, with a white stripe and green margins, and ‘Bonnie’, which has more curled leaves with a cream stripe and green margins. Mature plants also produce flowers, most varieties produce small, star-shaped white flowers, but the ‘Bonnie’ variety has yellow flowers.
While they are very popular outdoor plants and often found in woodland areas, some fern varieties also make excellent houseplants. Plus, fern varieties don’t all look the same, so you can have multiple ferns while still maintaining a range of plants. Some varieties of fern that make good houseplants include ‘the cretan brake’, ‘the button fern’, and the ever popular ‘sword fern’ In general ferns are easy to grow. Most of the ferns grow best in a shady or partially shaded area with indirect sunlight. A moist but not water-logged soil is best for ferns, and like spider plants, they like rooms with high humidity. If you have the space, why not add a fern to your bathroom?
Aloe vera is a succulent that is native to the hotter regions of the world, and has the ability to store water in its leaves. It therefore doesn’t need much watering, which makes it an excellent, low maintenance plant for beginners. Aloe vera thrives best in indirect sunlight, as too much sunlight can burn the leaves. Frost can cause damage to aloe vera so make sure to protect your plant during the winter months, if it’s near a window, perhaps move it away and put it on a shelf or stand instead.
Make sure you keep the plant in a well-drained soil, over-watering will destroy the plant. As they store water very well, pick a pot which has good drainage – we recommend CoirProducts coir pots for this. If you’re planting from the beginning, pick a pot three times the size of the root ball – aloe vera plants love to spread and grow. Baby aloe vera plants will sprout separately from the main plant. To re-pot this new plant, detach it from its mother plant ensuring you do not damage the roots.
The Chinese Evergreen is one of the most popular houseplants and its colour variations—from dark green and silver to red—add personality to your home’s decor. Chinese Evergreens are slow-growing and make excellent indoor foliage plants that can be potted and cared for year-round. Take care if you have pets because the plant is toxic to dogs and cats. Chinese Evergreens can tolerate all ranges of light, temperature, and humidity, meaning it is very easy to grow this plant at home. If you give them well-draining soil with a good houseplant mix, you can get an excellent yield.
Spathiphyllum Wallisii, also known as the Peace Lily, is a popular houseplant, well known for its air-purifying qualities. A low maintenance houseplant with glossy green leaves, the peace lily also blooms white flowers during spring and summer. Peace lilies like a bright spot out of direct sunshine but will also tolerate some shade. Water regularly, keeping your chosen potting mix lightly moist. The leaves have a tendency to droop if the plant is dehydrated, but water it until the soil is moist and this should remedy the plant.
Peace lilies prefer humid rooms, so keeping them in a bathroom or misting regularly will help maintain this. It is recommended that you re-pot them every spring to help keep the soil fresh. Again, while they are beautiful, they can be toxic to dogs and cats.