More plants to live long and happy!

 

It is proven: Crazy Plant ladies live longer and happier. Now we have an excuse!

According to a Harvard study, women living with plants (in or outdoor), live longer and are less likely to suffer from depression. Caring for plants and surrounding yourself with them might be just the key to a long and happy life.

Indeed, the study carried on for 8 years by a team at Harvard T.H. CHAN (School of Public Health), has found that the mortality rate was 12% lower amongst women living in greener areas. But one of the greatest benefits from living in a little jungle is the effect on your mental health; it counts for 30% of the benefits! The higher physical activity, the opportunities for social engagement and the lower exposure to air pollution, related to gardening, are all factors impacting positively on our overall health.

However, you might not have a garden or access to it so why not bring the greenery inside and create your own indoor jungle with the best plants for air quality. In fact, the air in our homes is even more polluted than outside. Our homes are filled with chemicals. They are in the glue, the varnish, paint, ink, chipboard, wallpaper and detergents, to name only a few. Benzene, Ammonia, Carbon Monoxide, Formaldehyde, Toluene and Xylene, all these pollutants are known to cause breathing problems (such as asthma), headaches and other disorders. Some are also carcinogenic.

We might not be able to avoid all of them but, thankfully, plants have this great ability to absorb these pollutants to keep us safe. So here is a little ‘Tour’ of the air purifying champions:

 

  1. Areca Palm (Dypsis Lutescens): The Tropical Star

 

Not only will the Areca Palm absorb Xylene and Toluene, it is also a must-have when creating an indoor jungle.

For best results, grow in dappled light and keep the compost lightly moist during the growing season (spring and summer). The rest of the year, allow the compost to dry slightly before watering again. The plant will also benefit from regular misting.

 

Safe for pets.

 

 

 

  1. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum): The small plant with mighty powers

It is resilient, undemanding and easy to grow. It fits anywhere at all! On a table, a shelf, a hanging basket, it cleans it all! Benzene, Formaldehyde, Carbon Monoxide, Toluene and Xylene, it will tackle them all.

It will grow ideally in half-shaded spot (avoid strong sunlight), with a bright indirect light which will enhance the variation of the leaves. It could be placed in a shadier spot but the

growth will be slower. Keep the compost slightly moist during the growing season between March and October, then allow it to dry a bit more in the winter.

Safe for pets.

 

 

 

  1. Mother-in-law’s Tongue (Sansevieria): The Best for the Bedroom.

Because of its ability to release oxygen at night, it is the best plant to place in your bedroom for a good night sleep. It also removes Benzene, Formaldehyde, trichloethylene and Toluene.

Most of all, it is extremely easy to grow! Although it prefers  good light levels, it will survive with limited daylight and little water. If you think that you are not green fingered, then the forgiving Sansevieria is perfect for you.

Toxic  to pets

 

 

 

 

  1. Peace lily (Spathiphyllum): Elegance and efficiency

 

With its smart and elegant look, it will suit any style. Most importantly, along with Benzene, Formaldehyde, Trichloroethylene and Xylene, it will remove Ammonia (found in many cleaning products) which makes it ideal for the kitchen and the bathroom.

The peace lily prefers a good indirect sunlight; however, it will also tolerate light shade. Keep it well watered during the growing season, allowing the top layer of compost to dry between waterings. Cut spent flowers to encourage new ones.

Toxic to pets

 

 

 

  1. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis): All-time favourite for shade

 

Tolerant of any light condition, it will do best in a bright room. It also likes humidity, so regular misting will help the plant to keep its lush green. Particularly efficient in removing Formaldehyde and Xylene.

Water once a week, (more often if the room is very warm) and feed regularly from March to September.

Safe for pets.

 

 

 

 

  1. Dragon Tree (Dracaena Marginata): Great for beginners

Very easy to grow, this tall palm-like tree from Madagascar is the perfect addition for a home with limited light. Forgiving of occasional missed watering, it is also great for absorbing most of the pollutants found indoor (except for Ammonia).

Grow in dappled shade or bright indirect sunlight and allow the top layer of compost to dry before watering again.

Toxic to pets

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Dumbcane (Dieffenbachia): Generous leaves for maxi absorption

With its imposing foliage, it is especially good at removing Toluene and Xylene, although it is also a master when it comes to absorbing formaldehyde.

It will grow well in indirect or filtered sunlight, beware that strong direct sunlight will burn the new leaves. The compost must be kept moist but not too wet.

Toxic to pets

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Flamingo Plant (Anthurium): Colour to eradicate Ammonia

The Anthurium is very good for removing the Ammonia in the air; it is therefore, one the best choices for your kitchen or bathroom. Its colourful and long-lasting flowers will also brighten up your interior.

It needs a free-draining compost, as it is prone to root rot, and bright indirect sunlight for best results.

Toxic to pets

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Pothos (Epipremnum): The tropical Vine

This evergreen vine from the rain forests around the world can be grown on a moss pole or in a hanging basket. Available in different shades, its bright leaves will adapt to lower light levels however, this will slow the growth rate.

It is a good choice in a room with a fireplace or a boiler because it absorbs Benzene, Toluene and Carbon Monoxide.

Water moderately during the growing season and less in the winter.

Toxic to pets

 

 

 

 

  1. Indoor Fig Tree (ficus spp): A variety of plants to suit every style

With small leaves, elongated or large, variegated or dark green, all have similar traits in which they remove formaldehyde and xylene from your home.

Good indirect sunlight is ideal, away from draughts, and regular watering (along with feeding) will keep your fig tree flourishing indoors. Although, easy to grow, they do not like to be moved so once you have found a place in the house where it is happy (away from direct sunlight and heating sources), leave it be!

Toxic to pets

 

 

 

 

 

General  Growing Tips for your Indoor Plants:

Light: Most indoor plants prefer bright indirect sunlight. In other words, if you were to read a book for a few hours in the room, it is the place where you don’t struggle to see the letters, either because it is too bright or too dark.

Watering: It is always better to water too little rather than too much. Overwatering will cause root rot and a rapid decay of the plant. If you forget a watering or two, your plant won’t look too happy but will recover quickly once you water it. Misting is an important part of the watering as well. Indeed, most of our indoor plants are native of rain forests around the world so they need high humidity levels.

Feeding: All plants need feeding, even more so in pots. Since they are mainly leafy plants, they will need a balanced fertilizer with good nitrogen levels. In other words a good all purpose food is ideal.

Temperature: On average, between 15 and 23 degrees is perfect all year round. Some hardy varieties can withstand temperatures as low as 10 degrees in the winter, for a short period of time, as long as the plants are kept on the dry side.

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