28 Apr Best Indoor Plants Part 1
Which indoor plants should I include in my home?
We have all heard of the benefits of having plants in our homes and work places. We are only beginning to understand the impact indoor air quality has on our mental health and work performance, but so far, the introduction of indoor plants to improve indoor air and reduce pollution points to positive outcomes.
The two main benefits of plants, of course, were found to be improvement of air quality and wellbeing. In fact, in an average four by five metre room, one plant can make your air 25 per cent cleaner and five plants make the air up to 75 per cent cleaner. The magic number for optimum purification and wellbeing benefits was 10 plants in an average four by five metre room.
Studies have shown indoor plants:
- Boost mood, productivity, concentration and creativity
- Reduce stress, fatigue, sore throats and colds
- Clean indoor air by absorbing toxins, increasing humidity and producing oxygen
- Add life to a sterile office, give privacy and reduce noise levels
- Are therapeutic and cheaper than a therapist
In our day to day modern lives we are constantly exposed to toxins and pollution in our indoor environment. Indoor air pollution is generally a consequence of toxic emissions from synthetic building materials, airborne mold, viruses, and pollutants, along with energy efficient construction, like making spaces as airtight as possible, which reduces the air circulation. These contributors release toxin emissions such as benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene.
While one plant makes very little difference to your wellbeing, a range of plants in different sizes and varietals are capable of making you feel more relaxed, inspired and positive.
Indoor Plants for Low to Medium Light Positions
Pothos or Devils Ivy
This plant is extremely easy to grow and is a great plant for an indoor plant novice. It has glossy, heart-shaped leaves and can be variegated, green or even a lime green colour. They can trail for up to 3 metres if kept happy and can be trained to hang along ledges, up posts or around corners. In low light situations they may lose their variegations. The Pothos has been shown to filter benzene, formaldehyde, xylene and toluene from the air.
Zanzibar Gem or ZZ Plant
The ZZ plant has gained popularity recently due to it simple, architectural growth and the fact that it requires little to no water. That’s right it thrives on neglect, making it an ideal feature on a home office desk or to bring life to a dark neglected corner of a room. Water occasionally but allow the soil to dry out well between watering. They can easily be divided if the pot becomes over-crowded. In addition, the plant meaning of ZZ is prosperity and friendship, making it a gift for the plant lover in your life.
If you are looking for something with even more personality, keep an eye out for the Jungle Warrior variety of the Zamioculcas-Zamilfolia. Labelled as the NEW BLACK ZZ, it’s green foliage appears during periods of active growth which then turns black during periods of dormancy.
You would have to be doing some thing really wrong to kill one of these, air plants don’t require any soil to grow. Simply support them on a structure with string, stocking or even hot glue. Simply mist them once a week to keep them hydrated. They are also a great addition to a terrarium display.
Air plants, or tillandsias, are a tropical American plant that usually grows on trees. It has long, narrow laves that absorb water and nutrients from their environment. There are more than 650 types of air plants that can grow and thrive without soil.
How to care for air plants
- Air plants generally aren’t affected by pests or diseases and don’t require feeding.
- Don’t let water gather at the base of your air plant as this can be detrimental to its health.
- Air plants can grow all year round.
- The higher humidity in your space, the more light your air plant can tolerate.
- The hotter and drier the conditions, the more you need to water them. Heaters and fireplaces can dry the air out in your environment.
- If your air plant has been over watering and is showing signs such as the base turning brown or black, or leaves falling off, then it is most likely too late to save it.
Spathiphyllum or Peace Lilly
Another forgiving plant for the lazy gardener or beginner gardener. These plants will let you know when they require water, their dark green stems will start to droop when it gets too dry. Give them a good watering and they will recover quickly. Spathiphyllum will grow happily in homes with low light, and if given a brightly lit position will produce a profusion of white, milky blooms. They can also be grown outside in a shady position in the garden.
There are over 300 different types of calathea, traditionally having a colourful stripe-like patterned leaves in a compact form. Calatheas originate from the tropics and prefer a shady warm spot in the house. They prefer moist, yet free draining soil.
The Calathea plant is a popular plant used for indoor office and homes for decoration purposes. It is a type of plant that prefers indirect lighting, which means makes it perfect for indoor usage. Calathea plants are popular for indoor purposes because they are generally easy to care for and they look great, offering bright green plants to liven up indoor spaces.
Calathea plants are part of the family of plants known as Marantaceae, which is a species of flowering plants from tropical areas such as Africa. They are famous for their wide, green, colorful leaves. These wide leaves make them popular for areas of low light. Low light plants have broad leaves to absorb and use as much light as they can get. In nature, they are found in jungles and at the base of trees.