Growing Green Indoors



BY LAUREN SEPHTON

Amidst last year’s work-from-home phenomenon, the trend of growing indoor plants grew like wildfire.

In fact, did you know this notorious indoor plant trend is being associated with several health benefits? First, the Journal of Physiological Anthropology published a study that found home or office plants can help reduce overall stress levels as they make you feel more soothed and comfortable. Second, horticultural therapy, working with plants, has been identified as increasing positive feelings among individuals that commonly experience anxiety or depression.

Third, studies have shown that students who study with real plants had sharper attention during tests, as they were better able to concentrate and were more attentive to their work. Fourth, researchers have identified that plants within the workspace can increase both creativity and productivity. Lastly, a study conducted by NASA about phytoremediation – plants cleansing the air from contaminants – showed that indoor plants not only improve the air quality in a sealed spacecraft but also naturally refreshen your home space. There are a few houseplants in particular that get the job well done: areca, bamboo palm, weeping fig, Boston fern, Ficus tree, spider plant, and rubber tree.

How much light do indoor plants need?

Several plants, like cacti and succulents, will need continuous daily sunlight. Otherwise, most plants with foliage need about 8 hours of daylight per day, but it will vary depending on the specific plant you are trying to grow.

Are there indoor plants that don’t require lots of daylight?

  • Dracaena
  • Philodendron
  • Pothos (also known as Devil’s Ivy)
  • Peace Lily

How do you properly care for indoor plants?

The first tip is that you want to properly water your plant, making sure the potting soil stays moist (not too wet, yet not too dry). Oftentimes, indoor plants are killed from overwatering, as they require less water than outdoor plant roots.

Second, you want to ensure that the plant pot has drainage holes at the bottom to allow excess water to not puddle up. Similarly, you may even want to refresh the soil by removing the plant from its pot to trim the root ball back a little, then put it in a new clean pot with the same amount of new potting soil.

Third, consider placing your plant near a natural light source. In addition, keep them clean from dust as it cuts down on the photosynthesis process. All you need to do is dampen a clean cloth with warm water to remove the dust, which also helps to simultaneously prevent disease. As the seasons change, the sun will also move from north to south, so keep in mind that you may need to rotate their window position occasionally to maximize their light exposure.

Finally, try to determine the species of your plant to do a little more research into accurate care for that specific plant. For instance, some plants thrive when potted in rocks or pebbles, while others prosper when in the same room as a humidifier.

What are common indoor plants that are easy to take care of?

  • Pothos
  • Succulents
  • Philodendron
  • Sansevieria
  • Aspidista
  • Agalanema
  • Dracaenas

Common Plants Unsuitable for Children and Pets

Before bringing a new plant home, it’s important to check a reliable source to ensure it’s safe from toxins or poisonous parts. For example, the following list includes just a few common indoor plants that may be dangerous for pets and/or children:

  • amaryllis
  • aloe vera
  • azalea
  • English ivy
  • jade
  • mistletoe
  • lilies
  • monstera deliciosa
  • umbrella plant
  • poinsettias
  • sago palm
  • chrysanthemums

From purifying indoor air to reducing stress, indoor plants may just be the newest life hack.


Comments