This page is home to the trendiest of plant categories out there… Houseplants!
Plants that hail from regions near the equator can often make perfect “indoor” companions because of the conditions they are native to. Most of the popular houseplants are not large trees but small plants that grow near the rain forest floor. A location underneath a dense canopy means that these plants already possess the abilities to tolerate and grow well in conditions that are lower in light, such as our homes.
There are many benefits to houseplants. We all learned in school that plants help us by changing the CO2 that WE make, back into the Oxygen (O2) that we need to survive. Indoor plants can help us keep the air in our homes more breathable. When you pair this statement of truth with the reality that many of us who live in northern climates spend greater amounts of our time indoors we can benefit even more greatly by having plants in our home. In fact from a society standpoint we now spend more than 70% of our time indoors. Even in the summer months when it is nice outside.
In addition to plants helping us with our indoor CO2 problems, there are a growing number of studies and research being done to show that plants also filter out some of the toxic and harmful chemicals that build up in our indoor air. Two of the most common being Benzene and Formaldehyde. Plants really can help make us healthier.
Assessing an indoor plant’s needs:
Too Much Light:
When the edges of a plant’s leaves become dry and crispy, or whole leaves turn a gray-brown, this can be a sign of light conditions that are too intense for the plant to handle. In contrast to providing too much water, the upper leaves of a plant generally are affected by too much light.
Too Little Light:
If a plant begins to stretch and become leggy and tall, this is a sign that it is reaching for more light than it is getting in its current location. If you see a plant leaning a particular direction in your home, help it grow evenly by rotating the pot every few days. Perhaps consider moving it closer to the window it leans towards.
Many of the tropical plants that are sold as houseplants grow not in the soil on the forest floor, but up in the crooks of trees. Up in the crooks, leaves and other organic matter gather and provide a rich quick draining condition for their tender roots. These plants do not feed on their host but simply are dependent upon their host to provide the right conditions.
Too Little Water:
When the water in a plant becomes too low to properly support its leaves, they begin to droop. When these plants are provided with water they begin to stand up and look like themselves again.
Too Much Water:
This is probably the most common mistake people make when caring for a houseplant. Providing plants with too much water will generally result in lower leaves turning yellow, and also the drooping of leaves. If left too wet for too long the plant may rot at the soil surface and become separated from its roots. Most plants do not like to stand in water. Erring on the side of dryness is generally wise when watering your houseplants. When in doubt, don’t water, or water very little.