Written by Lisa Smalls, Contributing Writer for InFluential Magazine
If there is one home project to consider tackling this spring, it’s this: growing indoor plants.
Not only is testing the ability of your green thumb a fun and knowledgeable experience, but you will reap the benefits of what you sow for months to come (literally). Research shows there are a myriad of health benefits to introducing plants to your home’s interior. Some of which include improved air quality, decreased stress levels, and better sleep, to name a few.
See? Adding some green to your interior landscape goes far beyond design aesthetic.
Indoor Plants Providing a Breath of Fresh Air, Literally
Shockingly, indoor air is just as polluted as outdoor air. There are over hundreds of toxins lurking in the home, 90% of which are found in dust. Although it’s hard to trace where these toxins come from, studies suggest they are released from consumer products into the air and then settle in the dust. Not to freak you out, but they can be inhaled or even absorbed through the skin. There are also a number of allergens in the home, specifically the bedroom which has been deemed “the most allergen prone room in home” by WebMD because of the presence of dust mites in mattresses. Gross, we know.
Lucky for us aspiring gardeners, adding some foliage to our homes can help assuage this problem. Plants naturally cleanse the air and increase oxygen levels through photosynthesis, and it only takes a few plants to make a big impact. Don’t know where to start? Check out these five low-maintenance plants to grow indoors this spring.
Succulents are one of the most popular plants you can add to your home. They are low-maintenance and interesting to look at, not ot mention, they come in plenty shapes and sizes. Although succulents are pretty self-sufficient, they still need some care. Pot your succulents in a well draining soil suitable for cactus and put them in direct sunlight. They need a whole light of sunlight, but very little water. Water every week or a few days after the soil dries.
Speaking of succulents, you should try your hand at growing the easy-to-handle, incredibly useful, aloe vera plant. Aloe vera is one of the oldest and most researched medical plants around, and all it needs is mild temperatures (around 70 degrees) and a little sun to grow. Don’t worry about watering it too much, either – the soil needs to be dry. Aloe vera is great natural remedy for skin irritations and injuries, so it’s a handy plant to have around.
Pothos makes for a great indoor plant because it can thrive in low/indirect sunlight. In fact, the health of your pothos plant will suffer if it’s constantly exposed to bright sunlight. Plant pothos in potting soil. Fertilize once every three months and water when the top two inches of soil become dry. Too much watering can lead to root rot. Every once in a while your pothos plant will shed a few leaves, but if excessive leaf loss becomes common, there is probably an underlying problem such as not enough water, pest infestation or light distortions.
Bromeliad plants add an exotic splash of color to any home. But don’t let the exotic look fool you—these plants are super easy to care for. The important thing to remember is that unlike other indoor plants, bromeliads are air lovers. This means you shouldn’t just plant them in traditional potting soil. Garden nurseries recommend planting bromeliads in a shallow pot with a mixture of equal parts potting soil, perlite (which increases aeration), and orchid bark. Expose your bromeliad to medium-bright light and water it well. But be careful to avoid overwatering.
Also known as a “ribbon plant” during the Victorian Era, a spider plant is another good option to consider adding to your home. This houseplant is easy to grow and pretty difficult to kill, meaning that you don’t need a green thumb to keep it thriving. It loves indirect sunlight, moderate amounts of water, and well draining potting soil. Spider plant is known for its air purifying properties so if you are looking keep your home’s atmosphere fresh, give this plant a shot.
So if you are looking for a new hobby to learn this spring, mastering the art of indoor gardening is a great way to both revamp and cleanse your interior while simultaneously improving your health. Go ahead, get planting!