Bring In a Hint of Green
Don’t get gloomy from the winter blahs. You can chase the grey away by creating your own indoor oasis.
The Joy of Gardening
A few flowering or foliage houseplants will rejuvenate your home. Strategically placed houseplants can hide power outlets and cords, add to the colour scheme of a room, and even add warmth to your home decor.
Indoor gardening with houseplants isn’t just a way to add beauty to a home-it can be a healthy, healing, pastime. To nurture a growing plant teaches us responsibility and patience, and helps to relieve stress. Plants are known to help improve moods: the sight of an amaryllis or a primrose blooming is cheering on even the greyest of days.
Many businesses support growing plants in workplaces because they encourage productivity by helping reduce carbon dioxide levels. Plants require carbon dioxide to produce nutrients, and in the process they emit oxygen, which we need. They can even clear some toxic chemicals from the air. NASA scientists were the first to discover that plants are effective at removing indoor air pollution, including chemicals from cleaners, carpets, and building supplies.
Planting the Seed
Don’t be so convinced that any plant brought into your house will go to sleep, never to awaken. Plants need care, but give them the basics of adequate light and heat, good fertile soil and sufficient water, and you should have healthy happy plants for years to come.
When purchasing houseplants try to match the growing requirements of a plant with normal conditions in your home. Plants that require bright, direct light will not do well in a home with small, north-facing windows. If your home is hot in the winter, don’t select plants that like cool temperatures, especially at night. Similarly, don’t try to grow heat-loving tropicals in a drafty house.
Success with houseplants starts with good quality plants. Whenever possible, buy from a reputable garden centre or nursery, because the plants will have been given the care they need. Most houseplants will come with tags that give some basic care instructions. You can also find more in-depth directions in books or online.