Truth. Houseplants add so much life to a home, both in adding beautiful esthetics, and in contributing to overall health. They bring the outdoors in with various green shades and with browns and golds, as well as the colors of their many blossoms.
Many types of plants help clean the indoor air very well. So much of our products contribute to lower quality of the air that we breath by offgassing. Studies show that houseplants get rid of a lot of chemicals that poison our indoor air.
Have you ever read this NASA study: Chart of Air-Filtering Plants. It looks like Peace Lily is the clear winner! Benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, toluene and ammonia are mentioned in the study. Just think of all those chemicals floating around the air in your house! Yuck!
The top air cleaning plants in the study are:
- Peace Lily
- Lorist’s Chrysantemum (one of the most common flowers you can get)
- English Ivy
- Snake Plant
- Red-edged Dracaena
- Money Plant
- Flamingo Lily
- Broadleaf Lady Palm
- Cornstalk Dracaena
- Gerbera Daisy
- Janet Craig Dracaena
- Warneckei Dracaena
- Aloe Vera (with other health benefits, like sunburn care)
- Bamboo Palm
- Chinese Evergreen
- Spider Plant
- Boston Fern
- Areca Palm
- Dwarf Date Palm
So many choices! There are many other plants that clean the air as well, like Phlodendron or various orchids. They may not take care of as many chemicals as the top 21, but are still great to have in your home.
Plants Need Planters
The more plants I have collected, the more I’ve begun to focus on the different styles of planters available. Where I used to be happy with a simple clay pot, I now find myself looking for something to enhance my decor. It seems to be that way with a growing interest…I think maybe they call it mission creep, lol.
But planters can get pretty expensive. When I got my snake plants, I knew I needed something to elevate the plants and show them off a bit more. I found the bamboo plant stand on Amazon.
Then, I realized I needed a pot that was worthy of these beauties. I looked around in several stores and finally found this pot at Wal-Mart…it was the only one on the shelf. It was perfect.
All in all, the entire set-up cost me $65. That’s ok for something special…but…all my plant babies are special!
Every time I go to a thrift store I’m on the lookout for vessels that would make a good planter. I found these three cute ceral bowls at Goodwill for $1 each. I drilled two holes in the bottoms of each one, first using a smaller drill bit, then a slightly larger one. It took some patience and some water to keep the process from heating up too much. I think these are pretty cute for my succulents:
Another way to get pretty planters on the cheap is to cover inexpensive plantic planters with jute or rope. Some hot glue and jute make a great team. I find that rope and jute cost less at the hardware store than at the craft store or at Wal-Mart.
Yard sales and thrift stores are always a good place to look for planters. When you think outside the box, like with the cute cereal bowls above, you can come up with some clever ideas.
I have collected the majority of my houseplants from friends, family and neighbors. My mother and my mother-in-law have been particularly generous with their houseplants. Some of my favorite cacti came from my mom, and my spider plants came from my mother-in-law.
I belong to a Facebook group of gardeners and sometimes I am able to trade rootings with other gardeners. My spider plants are particularly prolific and I have often traded spider babies.
This summer I went for a walk along the main road outside our neighborhood and found some beautiful succulents growing beside the road. They’ve done very well as houseplants…especially the Hen and Chicks.
Don’t forget the clearance rack in the garden centers of Wal-Mart, Lowes, Home Depot, and even grocery stores. Usually the plants are in need of some TLC, but I enjoy the challenge of bringing them back to life.
Plants Need Light
I have surveyed all the places in my house that can support plants with various shades of light. I have to be careful not to get too many plants that need bright light because I only have one place to put them…in my dining room window that faces south.
All the rest of the spaces have less than bright lighting. Some are even rather dark. At the risk of revealing what nerd I am, I made a chart of the spaces in my house from darkest to lightest. As I see plants that interest me I list them on my chart by how much sunshine they need.
Yes, I am running out of space in some places in my house. Sometimes I can’t resist a certain plant, even though I don’t have any more room for the type of light it needs.
Plants Need Space
The majority of my plants do well in moderate lighting, so they all live in this bumpout window on the east side of the house. They enjoy about 4 hours of morning sun.
As I accumulated plants, I ran out of places to put them, so my husband came up with this solution.
It’s a bamboo closet organizer. It also doubles as a little bit of window covering, so we’re not completely on display to the neighbors as we sit by the fireplace.
I am waiting for my pothos to grow so I can drape it across the window top. I guess you could say that is a third valuable feature of houseplants…they can give you some privacy as window coverings!
Stay tuned…I’m working on a master list of houseplants and their sunshine requirements. I’ll make it available here.
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Categories: Mid-Century Thrifting