Top 5 tips to choose the right plants for your home
“ Plants have enough spirit to transform our limited vision ”
– Rosemary Gladstar, an internationally renowned Herbalist
We as humans have always felt more positive and alive in nature. It is not surprising when we turn to plants to brighten up our homes. Apart from adding character and personality to our living spaces, plants in enclosed environments are also known to have health benefits.
The oxygen and moisture that plants release into the air have a way of increasing our health, well-being, and comfort level inside our homes. Several studies have shown that keeping plants in your line of sight can have a calming effect reducing stress and anxiety. Indoor plants also reduce noise levels and promote better sleep.
There are also air-purifying indoor plants that are especially popular among apartment dwellers. They help to filter out toxins from the air given off from carpets, furniture, cosmetics or wall paint. Such air-purifying house plants play an important role in phytoremediation, a cost-effective plant-based approach to restoring our immediate environments.
From lighting conditions, size, soil, drainage, containers and space to maintenance, there are several factors to consider when choosing the best plants for home. Here are some tips to help you get started on levelling up the green quotient of your apartment space:
- Choose plants based on personal taste
When choosing plants for your home, always consider your taste and sense of aesthetics. You can have preferences for certain types of plants based on their colour, size and dramatic or exotic appeal. Make sure the plants complement the interior design and colour palette of your rooms.
If it is health benefits you are looking for then choose the best air-purifying plants such as Snake Plant, Devil’s Ivy, Bamboo Palm or Peace Lilies.
- Choose plants based on lighting conditions
Consider the available light in the apartment when you are selecting house plants. Plants like Peace Lily, Chinese Lucky Plant or Snake Plant are the best house plants for low light. Tropical, coloured plants or those with patterned leaves do well in bright lights. Dim apartment spaces can be brightened up with Pothos or Red Prayer plants.
- Choose plants based on the care they need
Before going for indoor plants it is important to consider the care and maintenance it needs. Decide how much time and attention you can devote to the plants. Hardy, low-maintenance plants are best if you lead a busy life and travel a lot. Aloe Vera, Agave, Crown of Thorns, Snake Plant and Caladium are some varieties that do not need much care and are well-suited for those new to plants.
- Choose plants based on the size of plants
Think of the spaces in your home that you want to decorate with plants. Indoor plants can come in varied sizes. Floor plants from 2 to 5 inches in height look best in room corners, entrances, seating areas or near couches. Whereas lightweight and small-sized desktop plants are well suited to be placed on shelves, tabletop or windowsill. Tall plants may also work better if you have pets at home.
- Choose plants based on soil & drainage
Potting soil is lighter with better drainage capabilities for apartment plants when compared to standard gardening soil. Orchids or Cacti require special soil mixes, while terrariums need aquarium gravel, charcoal and moss sheets to thrive. For containers without drainage holes, make sure to combine stones with the plotting soil or add a layer of activated charcoal to stop the root from rotting. A drainage dish can also work for copper pots.
More than exuding a sense of warmth in your interiors, indoor plants can help us relax when we look after them. Recent studies by Professor Margaret Burchett of the University of Technology Sydney discovered that indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air, and just one plant per room can help purify the air.
Indoor plants were found to reduce the carbon dioxide in the air by 10-25% and reduce the toxic volatile organic compounds by up to 75%.