You’ve bought your dream new home, and now you need to decorate it, to add a bit of ‘life’ to it. While fabrics and furnishings make the finer detail, houseplants also help make a new home.
From their benefits, to the easiest types of plants to care for; we look at how adding plants to your new home can make the difference.
Houseplants for a healthy home
One of the biggest reasons why you should consider greenery by the way of plants in your home, is for the positive health benefits they bring. When it comes to houseplants, there are mental and physical benefits to be had. It’s well known that a view of a garden, green fields or flowers helps to relax the mind, to calm and boost your mood. The same goes for houseplants. Having them in your home in various places where you can see them, helps keep a healthy mind. They can literally brighten a bad day.
The physical benefits of houseplants
Physically, houseplants do their bit too. We can’t see them, but our homes get polluted by what’s called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). These substances are emitted from items like furnishings, carpet, paint, and detergents, and add to indoor air pollution. Interestingly, research suggests plants can help remove some of these harmful chemical compounds by purifying the air. It would, however, take a large number of plants to make a significant difference. That said, when it comes to our physical health, a study showed that houseplants can reduce blood pressure, fatigue and headaches by as much as 25%.
How to care for houseplants
We’ve all been there: bought a plant, put it in the corner or on a shelf and weeks later, it’s died. The key to looking after houseplants is learning to buy the right plant for the right place. Plants have likes and dislikes, just as we do. It’s understanding what they like best to help them thrive. It’s always tempting to buy a plant based on how good it will look in a space you’ve set aside in your home, but is it the right plant for that particular space?
What are the best plants for which areas?
Lots of sunshine areas
So, this could be on a windowsill which gets a lot of direct sunlight throughout the day, especially if it’s south facing. Or perhaps near patio doors, in a lounge or kitchen diner.
Cacti and succulents work well in these conditions. They do after all prefer it hot, coming originally from a desert habitat. They work well when it comes to decorating your new home too, thanks to their abundance of texture and patterns. They are great to look at, wonderful for children to enjoy, and super easy to manage without the need for regular watering.
Look for Aloe vera, echeverias, or try a Schlumbergera, or Christmas cactus as it is known, which produces beautiful, colourful blooms.
Light areas without so much heat
Here, we’re thinking areas of the home without so much direct sunlight, such as those which face east or west. Lots of light is still needed, but the plants won’t be baking in all day sunshine.
The Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa), which graced many a home in the 1970s and is back in fashion today, will thrive in such spaces. It’s large, luxuriant, green leaves will make a wonderful focal point in a room like a lounge, dining room, or even hallway, providing there’s ample light.
Other options here are the Kentia Palm, which is low maintenance yet makes a wonderful, visual addition to any room.
Cool and shady
For areas of your home which have low levels of light and are therefore, cooler, such as the bathroom or the hallway, then ferns and foliage plants do well. Contrary to belief that they are not in direct sunlight, and therefore will not dry out so quickly or need watering, is untrue. These plants will need regular watering.
The Cast iron plant (Aspidistra), so named as it’s a tough hardy plant, can tolerate many conditions, including shadier spots. It grows to a good height, so can make an impact in a room with its long, leathery leaves. Show it off in a decorative pot, to match your room’s décor!
Top tips for being successful with houseplants
1.Keep it simple; opt for plants requiring the least amount of effort, such as the cast iron plant, a cactus, or a succulent.
2.If you’re unsure, keep the details or the ‘tag’ which your plant comes with, in case you forget how to care for it and need to look it up!
3.Don’t over water your plants. Always let the surface of the soil go dry before watering for another time.
4.Invest in a mister to spritz water on those plants which benefit from being misted as much as watered.
5.Don’t take your plant out of its original ‘nursery’ pot when you put your house plant into a decorative pot. Instead, place that pot inside the larger decorative pot. That way you ensure your plant gets the drainage it needs.
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