This Valentine’s Day, instead of picking up a dozen roses, nurture your green thumb and enjoy the benefits year-round with live plants. Here is everything you need to be in-the-know including the incredible benefits of going LIVE!
As natures filtration system, plants are particularly good at removing airborne pollutants, especially formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen and the most common offender in the home. It can be found in mattresses, plastic products, paints, wood coatings, fabrics and insulation to name a few.
Dwarf Date Palms, Boston Ferns and Rubber Plants are all especially good at removing formaldehyde from the air. Adding plants is an easy solution and the best first line of defense. Strategically placed plants can help eliminate toxins and purify your environment – serving the dual purpose of beauty and functionality.
Contrary to popular belief, there are no indoor plants. No one species is specifically formulated to thrive under the conditions found in a home, although there are many varieties that tolerate it well.
Plants typically fall into three categories when it comes to light. They are full sun, partial sun or indirect/shade. Depending on the orientation of your home, the spacing of the windows and whether a room is an interior or exterior one; these all will all play a part in deciding which plant is right for you. Hold off putting a plant that needs full sun in a window-less powder room and keep delicate ferns away from unshielded sunlight. While natural illumination is always best, UV lightbulbs can be used intermitted in low-light areas to give your plants the extra boost they need to grow.
Where will the plant live and how will it be affected by the ambient moisture? Is this a humid bathroom, a breezy entry or a quiet office? Orchids, Aloe Vera and Snake Plants are all water-loving and will grow with little to no effort in a bathroom or spa-like lounge. Cactus and succulents on the other hand, should stay out of damp areas. There’s nothing more difficult than continually working against the elements. So even if you fall in love with a certain species, consider it’s needs before putting it in your home.
Pick Your Palette
With the logistics out of the way, creativity can step in. Take the time to select plants that match the aesthetic of your home and consider how they can be used to achieve the effect you desire. Apply the same principals you would use when choosing paint colors or art pieces to unite your plants of choice with the existing décor. A great option is to create vignettes around your space. Tell a story with colored pots, miniature sculptures and a selection of plants in similar tones and colors. Succulents are a great choice for their diverse selection of icy hues and both textured or sleek leaves. Keep in mind, they require direct sun and dry soil between each watering.
If you’ve had your heart set on a tree, bring it indoors. Many fruit trees come in dwarf or ornamental varieties that are perfect for filling in corners and eliminating dead space in a room. Tiny citrus, olive trees and other fruit bearing varieties will produce year-round if properly looked after, not to mention they give a wonderful aroma to the space. Consider light and heat when placing trees near windows as their leaves can sometimes burn from excess sun. Choose one or two large specimens and pick a base that matches the feel of the room. Rattan baskets, hand thrown ceramic or burnished metallic pots can take your space from Mediterranean to modern in a heartbeat. Place your plant on a stand with casters for easy relocation.
Embrace the tropics with ferns and palms. Fantasy and Button ferns are full and leafy, need only a little light and are therefore perfect for offices or bedrooms. They do require regular trimming, but only minimal water. For a wall mounted option, look to a Staghorn Fern. These large singular plants are attached to a board and nestled in a breathable sling. They can be picky when it comes to care and water and act more like air plants than your typical tropical giant. Absorbing water directly through their large antler shaped fronds they like bright, indirect light and Southern or Eastern sun exposure.
Finally, for a plant-centric take on a gallery wall, create a custom installation that’s sure to wow. For sun soaked, dry weather dwellers, try a vertical mosaic of rainbow succulents and dwarf cacti. If lush is more your style, create a living wall of ferns, orchids and creeping vines. An arid or tropical oasis is just an idea away.
On a final note, always take into account who dwells in the space. Although they may look beautiful, some houseplants can be toxic to pets or children, so either avoid these varietals or keep them high up on shelves and out of reach. Choose a species that fits your lifestyle or enlist the help of a plant guru to manage the health and watering of your new additions. With the proper research, your green thumb will be flourishing in no time. No matter your preference, from chic minimalism to urban jungle, with a little forethought anything is possible. So, breathe well, purify your space and enjoy the benefit of these beautiful and long-lasting plant selections.
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