Indoor gardening is great. Not only does it make our homes look great, but houseplants also have health benefits that you might not even know about. From improving the air we breathe to help lift our moods during the darker nights of winter.
To mark house plant week UK (11th -17th January) our Winmarleigh Camera Club have capture their own plants for you to enjoy.
Here also is a little bit of information about six houseplants that can help solve a few common health-related problems.
The Spider Plant
Spider plants are great for removing formaldehyde from the air in your home. This is the stuff that comes from all sorts of things you bring into your home including paper bags, waxed papers, facial tissues, paper towels, napkins, particle board, plywood panelling and synthetic fabrics.
If you have poor indoor air quality and not much of a green thumb, a spider plant may be exactly what you need. It’s one of the easiest plants to care for and can be kept in less sunny places in your home since it typically doesn’t like to be placed under direct sunlight.
A spider plant can grow in any type of soil and only needs to be watered occasionally. If you can remember to water it often enough that its soil stays moist, then that’s all you really need to keep this plant alive and thriving.
Chances are you’ve probably heard of or used commercially sold medicinal creams or ointments that say they contain aloe vera on their labels. Despite a lack of scientific evidence that aloe vera has any substantial healing properties, it’s been used for thousands of years as a common natural remedy to soothe irritated skin.
Aloe vera plants need to be deeply watered and their soil left to dry just slightly (about 1 to 2 inches deep) between watering. They do very well with lots of sun but can turn brown if they get too much of it, so keeping your aloe vera plant under indirect sunlight is best.
Lavender is a flowering plant that has a very gentle and pleasant aroma. Best known for its stress-relieving mental benefits.
You can place a lavender plant anywhere in your home, but putting it in your bedroom is especially helpful since it may help you sleep better. The smell of lavender may help soothe restlessness, nervousness, anxiety, depression and insomnia.
Lavender plants prefer well-drained soil and lots of sunlight. They also need deep watering, but be careful not to water them very often. Aim to water your lavender plant when the soil is nearly dry.
Nobody ever wants to think about the possibility of mould thriving in their home. If you’re worried about it, bringing an English ivy plant into your home can help you rest easy since it’s well-known to purify up to 94 percent of airborne mould particles that can trigger allergies
The English ivy is another great plant to put in your bedroom. If you have asthma or difficulty breathing at night, it can help you breathe easier and get a restful night’s sleep.
Be aware that English ivy is poisonous, so it should be kept well out of reach from children and pets. The plant thrives under fluorescent light but not direct sun, so it’s the perfect houseplant for darker than normal bedrooms with artificial light. Soil should be kept most at all times, but not soggy.
Rosemary is an herb that’s been used in folk medicine for centuries to help improve concentration and memory. It turns out that there may be some merit to this claim since a study conducted by Northumbria University found that people who were exposed to the scent of rosemary essential oil performed better on questionnaires compared to people who were exposed to no scent at all.
The memory-boosting component of rosemary is thought to be caused by a compound called 1,8-cineole, which may cause increases in a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Although you may be able to take advantage of a more potent scent by using rosemary essential oil with a diffuser in your home, it doesn’t hurt to keep a rosemary plant nearby in places like your home office or any other room where you could use a mental boost.
Rosemary can be planted in a pot and put in any spot where it has access to bright sunlight. It should be watered evenly throughout the growing season, but will need less water in the winter. Avoid over-watering and remember to trim your rosemary plant after it flowers.
If humidity tends to be a problem, the Boston fern may be the most ideal houseplant to bring into your home. Said to be a natural humidifier, Boston ferns are among the best air purifying plants that also combat formaldehyde, xylene and other unwanted toxins. It may also indirectly benefit any dry skin you may suffer from, which can often be a side effect of central heating in indoor spaces.
Boston ferns are easy to grow and prefer indirect sunlight, but you should check the soil daily to make sure that it’s kept moist. They’re most efficient in rooms kept at a cool temperature with a humidity level of 50 to 80 percent.