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Houseplants, Part One: Why Bother With House Plants?

“Just one more thing” many homemakers complain when faced with the prospect of deciding whether to have live plants in their home or not. There are so many beautiful and very real looking and even real feeling artificial plants that, aside from the occasional dusting, take no additional care. Why would anyone, already busy with keeping a home, and usually working outside the home as well, want to add another chore to their already full workload? Well, actually there are several reasons live plants in a home are truly worth the effort it takes to maintain them. And, should you really not have the time to maintain houseplants yourself, but still desire their benefits, there are houseplant professionals who will come to your home and maintain your plants for you. So what are the benefits of houseplants?

  1. Probably the first thing that comes to mind is their beauty. Year round you can have a feeling of nature inside as well as outside. Many plants, like the Philodendron or English Ivy, just have beautiful green or variegated leaves, often cascading on long vine-like stems. Some have flowers as well, and often bloom according to the season, such as the Christmas Cactus or the Asiatic Lily. Thus, additional color can be added to the joy of houseplants.
  2. It is important to keep one’s mood in as positive a vein as possible. Depression can creep in so easily if a person isn’t careful about how their thoughts develop and mature. Having attractive, live plants in one’s home has been proven to be a mood elevator. Seeing life in a vibrant, living plant can often help a person feel more alive themselves. This is particularly true in the dark, winter months or the extremely hot summer months when folks tend to stay inside for most of their time at home. Allowing natural light in a room is necessary for the healthy growth of indoor plants and so also nurtures the plant’s owners.
  3. Caring for living plants and sometimes even growing them from seed or bulbs has long been known to be excellent therapy for the human mind and heart. There is something about growing and caring for someone or something outside oneself that helps make a person feel needed. And, feeling needed is an important part of fulfilling the human character. Particularly as people age and are less needed by others such as children and employers, it becomes increasingly important to have a purpose in life. Caring for houseplants can often provide a big part of an older person’s daily routine and feelings of accomplishment. Even someone in a wheelchair or using a walker can care for plants. And, houseplants make excellent gifts which can be an added bonus to someone who is basically homebound and can’t get out to shop for gifts themselves.
  4. For the most part, houseplants are not expensive to obtain or to care for. In fact, many types of houseplants can be rooted in water from clipped stems of already grown plants, or even from leaf base as in the African Violet. Of course, there are many expensive, exotic plants that do well inside such as the Orchid or Miniature Palm, but simple, inexpensive plants have a beauty and lushness ready to spruce-up and brighten even on a tight budget.
  5. Many people don’t realize it has been proven healthy houseplants can actually help clean the air you breathe in a home. Inside air is full of pollutants which a plant can actually filter out during their breathing process called photosynthesis. Carbon dioxide from the air including other pollutants such as benzene, nitrogen dioxide, and formaldehyde can be filtered out as can annoying dust particles.
  6. Plants can actually lower the temperature in a room as well as raise the humidity level.

Truly it is amazing the value of having living plants in your home. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can easily learn to pick out and care for plants that will reward you and give pleasure year round. The next two blogs will talk about some of the best plants to grow inside and then how to care for those houseplants. Be sure to look for these interesting and helpful blogs.