You have decided you would like to try having live plants in your home and/or office. Now, what should you do? Should you just go to a garden center and start choosing the prettiest plants you see? Probably not, as there are a number of considerations when you go to choose the best plants for your environment and tastes. Here are some of the most important things to consider when choosing houseplants:
- One of the most important things to learn is which plants are poisonous to humans and pets. If there are no children or pets in your home this is not such an important consideration but you will likely have guests who may have young children so you still would be wise to at least know which plants are dangerous so you can take them away when needed. You can go online to view a complete list of plants and which parts are harmful. This list includes Poinsettia, Ivy, Peace Lily, Pansy, Baby’s Breath, Marigold, Bleeding Heart, Lily of the Valley, Chrysanthemum, Tomato, and Star of Bethlehem.
- Once you have decided you definitely want houseplants, you need to decide where you will put them. Such considerations as proper lighting, ventilation, and easy access to care, need to be taken into account. It is best to list the particulars of your hoped for indoor plants and then you will be better able to search for plants that will accommodate your needs.
- Cost is also a consideration to put on your list as many houseplants are inexpensive and others can cost a lot. The cost of containers, nutrients, and special potting soil should also be taken into account.
- The amount of care a houseplant needs is another concern. As you look into finding plants, flowering or simply beautiful foliage, that excite you, you will want to read about their care. If you are extremely busy with little extra time to bestow on plants, you will be wise to choose those plants requiring minimal care such as Philodendrons, Lilies, Cactus, and Ivy.
- It is interesting to note that plants actually differ in their ability to filter contaminants from the air. For example, a study done by NASA scientists found there are seven plants that do the best job in filtering out formaldehyde, a volatile organic compound known to cause cancer, and trigger asthma attacks and allergic reactions when present in high levels. Formaldehyde is emitted in low levels by furniture and a number of home building products. Choosing Boston Fern, English Ivy, Rubber Plant, Dwarf Palm, Golden Pothos, florist’s Gerber Daisies and Mums, or Peace Lily will work best on taking formaldehyde from the air. Researching the plants you choose will help determine their ability to clean air.
There are literally hundreds of plants which can be grown inside with success. And, if you are new at growing live plants inside, a good place to begin your search after you figure out the answers to the above concerns is the public library. There are wonderful books with full color illustrations that will show you all you need to know about the type of houseplant you are looking for. Spend some relaxing hours pursuing the pages and pick out just what you are looking for. Your local plant nursery will be helpful in providing you with additional information as well as helping you obtain the desired plants, containers, and their effective care supplements. In Part 3 of this series on houseplants we will look at tips on how to care for your indoor plants.