Like many of you, at this time of year I’m bringing plants indoors. Houseplants that have been sent to “summer camp,” and annuals that I want to over-winter indoors. I’m pulling pots inside, finding the best lighting I can for them, and hoping for the best. These plants are coming inside because I like them, of course, but beyond enjoying their appearance from year to year, there are other benefits to bringing them indoors.
I entered the greenhouse at the garden center the other day and saw the following sign:
It reminded me that the advantages of indoor plants extend way beyond financial and aesthetic considerations. In so many ways, plants – be they inside or out – are good for us. Some tips for using plants to clean indoor air:
- Be sure to include several plants with large leaves. Many common houseplants are good air filters. Peace Lily, for example, and Christmas cactus and snake plants are good at trapping pollutants in their leaves.
- Keep your plants healthy. Some plants thrive if sent to “summer camp” in the warm season, while others do best when left in the same location from month to month. If a plant isn’t doing well in your house, try it in a different window that gets more or less light. Be sure not to put a layer of rocks or shards in the bottom of pots and to leave drainage holes uncovered. (This is one of the myths covered in my new book, Coffee for Roses. Read more about this there: )
- You’ll need a 6″ or larger plant every 100 square feet of room, but don’t stop there!