Houseplants and Your Health

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Now is the perfect time to enrich your life and start 2013 with a greener, healthier you. Houseplants are not only a way to spruce up your interior décor, but also have a multitude of health benefits. They can reduce pollutants and stress levels and increase humidity, which helps alleviate respiratory concerns. Here is a list of the houseplants (pictured) for your consideration.


1. Croton — There are many different varieties of Croton in different foliage color combinations. It has large leaves with exotic color patterns. The most popular is ‘Petra,’ which has shades of yellow, red and green. This has long been a favorite houseplant for adding a punch of color. Crotons will survive in areas with low to high sunlight, but they will show more color when you place them in a bright spot. Water regularly, as soil becomes dry.

2. ZZ plant — With its tall, succulent stems and architectural structure, this plant is a favorite for homes with modern decor. It requires very little maintenance and is nearly indestructible. Place it in an area with medium to high sunlight, watering only when soil is dry.

3. Money plant — Many people believe this plant is lucky and a symbol of wealth. It’s often used to bring in green when designing with feng shui principles. Standing upright with green leaves above the trunk, it adds architecture and drama to a room. It is very easy to maintain and can be grown in any indoor light conditions. Water when soil is dry to a depth of 1 inch. 

4. Peace lily — The peace lily is one of the most popular houseplants — and for good reason. It’s known for cleaning the air and for being an easy-care plant with beautiful white blooms throughout the year. Peace lilies prefer medium, indirect sunlight and consistent moisture. While some people wait for cues from the peace lily to water them (they droop when they need water), some damage to the leaves can occur with this method. It’s best to keep the soil evenly moist.

5. Maidenhair fern — This delicate-looking little fern is actually quite tough. The soft, small green leaves arch gracefully on black stalks. The key to keeping a maidenhair fern happy is to place it in high humidity. Rooms like kitchens and bathrooms are naturally more humid. You can also increase the humidity around a maidenhair fern by placing it on a tray of pebbles and keeping water in the tray. 

6. Creeping fig — The variegated vining plant has small, puckered, heart-shaped, green-and-white leaves. It is lovely grown in a hanging basket or trained as a topiary. Place in a bright spot and keep the soil evenly moist. The solid-green variety (10) is as easy to grow.

7. Golden pothos — This low-maintenance, longer-vining plant is one of the easiest to grow. Place on a table, shelf or hanging basket and let the vines grow and trail. Or plant it in a pot with a pole and let it grow up the pole. Grow it in low to medium light and allow soil to dry between waterings.

8. Calathea — This indoor plant has large, colorful, patterned leaves in shades of deep green and purple. A great midsized, upright plant that can be placed on tabletop or floor, this plant prefers a bright spot that’s not in direct sunlight. Allow the soil to dry slightly before watering.

9. English ivy — In many areas of the country, English ivy is grown as a groundcover, but it is also a popular indoor plant. This trailing plant is pretty grown on a table where it hangs gracefully or in a hanging basket. It also can be trained as a topiary. Place it in a higher light area and keep the soil evenly moist.


— Patty Cordero, assistant store manager, Armstrong Garden Centers,

Categories: Gardening