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Houseplants Chase Away the Winter Blues

Peace Lily Spathiphyllum ClevelandiiIt’s easy to keep the growing season going year ’round with the addition of houseplants to your living environment. Not only do they add a sense of life and beauty to a room but houseplants are also beneficial for improving indoor air quality.

Many of the most popular houseplants that we grow are members of the Aroid family, a large class of tropical plants that are acclimated to growing in the dense shade of the world’s rain forests, and this makes them ideally suited to the low light conditions found in most homes and offices. These include:

  • Philodenrons
  • Dieffenbachias
  • Peace Lilies (spathiphyllum)
  • Chinese Evergreens (aglaomena)

As houseplants, each of these species will thrive in indirect light, so long as they are not over watered. Of course, keeping the leaves dusted will allow your plants to utilize the maximum amount of available light.

Houseplant Care

Tree PhilodendronFor the most part, Aroids prefer a potting medium that is kept evenly, but lightly moist, without ever staying too wet or getting too dry. Either of these conditions can result in the death of the plant’s delicate root hairs which absorb water and nutrients from the soil. Remember that a houseplant which is growing in low light will grow more slowly and use less water than one which is situated in a brighter location. A good way to determine when a houseplant needs water is to insert your finger an inch or two into the soil. If the soil is dry as far down as your finger reaches, then it’s time to water again. It’s better to err on the side of dryness rather than keeping the soil too wet, but of course the soil should never be allowed to get so dry that the plant wilts.

Fertilizing Houseplants

Most houseplants will benefit from monthly feedings during the brighter days of the growing season, spring through fall. Use any standard houseplant fertilizer at approximately one-half the recommended strength. This dilution rate will prevent the buildup of salts in the soil, which can be detrimental to a plant’s health. Now is a good time to repot your houseplants into fresh soil, which should be done every couple of years at the beginning of the spring growing cycle.

Houseplant Benefits

Studies have shown that houseplants, particularly aroids, can improve the quality of indoor air by removing carbon dioxide and replenishing the oxygen. Thus, functioning as natural air purifiers as well as room beautifiers, houseplants have earned a vital place in our homes.

Visit or call your local florist today for a wide selection of these interior-enhancing beauties!

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