Indoor Plants: Need and benefits
These days, Interior Design is seldom about decoration and more about enriching the space. Hence, indoor plants play a crucial part in the overall design value. Not only do they add a bit of nature to enclosed spaces, but they also come with a load of other benefits.
To begin with, the indoor plants are often easy to maintain. In fact, most of them require a bit of watering and once-in-a-few-months pruning/soil enriching. Of course, it varies from plant to plant.
Indoor plants: Residences and Commercial Spaces
In a residence, plants may add to its decor. Also, they make seamless connection between exterior patches and interior spaces in a house. Bushes and plant pots make beautiful focal points. Also, they purify the air and reduce indoor pollution.
When placed cleverly, plants can screen out excess sunlight and may also help with noise pollution.
And when it comes to office and other retail commercial spaces, it is a proven fact that plants reduce the overall operation and maintenance costs. In offices, plants tend to create a break in formal design monotony. In fact, they often become as welcome texture points in plain backgrounds.
Moreover, plants reduce the visual ceiling height, break a big boring space into little patches and make people feel good. And fancy this- a research found that people are willing to shell extra bucks in retail spaces with plants.
Let’s explore some amazing Indoor plants that we can use to enhance our interior spaces.
1. Aloe Vera (aloe vera )
A succulent by nature, Aloe vera is a popular choice for indoor plants. And why not! It easily tackles indoor pollutants such as benzene and formaldehyde, which are common in everyday household items.
It is well known for its herbal qualities especially in skin and hair care treatments. Keeping Aloe Vera in bedroom and living room is believed to induce a feeling of positivity and good health in these spaces.
Choose a medium sized pot that alllows enough root growth. Make sure there is no waterlogging and enough indirect sunlight. Drainage is very important-water it only when the soil is dry. Repot if it needs more space to a bigger size.
Immediately move the plant to a shaded place if you find brown leaves.
2. Money Plant ( epipremnum aureum )
What makes this plant an easy choice for indoor plants is its low maintenance and easy availabilty. It is an evergreen vine and can tolerate temperature and weather fluctuations, common in our country. Also, it can survive in low lights.
It is useful in combating indoor VOCs and according to Vastu Shastra, it is highly auspicious when placed in the southeast corner of the house. However, it is also known to be slightly toxic, so it is better to keep it outside the reach of children.
And then, it is fairly easy to pot it in bottles, jars, plastic containers, mugs- basically you can pot it in a recyclable container also. Make sure you repot it according to its growing roots.
Water it when the soil feels dry. Avoid waterlogging and ensure proper drainage. And you can spray the leaves if they feel like they need some moisture. It grows well in indirect sunlight. Since it is a climber, you can make some vertical way for it to grow, such as supporting rails/ jaali/ balcony grills etc.
Yellow/ brown leaves indicate poor soil condition. Prune regularly to ensure growth.
3. Areca Palm ( dypsis lutescens )
Apart from removing formaldehyde and VOCs, this plant also removes xylene and toluene from the air. It is also an effective humidifier above 1 metre growth. Other names include butterfly palm,yellow palm and golden cane palm. It quickly grows to cross 3 metres and so regular pruning keeps its growth in check.
It grows well in low light and indirect sunlight. Choose a spacious pot to give room to growing roots and repot when needed. Make sure there is drainage and water it daily in hot weather. Avoid waterlogging.
Check for plant spiders and bugs on leaves and stems regularly. Clip off brown leaf, if any. Also check the soil for fertility and add fertilizers if needed.
4. Snake plant ( sansevieria trifasciata )
No list on indoor plants is complete without Snake Plant. This plant is an indoor pollution warrior! It absorbs many pollutants such as chloroforms, formaldehydes, oxides, alcohols etc. Moreover, it is one succulent that releases oxygen at night. And so it is a favourable plant for bedrooms.
It has long thick and pointed leaves that grow in slight vertical waves. It needs a large pot to allow the roots to grow spaciously.
Don’t over water; in fact, once or twice a week is what it needs. It grows well in indirect sunlight and normal weather conditions. Also, keep away from other plants and pets.
5. Peace Lily ( spathiphyllum wallissi )
Contrary to its name, it actually belongs to a monocot flowering plant family Araceae. It effectively absorbs alcohols, formaldehyde and benzene from indoor airs. It easily grows in the typical indian climate with equally easy maintenance. Also, its beauty makes it a good choice as a focal point in luxury settings.
The plant grows in volume widthwise- the foliage sort of spreads around. So the pot has to be approximately one foot in diameter with adequate drainage facility.
Place it in a no-sunlight shady area. Water it just enough to keep it hydrated, say, once in every 2 or 3 days. Regularly trim the dead leaves and stems and add a biofertilizer every 2 or 3 months to maintain soil quality.
Its sap is irritant; make sure the children and pets keep away from it.
Indoor plants are a great way to design and decorate your homes and offices. While in homes they create a harmony, in other interiors they add unique qualities that refine the function of the space for the better.