On most mornings, I start my day by tending to my plants. I look them over, mist the leaves of my alocasia cucullata and sellaginella, and turn my succulents by the window so that their juicy leaves get equal share of sunlight so that they don’t get leggy. I water some of them daily, several weekly and one or two monthly. Unfortunately, after my long holiday back in December, my edible plants suffered beyond saving despite my neighbour’s care. I haven’t gotten back to setting them up again, but I will.
There’s been tons of research done that nature, whether plants or animals, can do plenty for our state of mind. I have a little fern right beside my laptop. There’s a bed of moss on the soil that I love to get up close to in between sentences.
I am a beginner at this, but I figured there’s no harm in sharing the little I know. The thing about houseplants is that it’s important to keep in mind the level of care you’re able to give. And that, of course, depends on how much time you spend on work and your other commitments. I can’t say that I have a green thumb. I’m still learning. That, I have to say, is the fun part.
Mother-in-law’s tongue plant
Let’s not get into why it’s named such. I love its organic, sculptural form, which softens the angular lines in our homes. Sansevieria plants are virtually indestructible, as long as you don’t smother it with care. In other words, this plant tops the list because it’s real easy to maintain. You only need to water it once a month. Seriously. Also called snake plants, they also made it on NASA’s list of air-cleaning plants, which means they are great at removing toxic chemicals and pollutants from the air. Note that you do need a lot of the plant to do the job.
I don’t know about you but the symmetry of succulents makes my heart race. Pictured here is a family portrait of my succulents. Take a closer look at the arrangement and it’s pretty clear I was short of one! I didn’t need much convincing to get another one – and I did. Succulents are also low maintenance plants. Just give them bright light all day. All you need to do is water them once a week max.
In this heat, the chances of getting sunburn are real if you spend too much time outdoors. So, alove vera, also on NASA’s list of air-cleaning plants, is a must have in the home. You only need to water it once the top inch or so of the soil is dry. A happy aloe vera plant produces plantlets that you can then transplant to another pot and give away.
This is an old school, evergreen favourite because of its large and variegated leaves. It’s an attractive plant that adds colour and lushness wherever you place the plant. I water mine every day and it produces new leaves regularly. Its common name is dumbcane, and for good reason too. Ingest the leaves and it’ll cause numbing and an inability to speak. So be careful if you have curious children or pets at home.
While what I have here beside my Mac is a fern, it’s not a Boston fern. The latter’s been tested and given the thumbs up by NASA as an air-cleaning plant. But whether it’s a staghorn fern, Boston fern or maidenhair fern, you’ll love having ferns around the house. Give them a place with humidity and dappled sunlight (the bathroom, for example) and they’ll thrive.