Grow Indoor Plants

Grow Indoor Plants
Materials
  • Houseplant (see list above)
  • Potting soil or homemade potting mix (we use 1 part cured compost, 1 part sifted decomposed granite or sand, 1 part soaked shredded coconut coir).
  • Garden trowel Buy
  • Container
  • Container dish (optional)
  • Water!
Links
  • List of air-filtering plants Link
  • Slideshow of 15 houseplants for improving indoor air quality Link
  • Better Homes & Gardnes - 24 of the easiest houseplant you can grow Link
  • The New Ecologist - Top 10 anti-pollutant house plants Link

Improve indoor air quality by making room for an indoor house plant!

Our shelter should serve as a place for health, happiness, and warmth. But often pollution (in the form of gases and particles) from our furniture, carpet, paint, cleaning supplies, personal care products, heating and cooling systems and more permeates our homes. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that indoor air pollution may be 2 to 5 times – and sometimes more than 100 times – higher than outdoor pollution. The result is some not-so-positive, long-term health effects including respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer. Yikes!

Before you toss out everything in your home and start from scratch, there’s a simple solution. A two-year study done by NASA revealed that common household plants help to significantly reduce indoor air pollution. Not to mention, they look beautiful! If you’re ready to take action right now, reach for the soil, and breathe deep.

Once you’ve planted enough indoor plants, check out this list from the EPA of simple ways to improve indoor air quality (without breaking the bank). 

According to NASA, the top 10 plants most effective in removing Formaldehyde, Benzene, and Carbon Monoxide from the air are:

Bamboo palm

Chinese evergreen

English ivy

Ficus

Gerbera daisy

Janet Craig

Marginata

Mass cane/Corn cane

Mother-in-law’s toungue

Peace lily

Pot mum

Warneckei

Instructions
  • Choose the perfect plant - Talk to the nursery staff to help you choose the best plant for your home. Plan ahead and browse plant lists (provided above, and in the "Additional Resources" section below) of popular plants that remove air toxins.
  • Choose a container - Choose one to match the plant’s style and size. The bigger the pot, the more room to grow. Make sure it has holes for drainage. You can place a saucer or dish underneath to catch excess water.
  • Potting - Fill your container with 1” - 2” of potting soil. With your hands, loosen the temporary container the plant was purchased in. If it appears root bound (tangled, intertwined roots) cut 4 equally spaced cuts around the root ball. If you can, massage roots free with hands. Once free, place it new container, fill and pack with potting soil!
  • Water - Your plants stressed out, so give it some love!
  • Positioning - Place near a window, on a bookshelf, or on a windowsill. It’s up to your imagination! But first, refer to the plants light requirement listed on it’s tag. Remember, all plants need sun, water, and air.
  • Stay hydrated - As a general rule, less is more. Deep and infrequent watering is better than light and frequent. Watering requirements will vary significantly depending on the plant, but they will all enjoy water at room-temperature in the morning.
  • Fertilize - When it comes to fertilizing, again, less is more. Stay away from chemical and artificial fertilizers that pollute indoor air quality further. Worm casting tea from your worm bin (see resource below) is best. Never fertilize when the plant is weak, but when it’s growing strong - around the spring and summer months.
  • Enjoy - Breathe deep and enjoy fresh, clean air! (Your new houseplant will be doing the same.)