Plants make you feel good?Indoor plants are great to receive and give pleasure to everyone, but did you know that they have been claimed to have therapeutic effects as well? Here some of the benefits and effects attributed to plants, which we've gathered here for your enjoyment.
*Plants can help to purify the air by absorbing harmful chemicals, given off by paints, new carpets and MDF furniture.
*They can absorb the static electricity given off by computers, spider plants are especially good for this it seems.
*They can absorb noise and lessen dust in the home.
*Plants in hospital help patients recover faster, and with less medication
*The presence of some plants can help lower blood pressure, help concentration and improve memory
*Healthy indoor plants can promote feelings of relaxation, calm and well-being
*Plants can make rooms look cared for and welcoming - people prefer to be in an environment where plants - especially green foliage plants - are present.
Top plants for making you feel good
Spider plants, (Chlorophytum) are great at removing chemicals from the air.
Palms including lady palm (Raphis excelsa) and parlour palm (Chamaedorea elegans)
Peace lily (Spathiphyllum), improves air quality
Dragon tree (Dracaena);
Boston fern (Nephrolepsis exaltata),
Aloe Vera facts
Releases oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide in the dark, making it very suitable for growing in bedrooms. (Usually plants give off carbon dioxide at night)
Removes toxins from the atmosphere.
The clear gel in the leaf has an immediate soothing effect on all sorts of minor burns and other skin problems.
The mucilaginous gel gives a protective coat over the affected area, speeding up the rate of healing and reducing the risk of infection.
The leaves can be cut in half along their length and the inner pulp rubbed over the affected area of skin.
This has an immediate soothing effect on all sorts of minor burns and other skin problems.
6 of the Best!
Easiest indoor plants
Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)
Mother-in-law's tongue or Snake plant or Bird's-nest plant (Sansevieria)
Parlour palm (Chamaedorea elegans)
Rubber plant or Rubber tree (Ficus elastica)
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
African Violet (Saintpaulia)
10 tips for maintenance
Keep them clean
Dust regularly, wash or wipe individual large leaves. African Violets don't like getting their leaves wet use a soft brush, like a mushroom brush, to very gently coax the dust from the leaves.
Little and often with watering can be the doom of many house plants.
Giving your potted plants just enough water so the soil gets wet, but no water runs through the bottom of the pot can lead to salt build up, which can inhibit the growth of your houseplants. You may not notice it until you start to see a whitish crust on the soil or sides of the pot. At least once a month, water your potted plants thoroughly, so that excess salts will be flushed out the drainage hole of the pot.
Plants take in air through their roots and if the soil is constantly wet, they can't do this. Check to see if the soil about 1" below the surface is dry, before you water. When you do water, water thoroughly. Water until you see the water coming out the bottom drainage holes.
Don't let your plants sit in water either. Increase the humidity around your houseplants by placing them on a tray of pebbles sitting in water, make sure the water level is below the bottom of the pot.
Most houseplants don't like to be placed in the direct sun of a windowsill. Strong sunlight may actually burn their leaves. Plants that are not getting as much light as they need will look pale, rather than a healthy green. They will start to look spindly, as they reach for the sun, and you may also notice that the new leaves are smaller than usual.
Most houseplants are happy at the same temperatures as humans. What they often can't handle is exposure to cold drafts. Placing an indoor plant too close to a window with limited insulation will have the same effect as leaving the plant unprotected outside. You will probably first notice leaves dropping and the plant may look like it needs water, when actually it needs warmth. Repeated or prolonged exposure to cold temperatures will kill a houseplant.
As a plant dehydrates, it can start to look withered, puckered or simply drop its leaves. You might notice browning leaf tips on your houseplants. If your house tends to be dry, you can increase humidity around your houseplants by placing a tray of pebbles under the pots, filling the tray to just below the pot's bottom. You can also provide some humidity by misting your indoor plants daily. Do not let your plants sit directly in the water or you will be creating a whole other problem.(See watering; above)
Insect pests multiply very quickly indoors and there are no natural predators. Keep an eye out for leaves that become discoloured or curled and for plants that look limp even when they're watered. Learn to spot the following common houseplant pests:-
The tiny mites are about the size of a pinhead and kill plants by sucking their juices.
Leaves will have yellow stippling. As the infestation gets worse, the leaves will turn totally yellow and brittle and quickly die. Thoroughly spray the affected plants with insecticide. Repeat as recommended on the label.
Plants infested with mealy bugs often look like they are drying out, even when they've been watered. Mealy bugs are very hard to get rid of. If you catch the problem early enough you may be able to cut out the infested branches. You could also try dabbing them with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol. If your plants become severely infested, it might be best to just get rid of them.
Small insects that attach themselves to the stem of a plant they look like small brown oval spots. You may have some luck rubbing the scales off with your nail. Young scale insects have to crawl to a new location, and can be sprayed at that time with insecticide.
Aphids are soft bodied insects and can be killed quite easily by a strong blast of water or repeated sprays of insecticide. They may be white, green or black. But they are persistent and you will need to remain diligent to rid your houseplants of these pests. Aphids can reproduce so quickly that an infestation will cover the plant in days.
Beasties at all stages of growth! If your once healthy plant suddenly keels over then it maybe because of an infestation of these brutes.
Adults will chew your leaves at night and rest up during the day. But their grubs, which will gnaw into roots and succulent stem bases, devastating many herbaceous pot plants, do the real damage. The grubs will also devour the roots causing plants to wilt and die during autumn to spring.
Kill, Kill, Kill! Biological control is available and it is easy to pick off the slow moving adult weevils. But keep up you vigilance they'll be back! Stopping treatment after the apparent disappearance of the pest can allow numbers to build up again.
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