In the past year houseplants have certainly made a huge comeback. Not only do they add all important texture, colour and life to any home. They are perfect to distract the eye in a rental home and disguise any ugly features like fireplaces that you don’t want the cost of replacing or in some cases are not allowed to replace and also if you are not planning on renting for long you can just take them with you when you move. They also increase and clean the oxygen that we breathe. Caring for house plants can be very daunting and also costly so I caught up with Fleur from Stupid Egg Interiors to give us her top 5 easy to care for house plants along with tips on how to look after them and how they will make you breathe easier!
Hi, my name is Fleur, my Husband Colin and I run Stupid Egg Interiors – a little online shop for indoor planters and houseplants. I have been into houseplants as long as I can remember; with one of my earliest house plants being a spider plant, taken from from my mum’s friend’s huge spider plant with its cascading plantlets.
Image via Pinterest
Houseplants have taken a real step back into the limelight in recent years and are enjoying their moment in interiors once more. No longer are we just seeing a single orchid set in a minimalist bathroom as per the interiors magazines from 10-15 years ago but now great walls of plants and feature shelves with lots of evergreen species that have become “en vogue”. For me this is very welcome. Plants soften interiors and can really make a room go from great to fabulous.
House plants are not just a good interiors look though – they actually have real benefits. The most notable study was done in 1989 by NASA. When the air inside the space stations was becoming toxic one of the things that NASA wanted to do was find any plants that could absorb chemicals from the air. They did an extensive look into 16 common house plants and looked into the effects of the house plants on levels of three chemicals. These were formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene; all of which are found in our homes and are considered possible carcinogens and teratogens. There’s even a name for the process: phytoremediation.
I have picked a couple of plants to focus on (both care and benefits) from the above study and a couple of my favourites as well!
Mother in Laws Tongue – These are part of the Agave family and originate from West Africa. They are known to remove all three of the aforementioned chemicals as well as another chemical called xylene. They differ from most other houseplants as they produce oxygen and remove carbon dioxide at night. We think they make a great plant for a bedside table due to these qualities. They like a semi sunny spot but will also tolerate shade. To keep this one thriving make sure that the soil is allowed to completely dry out between waterings. You can feed it once a month too.
Spider Plant – From South Africa, these have managed to shake off their 1970s image recently and rightly so! Not only are these guys super easy to keep but they have been proven to remove formaldehyde and xylene from the atmosphere. They will tolerate most light conditions and will put up with most conditions – like to be in moist soil but do allow to dry a little in between waterings. When they are happy they will shoot out an extra stem with flowers that rapidly turn into babies.
Suits most places in the house – especially if they can cascade down a piece of furniture. Once the babies appear – break one off, leave it in a glass of water for 7-10 days and roots will appear – ready for planting.
Image via Stupid Egg Interiors
Pilea – These really are the darlings of social media at the moment. Originating from China, these are a super easy to propagate plant – just a simple cutting in a glass of water will give you a new baby in 7-10 days! So these plants like bright but not direct sunlight. If kept in a more shady spot the leaves will get a little darker. They like to be kept moist (with a small amount of drying out in between waterings) so suit a bathroom setting. There actually hasn’t been a huge amount of research on these but one thing that all plants do is improve humidity levels. In a time when we live in houses with double glazing and central heating we can end up with quite dry air, so plants are great for helping this!
Pastel pink geometric planter – £14.95
Asparagus Fern – A study in 2009 by Georgia University concluded that asparagus ferns (densiflorus – sister to plumosus) had one of the highest rates of absorption of five known VOCs (including benzene and toluene
octane, trichloroethylene, alpha-pinene). So not only are these plants utterly gorgeous to look at but they are super healthy to have in the house as well. These are actually not ferns but a member of the asparagus family (just don’t dip them in your eggs!). They like a semi shaded spot with moist but well drained soil. When the leaves go yellow it can be a sign of under-watering or too much sun.
Swiss Cheese Plant – Another plant so closely associated with the 1970s. These are climbers that grow in the lower parts of tropical American forests and start off in the ground like any normal plant.They grow, unusually, away from the light, which helps them to find the nearest tree trunk which they climb. Later they produce aerial roots (those antenna-like grey tendrils) and may ultimately lose all connection with the ground, but in the corner of your bathroom or living room, they will stay firmly rooted in soil. Again no specific research has been done on these with regards to health benefits but one 2009 study of plants in general in hospitals showed that patients recovered faster when they had green plants to look at versus those that didn’t. (Park & Mattson). We’re not suggesting that you rush out and buy a cheeseplant at the first sign of a sore throat but you’ll probably agree that having a nice plant (or 10..) does make for a more positive environment. These do well with a fine mist once a week (or give them a cold shower if you’re feeling generous!) Keep them away from drafts and allow soil to dry between waterings.
Thank you so much Fleur, every day is a school day because I don’t know about you but I had no idea just how beneficial plants can be for your home… apart from looking so good of course!
You can purchase all these plants at Fleur’s shop, Stupid Egg interiors along with a gorgeous selection of planters and plant/planter combo’s. Also if you place an order on her brand new website anytime during August you will receive a free succulent, how cool is that!
You can keep up to date with Stupid Egg Interiors on Instagram here.
Can I ask a huge favour?
So just before I say goodbye for this week, please can I ask you a huge favour? I have been nominated as Best Newcomer at the prestigious Amara Interior blog awards. Having only started this blog just over a year ago, this is totally unexpected but so, so exciting.
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