Sunday, October 7, 2012

Day 7: Houseplants

Links to all posts in the 31 Days to Greener Sustainable Living series at the end of the post.

I'm taking things a little more easy today, since it's Sunday :) Following in yesterday's footsteps about reducing air pollution on our daily commutes, let's talk about how we can make the air we breathe cleaner. More specifically, the air inside our house.



Houseplants are a great way to refresh the air in our homes, and to rid it of polluants. This includes benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene, as well as smoke and paint fumes, and whatever other chemicals might be in the cleaning products you use.

The air inside our homes is 25-65% more polluted than the air outside. And especially in the winter when we can't open our windows and doors, it becomes all that more important to have a few houseplants around.

Here are the top houseplants to have:

1. The Feston Rose Plant aka Lantana
2. Devil's Ivy aka Golden Pothos (poisonous though)
3. Phalaenopsis
4. The English Ivy
5. African Violet
6. Christmas Cactus
7. Yellow Goddess
8. Garlic Vine
9 Peace Lily
10. Bamboo Palm
11. Chinese Evergreen
12. Dracaena
13. Ficus
14. Gerbera Daisy
15. Philodendron
16. Pot Mum
17. Snake Plant
18. Spider Plant

Before you buy plants, make sure they are compatible with your living environment. Spider plants are poisonous to cats, for example. You'll also want to make sure you meet the plants light requirements.

I thought I'd take this opportunity to show you my (now) many houseplants. I've been wanting to do this for a while and thought this was the perfect opportunity.

I've actually got quite a few on the list up there, which I was pleasantly surprised to see! Most of them I got for free, either given to me by the previous tenant, my parents or my father-in-law.

Golden Pothos

This one was on the list above. I wasn't even sure what it was before. Given to us my the previous tenant, the vines are like 5 feet long. I kinda just curl them up on themselves or else they drag too much on the floor. Very easy to maintain, never had any problems.

Peave Lily

Also on the list, and the second plant given to us by the previous tenant. This plant was actually starting to flower when we moved in, and there's been a new flower every time the previous one died. One is starting there in the middle, but it's not very strong. There are some leaves that dried up at the ends, not too sure why, but other than that pretty easy plant, though it is quite huge. It gives a nice feel to our bedroom.

These next 3 were given to me by my parents when we moved in last year. I'm not really sure what any of them are, except the english ivy. I've yet to properly plant them in their pots. My dad had them for a while and just kept them like this.


This one's english ivy is kinda dying... The other 2 are doing pretty well. We keep this guy in the bedroom on a little table by the window.


This english ivy has no problems, unlike the other one.


This one used to be in the pot in picture above, but it grew a monster root that was bigger than my finger, which I had to cut off, and I decided to plant it in it's own pot after that. It's grown so much since!! I have to be careful and turn it regularly or else it gets crooked while reaching for the light.


I don't know the name of this one either. I originally bought it to replace the one above in the common pot, but quickly realized that it didn't really fit and was growing too much. I potted it in my favorite orange square flower pot, I find it's a nice contrast with the color of the leaves. I love the design on these leaves! And it makes the cutest little flowers!



Croton Petra

My father in law gave me this croton petra, which he found abandoned somewhere. I love the colors of these leaves!! It's the only plant that can tolerate being away from the window, so it gets a special place near my desk. I'm still looking for a bigger pot for it, it's overgrown the one it's in and I'm also use a margarine container as a saucer. I haven't had any problems with watering it yet, even though I've read that it is very picky with the amount of water it needs.

Stephanotis

This stephanotis was also given to me by my FIL who said he could not make it flower, yet the week he gave me it it started blooming. But it kinda went downhill after that, not many of the blooms turned to flowers, they just yellowed and fell off :( I was very sad, the few flowers I got were so pretty. I might have to work hard to make this one flower again.

Miniature Rosebush

I showed you guys my mini rosebush back in Febuary, when I got it for Valentine's Day. This plant has gone through so much!! Can you believe there was a time when there wasn't a.single.leaf. on this plant?! Yup, I kid you not, I had a lot of trouble at first with the amount of light, then bugs, then my boyfriend made it fall and it broke some branches, and probably some watering issues, oh and the squirrels too ate the buds once it picked up again. So yeah, the fact that it looks like this is kinda a miracle at this point! I'm hoping I'll be able to maintain it through the winter. At least flowers keep forming, so that's a good sign.

And lastly, my newest addition as of this past week, a mum! My first mum :) Don't you just love the yellow and red petals of this variety?!









I party at these parties.

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