Making a healthy living
- Credit: Sarah-Jane King
Filling your home with houseplants can bring greater benefit than simply being on trend
Since the first lockdown in 2020, the trend for adding real, live houseplants to the home has surged, fed in great part, of course, by Instagram’s greenery-inspired influencer posts, podcasts such as On The Ledge, and the arrival of online houseplant shopping brands, such as patchplants.com.
The health benefits of houseplants have been written about often; they reduce stress levels, so are perfect companions for the home office; they can enhance your attention span and concentration levels (top tip for parents trying to convince teens to their homework properly); and they quite probably help improve the quality of the air – throw a few spider plants into your office and you could not only breathe better air but be less stressed, more productive and all-round happier, too. They really should be on the list of expenses one can claim...
Best of all, however, is that houseplants just look great. Bringing a living thing into your home however (one that doesn’t remind you at regular intervals that it needs a walk, or a drink or a meal) does have its responsibilities. So, where to start?
Graham Jones, who founded Deliveroot in Knutsford’s Market Hall in April 2021, and retails houseplants online via his site deliveroot.co.uk, says that the first step to choosing a plant is to choose one you really like the look of.
‘If you love how it looks you’re less likely to forget about it,’ he says. ‘There is a certain mindfulness to caring for houseplants, they need your awareness to ensure they thrive and give you the look you want.’
It’s also important that you take a day or so to understand how the light works in the room where you want to place your plants.
‘Most British homes aren’t flooded with sunlight for most of the day, which is a good thing because few houseplants actually enjoy constant, strong light. Try to place your plants in locations where they will be swept with direct light for only a short period, if at all. If you are placing plants in a bright and light room, consider succulents, such as the String of Pearls, the Lipstick plant, or the very easy to please Snake Plant, Dracaena trifasciata.’
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In terms of care, most plants are quite forgiving, as long as you don’t allow the soil to dry out. Graham advises that you wipe down the leaves with a damp cloth every so often, and if you can, group a few together, which will help with the humidity levels a little as most homes tend to be quite dry.
‘If you do want to start building a collection of houseplants,’ he finishes, ‘the best first step is to visit a local specialist retailer – specialist houseplant retailers tend to be founded and run by houseplant addicts, and they are popping up all over the place – and ask lots of questions. You can also then see, touch and experience what the plants will be like, and envision them more easily placed in your home.
‘Once you have more confidence, then on the high street or online, you will find plenty of inspiration and information.’