New plants for the collection

So my cat sadly destroyed a little copper plant pot I had and also damaged the maidenhair fern it housed. My calathea has also been suffering – it’s lost all stability, so it needs some R & R time “off exhibition” for a little while.

The upshot of all this disruption is that I’ve talked myself into buying a few more house plants for my collection (not that I needed much persuasion).

Pilea Peperomioides

Pinterest lovers will recognise the Chinese money plant and I’m so pleased to find one the size I wanted. I do have a mini Pilea but that will take years to grow so it’s nice to have an established plant.

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I’ve matched this plant with this gorgeous vintage pot I got from a garden centre – this is the Monza planter in vintage blue. I can’t find this particular pot online but here is a similar one by the same brand.

They’re really low maintenance and very architectural – they do look quite odd with their long stems and large circular leaves.

Air Plants

Nature has cleverly found a great way to grow plants in the driest desert conditions and hence we have air plants, so called because they don’t need to root in soil but can attach themselves to rock faces and suck out what little moisture they find.

As a house plant, this means they can be left in some decorative fashion and just occasionally soaked in water.

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The last air plant I had I did manage to kill, which is quite impressive for a plant that requires the barest minimum attention from me. I made the mistake of watering it in tap water and I live in a hard water area, which is not good for air plants as it blocks the trichomes apparently. So I’ll be careful to use rainwater in future.

I’ve put both in little terrariums and I love how odd they look.

 

Read more about my houseplant obsession here and here

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Houseplant Appreciation Day

It’s January 10th and that means it’s Houseplant Appreciation Day!

Since I started obsessively buying houseplants a few years ago, I’ve brought my total up to around 50. In that time, yes, some have died from neglect, but most have survived, been re-potted, and placed in various locations about our cottage. They receive frequent compliments from guests and they give me a lot of joy. Sometimes when the telly is boring I find myself gazing at the greenery. It’s fun to try to spot the Calathea move.

I’ve written about house plants and their benefits before so I won’t recap. This post is really intended as a photo gallery of the house plants I currently have and to introduce my latest additions:

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Maidenhair fern

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So how to celebrate houseplant day? It seems appropriate to give them a water and a little feed. I use Baby Bio House Plant Fertilizer. Or you could be a great friend and give a gift of a house plant?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ficus

July Favourites

This last month has been a good chance to get back into the habit of actually reading books again. I don’t know how long it had been but I had lost my bookmark so that probably indicates it was a fair while.

In Books

Recently I read a very interesting book called The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly and even wrote a long book review all about it, which you can read here. It’s an allegory about motherhood through the eyes of a hen called Sprout, one of the most endearing characters I’ve ever encountered. The book by Sun Mi Hwang is a subtle examination of animal welfare on farms so I’m sure my veggie/vegan readers will enjoy it. :)

In Plants

Next up it’s a new houseplant! I spent my weekend at various garden centres and came home with two new house plants, a pilea and a rosary vine. I’ve seen both of these plants on Instagram – they are very Insta-friendly – and have been on the look out. I don’t think I could ever get tired of looking at the strange chains of heart-shaped leaves that are now cascading over my mantlepiece.

Finally, another garden centre steal was this gorgeous vintage plant pot that has been distressed. It’s quite heavy but small and I don’t yet have a plant to put in it. Any suggestions?

 


Post contains affiliate links to Amazon. FYI I only recommend and link to products I like.

On the importance of house plants

I have a minor obsession with house plants. I’ve got spider plants, rubber plants, ivy trailing everywhere around my home. I frequently run out of pots to put them in and have to buy more pots; this frees up the smaller pots, and I buy more plants.

Vicious cycle.

But I really do think they improve my day, and there’s lots of evidence to suggest that they improve your health as well. I like seeing greenery indoors, I enjoy watching them grow, and the cat likes to chew the leaves.

So what are the benefits?

  1. Purify the air: plants can absorb harmful toxins from the air, break them down, and release the harmless by products.
  2. Remove carbon dioxide: it has been suggested that plants can remove up to 10% of carbon dioxide from the air. (So’s it’s really concerning when trees are cut down when we have a global problem with carbon…)
  3. Increase the humidity: this is much healthier than dry or dusty air, which causes throat, nose, and eye irritation.
  4. Improve relationships: caring for nature increases compassion and boosts our mood, making us just a bit better at putting up with each other.
  5. Help us to think: plants increase our capacity for memory, increase productivity and creativity.
  6. Help us to heal: patients recovering from surgery heal better when they can see plants – they have lower blood pressure, and less pain and fatigue.
  7. Reduce noise pollution: this probably helps more with outdoor plants, as you can plant a large hedge between your house and the road to block out the traffic noise.

Which plants should you choose if you want to improve the air quality in your home?

NASA went to great lengths to thoroughly study which plants could be used to purify the air in space facilities, so we have a pretty good idea of which plants to buy if we want to improve the air quality in our homes.

Snake plants – otherwise known as ‘mother-in-law’s tongue’ (because they are sharp.) They give out oxygen at night, unlike most plants, so they work best in the bedroom.

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Broadleaf lady palm – to be honest, I had never heard of this one. Apparently it can extract ammonia from the air so is really helpful at detoxifying the air after using cleaning products.

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Aloe vera – a spiky succulent that fights benzene, which is found in plastics and detergents.

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Spider plant – combats carbon monoxide. What a beauty!

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Chinese evergreen – likes humidity, thrives in bathrooms where it can tackle the formaldehyde from cosmetics.

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Ficus/ weeping fig – cleans the air of fireplace smoke so perfect for rustic living rooms.

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English ivy – removes airborne fecal matter!

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Orchids – another one that gives off oxygen at night time so perfect for bedrooms. Also tackles the chemicals found in shoe polish. (So fill your shoe polishing room with orchids.)

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Looks like I need to plan a trip to a garden centre soon…….

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