Dec 3, 2009

Indoor Plants - Adding that "green" touch to your decor

I am a huge fan of greenery, both indoors and outdoors. Flowers have never been a great draw for me, at least not as much as I love "greens". Living in a small apartment, I rely on my tiny balcony and the area inside the apartment for adding that green fervor around me. Ok, let me brag about it now! I tried growing a balcony garden and did reasonably well with that. Here's a sneak peak into the balcony.

I had re-purposed milk and yogurt cans from friends and my kitchen so that I could extend life of these plastic wares and also avoid buying new pots. (Reduced demand indirectly-right!..thats the economics bug in me speaking)

Indoor plants not only look pleasing but also work as natural air purifiers. Researches have proved that indoor air quality in most homes across the world is as polluted as the outdoors. Extensive use of vinyl, plastic, foam and other products has lead to increased presence of carbon monoxide, Benzene complexes, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene. Trying to use environmentally safe products and materials goes a long way in minimizing these toxins' entry into our homes. Plants work as excellent natural purifiers and allergen killers.

You can bring in common low maintenance ornamental plant variety to work for you. The list include common money plant, snake plant (also called the mother-in-law's tongue), most varieties of succulents and the very popular English ivy.

Other recommended varieties : 

Rubber plant
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Boston fern

Spider plant
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Peace lily - Although this is among the most popular indoor greens, this plant oozes a sap which is poisonous to humans and pets.
Aloe Vera : This among my favourites because of its succulent look and it medicinal properties.
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florist mum: Best seasonal plant for removing benzene, ammonia and formaldehyde.

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English ivy: looks very similar to our common money plant with a textured leaf. It is known to eliminate formaldehyde (sources: paints, leather goods etc.). I found a beautiful painting of the Ivy

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Dracaena: Comes in different varieties and is known to eliminate indoor toxins. this plant is ideal for a "black thumb" gardener and can grow for decades. You have a wide variety to choose from.
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Golden pothos: Our good old money plant. It is the easiest to grow, and ranks high as an all-round air cleaner.
Most researchers and Physicians advice you against having plants in your bedroom. For that matter even Feng shui and vaasthu shaasthra do not encourage having plants in your sleeping area. This is simply because, plants exhale CO2 at night and compete with us for the available oxygen. They work for us during the day by inhaling carbon-di-oxide and releasing oxygen (remember our good old science books! ;).

Level of exposure to sun and water, and plant feed frequency depends on the plant variety you intend to grow and your geographic location. Another research which would make an interesting read is Plants Plants: Pros and Cons.

Try growing some green indoors. You will fall in love with your home all over again. As far as possible, try avoiding having faux plants and silk trees at home. They end up being dust depots and can actually deteriorate indoor air quality.

Live well and be happy!


  1. very informative post. i'm terrible with names, not just of people, but plants as well so it was good to see the names here.
    i didn't know money plant was an air purifier. if plants emit CO2, i wonder what makes money plant different.
    i don't keep plants inside for too long though, i keep rotating them.

  2. Hi Priya

    Thanks for stopping by...:-)

    Money plant is no different. Just that it is a no-maintenance creeper and easy to find.

    As such it is better to avoid any plant in the bed room /sleeping areas. They work their charm in the mornings though!

  3. Hi Sudha,
    Lovely post.

    I am so bad with plants, i have tried growing potted plants but none survive. The only guys who managed to live is my aloe vera and money plant.

    BTW, i have the privilege of being your first follower :)

  4. Hi Preeti

    Thanks a ton for the compliment dear... I am excited to have a follower for my blog...yippiee!...Keep coming by. All of your comments mean a lot to me.

  5. great post...informative...thanx.

  6. Hi Sudha,
    Your balcony garden is awesome!I have also reused water bottles cans for my plants,your economic view point is exactly correct.Few of my plants died because of the climatic condition where I live.I have the same jar and bamboo like yours.


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