If you're anything like me, having to spend a lot of time inside your own home has made you start thinking about what you can do around the house to make it more of a sanctuary.
House plants are a wonderful way to bring the fresh feeling of the outdoors into your home. Not only do indoor plants look amazing, but they also come with other compelling benefits, including purifying the air and removing toxins.
But how do you choose the right house plant? There are a few things to take into consideration, to make sure the plants you choose remain lush and healthy, providing you with the interior results you're looking for.
As well as considering the look of the plant, you also need to think about the temperature and light the plant will be exposed to, and how much care it requires.
In this article, we'll cover these important factors so you can make the right decision about the houseplants you choose for your rooms.
When buying house plants, a bit of pre-planning can go a long way. Start by thinking about the space that you plan to fill. Is it a large space, such as space in the lounge, or is somewhere small such as on an office desk. Remember that house plants are living, growing things. Some of them can grow to be very large, while others will remain small if kept in a small pot.
You'll also need to consider the amount of light the plants will get, and the temperature and humidity levels of the room. These factors will make a difference in the health of your plants, depending on which ones you choose.
2. Light Exposure
The amount of light the plant will get is one of the most important considerations. As you may remember from your fifth form biology class, plants absorb light energy and turn it into energy through photosynthesis. This function is performed through cells in plants called the chloroplast.
Plants have varying levels of chloroplast, depending on what conditions the particular species of plant have adapted to. Chloroplasts are larger in plants better adapted to less light, containing more of the chlorophyll needed to absorb light.
Plants can also adapt to higher or lower levels of light, a process called acclimatization. Nevertheless, to give your plant the best chance of remaining healthy, it's best to choose a house plant that will be a good fit for the level of light exposure you intend to put it in.
As a general rule, most prefer indirect light and don't do well in direct or very low light.
Generally speaking, any temperature that you find fine, will be suitable for houseplants. The ideal temperature for them is 18° to 24°C. What they don't like is temperature swings, so this is an important consideration.
Different plants will respond differently to swings in temperature. More hardy plants, such as Succulents, Cacti, Cast Iron plants, Chinese Evergreens and Dieffenbachia, can withstand temperature swings, but it is not ideal for their health. Try to avoid leaving them in cold or hot spots. Don't leave them next to heaters or in areas where they will be exposed to cold air (e.g. next to windows or doors that are leaky and not well insulated).
Most houseplants are tropical plants, so they are adapted for higher levels of humidity. A healthy home in New Zealand may have a humid level of 30-50%. It can get lower than this in winter when heat systems are on to warm and dry the home.
Most house plants do best at a humidity level of 70-80%. Anything you can do to increase the humidity will help your plants. Ways to do this include misting your plants, using pebble trays or getting a humidifier. Some indoor plants, such as the Snake Plant can help to add moisture to your home.
The big consideration here is the plants watering requirements. Some house plants have stricter water requirements than others. Before choosing a plant, make sure your aware of how sensitive it is to watering and consistent soil moisture levels.
5. Are they safe for children and pets?
Some houses plants contain toxins and as a result, are not safe for pets or children. If you have children or pets, make sure you do your research before buying to make sure the plants you choose are safe.
Choosing the right plant from our store.
We've put together a table to give you an idea of the considerations when thinking about each type of plant we stock here at House Plants. On each of our plant's product page, you'll also find a description of the light exposure, temperature, humidity and watering requirements to keep the plant healthy, as well as whether it contains toxins that may be harmful to pets.
This will give you all the information you need to make a good decision about the type of indoor plants that's suitable for your space.
Happy house plant hunting!