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Plants - A Breath of Fresh Air

by sharo (follow)
Alive and well at 60 and still adventuring!!
Here in subtropical Brisbane thousands of plants grow outside. They vary from trailing vines and flowering plants to large leafy tropicals. They can add a natural element to your environment and some will even clean the air for you. Why not bring some of these benefits inside?



the new pink Chinese Evergreen
the new pink Chinese Evergreen


The first thing is to determine why you want the plant. Is it to add a touch of color to your surroundings? Do you want it to brighten a dark corner in your living room? Or do you want it to add some fresh air to your life?

Each plant comes with its own requirements and if you follow these, you and your plant will live happily together.

Peace Lillies (Spathiphyllum) sit nicely in a shaded spot, have broad green leaves and produce white flowers. The stunning reds, oranges and yellows of the Croton thrive in a sunny bright location and can liven up an area. The Chinese Evergreen (Anglaonema) has lovely variegated foliage and now comes in pink.



the new pink Chinese Evergreen
the lovely bold colors of the Croton


Flowering plants add that little extra. They are interesting and bring a splash of color with them. There are thousands of orchids but only a couple that are easy to grow. The Moth Orchid (Phaeleonopsis) is one of the easiest. It will bloom for months and requires little water.



the new pink Chinese Evergreen
the Moth Orchid


Leaf textures can add architectural interest to an area. The lovely sweeping fronds of a palm, the graceful bushy leaves of a Peace Lily, combined with the strap like leaves of the Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra) make a striking combination. The large, waxy leaves of an orchid paired together with the soft furry rosettes of two African violets bring color to any room. When combining plants the rule of thumb for landscaping indoors and out is to group plants together in odd numbers.

Plants add a lot to an environment. In turn they will provide oxygen and cleanse the air.



the new pink Chinese Evergreen
a member of the Dracaena family


There is a condition called Sick Building Syndrome where office workers in old buildings became unexplainably ill. Further investigations found this was due to old air conditioning and heating systems that circulated polluted air, giving rise to head aches and allergy type symptoms. The Spider plant (Chlorophytum elatum), Dracaena marginata, most philodendrons and a host of others filter harmful chemicals out of the air.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) commissioned studies to test the effectiveness of the ability of plants to clean the air. The study went into great depths and led to a comprehensive list of plants that help. Go online here and search the study from 1989 titled "Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement". The study actually gives you the name of the chemicals and which plants affect them.



the air filtering Spider Plant
the air filtering Spider plant


Wikipedia also has a list of air-filtering plants to check out.

Your friendly neighborhood nursery staff are always willing to give you a hand in picking out the plant that is best for you.

Bring the outside in with some of our leafy friends and enjoy a breath of fresh air.
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