Air Purifying House Plants Part 3
Ivy is a common indoors plant, which is somewhat surprising since it is considerably more finicky indoors than it is outdoors.
Ivy doesn’t much like the artificially warmed, dry air found in most heated and air-conditioned homes today. Nevertheless, ivies continue to be seen throughout garden centers because of their beauty.
Properly grown, ivies make wonderful trailing plants, climbing plants, and even indoor topiaries.
In both winter and summer, ivy likes bright light but avoid direct sunlight in summer. In winter, plants may accept a bit of direct sunlight.
Potted ivy prefers moist, humid conditions, but not soaking. Don’t let the soil dry out and keep it evenly moist.
Ivies grown indoors prefer cooler nights, often below 60 F. Many species can overwinter outside in pots and will grow back from their stems. During hot summer days, mist frequently.
English ivy likes loose, well-drained potting mix.
During growing season, feed with controlled-release fertilizer or biweekly with weak liquid fertilizer.
The trick to growing healthy ivy is to provide cool nights and moist, humid conditions. H. Helix varieties typically have aerial roots that cling, so the plant can be trained up supports or allowed to trail from hanging baskets.
Remember to frequently mist your ivy for best results, especially during dry winters. To keep an ivy compact and bushy, pinch off the growing tips.
Removes Benzene, formaldehyde, trichlorethylene and xylene.
Toxic to pets
The Peace Lily (spathiphyllum) is a favorite indoors plant that offers majestic, long-lasting white blooms which typically appear in spring.
The plant itself has glossy oval leaves with a striking point that emerge from the soil. They are tropical plants, native to the rainforests of Central and South America and do exceptionally well when potted indoors under the right conditions.
Peace Lilies are shade-loving plants in their native habitats. Quite naturally, they prefer light to moderate shade in the home. Some varieties can withstand more light than others.
During the summer, water and mist the plant frequently because they thrive with higher humidity like that of the rainforest. In winter, reduce watering but never allow the soil to dry out.
These plants really prefer moist warmth. Avoid cold drafts and temperatures below 55 F, if possible.
Peace Lilies like a rich, loose potting soil containing plenty of organic material.
Feed weekly in the summer or use slow-release pellets at the beginning of the season.
The Peace Lily is a striking plant when used in a massed display. They bloom in the spring with long-lasting flowers that hover gracefully over the leaves on thin stalks.
They can also be forced to bloom in the fall or winter. A well-grown Peace Lily may bloom twice a year, resulting in several months of flowers.
Removes benzene, formaldehyde, trichlorethylene, xylene and Ammonia
Toxic to pets
The parlor palm has been used as an indoor plant in the United States for at least 30 years. This attractive little plant was first discovered in Central America and brought back to the United States, where it immediately became a popular indoor palm.
It gained a near-instant following for a few good reasons. It’s adapted to relatively low light, can handle lower temperatures, and grows in attractive clumps with light-textured foliage cloaking thin trunks.
These are considered low-light palms, but that doesn’t mean “no-light” palms. They still prefer bright, filtered sunlight to do their best. They are often used in a northern exposure.
Like many palms, they are sensitive to overwatering and cannot tolerate being waterlogged or sitting in the saturated potting mix. Even moisture is ideal but err on the side of slightly too dry rather than overwatering.
Any high-quality potting mix will suffice, but be careful not to let the mixture break down and become a sponge.
Feed with a weak liquid fertilizer once or twice during the growing season and not at all during the winter. They are light feeders.
Bambo Palms do especially well in 3-gallon pots (about 10″) in a northern exposure or foyer, where they show off their fine textured leaves.
Because they are tolerant of lower light conditions and sensitive to too much water, they are prime candidates to be “loved to death,” either through overwatering or by getting too much direct sunlight.
Resist the temptation. Similarly, they are light feeders and only need one application of fertilizer every four months or so to do their best.
Removes benzene, formaldehyde, trichlorethylene and xylene
Aloe Vera grows as perennial in tropical and sub-tropical regions, where the leaves of these clump-forming succulents are evergreen. Typically found in the wild in hot, dry climates, they’re a natural for desert landscaping.
While capable of achieving a height of 3 feet, aloe vera plants more typically mature to be 1 or 2 feet tall. If you grow these tropical plants indoors in containers, they most likely will remain on the shorter end of the height spectrum.
Bright Light. Too much hot sun can burn the leaves and give the plant a scraggly appearance.
Soil needs to be well-draining. In its natural habitat, Aloe generally grows on slopes so that good drainage is guaranteed. To ensure drainage in a pot, you can use a special cactus potting soil or mix in some perlite or coarse sand and make your own mix.
Aloe can handle drought well, but prefers to be watered regularly, allowing the soil to dry out completely between waterings. If the plant is left dry too long, the leaves will shrivel and pucker slightly.
They will recover when watered, but prolonged stress, either too much drought or too much water, will cause the leaves to yellow and die.
Aloe vera does not require a high soil fertility. Feeding once a year, in the spring, with a houseplant fertilizer should be sufficient.
The key to growing these cactus-like plants is providing good drainage. For potting, be sure to place crushed stone at the bottom of the container, which should, of course, have a drainage hole in its bottom.
Removes benzene and formaldehyde
Toxic to pets