|Posted on August 10, 2017 at 6:16 PM||comments (5)|
Plants are living beings and prefer regular care, but frequent or lengthy absences need not stop you from filling your home with greenery. Some house plants, such as cacti and succulents, can literally go for months without water and should be perfect for even frequent travelers. By using watering systems such as wicks, capillary matting, and hydroculture, you can keep most plants happy for two weeks or even more. The plants that need the least care are those grown in sealed terrariums. They can often go for years without water! Leaving House Plants at Home
If you suddenly find yourself facing a prolonged absence and your house plants aren’t able to survive on their own, there is no need to panic. There are a few last-minute tricks you can try to keep even difficult house plants living during long periods without regular care.
Start by setting them in a shady spot and removing any flowers and buds to reduce the amount of water they need. Although plants normally don’t like waterlogged soil, they can put up with it occasionally, so set them in a deep tray and literally flood them with water. After this treatment, most plants can go for at least three weeks on their own.
Fragile plants can be covered in plastic when you are away from home for a long time. Since no water is lost to evaporation, plants can go for over a month without care.Finally, you can simply leave your plants in the care of a horticulturally experienced neighbor. Have your neighbor come in once or twice a week and water as needed.
|Posted on August 10, 2017 at 4:50 PM||comments (0)|
A Norwegian study from 1995-96 provides the best evidence for the health benefits of plants. The research team studied 60 office workers whom each experienced a plant and no plant condition during the spring months.
In the first year of the study, half of the subjects had a planter installed on their window sill and a large floor plant near their desks, while the other subjects experienced their standard office conditions without plants. The plants were grown in a mixture of Leca pears, peat, and compost. They were maintained by a professional service.
In the second year of the study, the conditions were reversed and the plants were moved to the workspaces of the no-plants group. The researchers studied health symptoms using a standardized survey instrument that measured:
The analysis compared symptoms when plants were present and when they were absent. The results showed that:
The researchers suggest that health improvements were likely due to two mechanisms: improved air quality and the psychological value of being in a more pleasing environment. The presence of plants may have created a microclimate effect that resulted in increased moisture (which could influence mucous membrane systems) as well as a cleansing of the chemicals in the air.
Other studies have also found that plants can positively influence air quality, but there is much debate over how many and what types of plants would be required for effective removal of airborne toxins.
For instance, a 1989 study assessed the use of plants to remove formaldehyde and zylene from the air in test chamber studies. This research was prompted by an EPA study that found high levels of these chemicals in newly constructed office buildings in the 1990’s. The chemicals are commonly found in building materials and furnishings.
The researchers found that plants were effective in continuously removing the chemicals from the air in the test chambers. Both the plant leaves and the micro-organisms in the soil contributed to the improved air quality.
A more recent study in 2004, also conducted in a test chamber, found that plants removed airborne doses of benzene within 24 hours. Both the leaves and soil microorganisms proved effective in removal of the chemical from the air. The authors concluded that “the findings demonstrate the capacity of the potted plant microcosm to contribute to cleaner indoor air and to lay the foundation for the development of the plant system as a complementary biofiltration system.”
|Posted on January 5, 2012 at 11:36 AM||comments (4)|
Air plants, Aerophytes or Tillandsias are members of Bromeliad family. Tillandsia species are epiphytes.Epiphyte plants are well known for their durability. They thrive on trunks and branches of trees high above ground. Their roots have only the purpose of clinging to the bark. They gain all the nutrients through rainwater and moisture in the air. Green Tillandsias thrive in tropical and subtropical climate. They should spend winters in warm (above 15°C) and bright space. Grey and silver white Tillandsias thrive in dry, steppe and mountain regions and should spend winters at temperatures above 8°C. They can spend summers outside on direct sunlight. We spray them daily on sunny days and every 2-3 days in cloudy weather. The parent plant slowly dries up after blossoming but produces several offshoots that grow on in right circumstances. They are resistant to plant diseases.
Caring for your air plants:
Tillandsias grow differently than most other house plants, so can be confusing to the beginner. They are really very hardy, and require much less attention than other house plants. The following simplifies the instruction but you can scroll down for much more specific information.
Protect them from frosts
Most prefer cool night temperatures - below 60 degrees if it can be provided.
Give them bright, filtered light.
Provided the atmosphere is not too dry (as in an air-conditioned home) they require relatively little watering.
If you are growing them indoors and the air is dry, you will need to submerge the plant in water for 2-3 hours about every two weeks. Otherwise, in a shade-house or unheated home, you can soak once or twice a week in summer, once a month in cooler weather.
Fertilize by adding a pinch of Orchid fertilizer to your water.
|Posted on October 9, 2011 at 4:40 PM||comments (24)|
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|Posted on April 28, 2011 at 12:57 PM||comments (5)|
According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, NASA experiments in air purification in space are showing that certain types of common houseplants do a terrific job getting rid of indoor pollutants that can cause a range of health problems.
There is a growing body of evidence that plants can reduce dust particles and contaminants such as formaldehyde and benzene that come from cigarette smoke, paint and paint thinner, furniture, building materials and other noxious sources.
There has been mounting concern about the quality of indoor air. We spend more than 90 percent of our time inside, where levels of pollution can be two to five times higher than outside, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Indoor air pollutants come primarily in two forms: particle pollution, which includes dust, pollen, animal dander, smoke and gaseous pollutants such as VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that come from building materials, dry-cleaned clothing and aerosol sprays.
While there is still not enough hard evidence to make it an official mainstream policy, there is a big body of research that validates the efficacy of potted plants as air purifiers. One study suggests that six or more plants in a 1,200- to 1,500-square foot house could notably reduce contaminants. Some plants are especially helpful and target specific pollutants as indicated in this list.
English Ivy (Hedera helix) for benzene, toluene, octane, alpha-pinene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde.
Mother-In-Law's Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata) for alcohol, benzene, formaldehyde and xylene.
Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina) for formaldehyde, ammonia, n-hexane, and benzene.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)for acetone, ammonia, benzene, ethyl acetate, formaldehyde, methyl alcohol, trichloroethylene, xylene, n-hexane and toluene.
Devil's Ivy (Epipremnum aureum) for carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and benzene.
Flamingo Flower (Anthurium) for ammonia, formaldehyde, toluene, xylene and benzene.
Janet Craig (Dracaena deremensis) for trichloroethylene, formaldehyde and benzene.
Asparagus Fern (Asparagus densiflorus) for benzene, toluene, octane, alpha-pinene and trichloroethylene.
Big box retailers such as Lowe's and Home Depot are now selling plants with tags promoting their air-cleaning abilities. Going green was never so easy.
|Posted on March 31, 2011 at 6:01 PM||comments (11)|
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