Earth Day

April 16, 2018

Most people buy plants for their homes to add decoration, but did you know there are many benefits to them? Plants interact with the environment in the room to make the air cleaner and better for us. As long as plants are taken care of properly according to their individual needs, they can add beauty to a household for a long time.   

Of course, we need oxygen to breathe, and that’s what plants can provide for us, which means that they can help increase the oxygen levels throughout our homes. 

Along the same lines, plants also release moisture vapour, which increases humidity in the home and can help us breathe and stay hydrated. 

Choosing a Tropical Plant for Your Home 

How should you choose a plant for your home? Primarily, consider how much space you have, and how much light that space will receive. Also evaluate whether you want a fussy plant that needs exacting care, like a fern or an orchid. Or something low maintenance.

These Plants are Arriving at Co-op Just in Time for Earth Day 

peace lilySpathiphyllum, aka Peace Lily
Have you ever taken a shower and noticed there is still water and humidity in the shower? The Spathiphyllum, also known as the peace lily, works great in that kind of condition because it is great for minimizing the amount of mould in the air. With glossy green leaves that are long and narrow, capped by white, cone shaped flowers, this unique plant comes to Co-op from rainforests throughout South and Central America. 

Peace lilies have a white or yellow floral spike in the centre and they prefer shadier spaces, but they do need to be watered all throughout the year, especially in the summer.  

tropical house plantsAssorted Palms
Palms are a very popular choice when it comes to houseplants. These are also widely used in hotels, malls, and other large public spaces because they are easy to care for if left alone in the proper conditions. Plus they can add a “tropical” vibe to spaces. 

With that tropical leaning, most species require a lot of bright light and humidity to survive. An excellent indoor species is howea forsteriana, which is native to Australia and has the ability to survive and stay a beautiful green colour even if placed in low light environments. Another great option is the Rhapis excelsa, which is native to Asia and just requires moderate sunlight. Chamaedorea cataractarums are very pretty but require a lot of water and misting, as are Phoenix roebellenii plants, so only pick those if you have time for high maintenance greenery. 

In general, keep palms away from heaters and air conditioners, since this can cause root damage and “brown tipping.” Watering in well-draining soil is critical for the survival of these plants, but it is important to avoid soaking them as it will cause root rot.

umbrella plantSchefflera Arboricola, aka Umbrella Plant
Schefflera Arboricola, better known as the umbrella plant, is an evergreen plant native to the areas in and around Taiwan. With a series of petal-like leaves that form a circle, it resembles lots of small leafy umbrellas. 

It thrives best in sun or partial shade and can grow up to 25 feet high! It’s very low maintenance when put indoors and prefers more of a peaty, well-drained soil. When caring for the umbrella plant as with as other humidity-loving greens, mist the plants and put the containers on a tray of wet pebbles to increase humidity and make them last longer. 

Philodendron Monstera, aka Swiss Cheese Plant
Philodendron Monstera, also known as Split Leaf Philodendron, differs from typical philodendrons because they eventually develop holes in the leaves with the proper lighting, thus also giving them the name Swiss cheese plants. They are made up of large, beautiful, wide leaves in the general shape of a heart, with fingered edges.

These plants come to Co-op from southern Mexico and the rainforests of Central America. They prefer moderate lighting and watering and eventually require staking of the stems because they can grow a lot and begin to take up a lot of space. Soil for these plants is best if kept moist. These are beautiful plants; however, they are a poisonous plant and should be kept out of reach of children and pets.  

corn plantDracaena Mass Cane, aka Corn Plant
The Dracaena Fragrans Massangeana (also known as the Dracaena Mass Cane) has been a household plant since the 1700s. This plant is native to Africa, mainly the Upper Guinea region, which is full of tropical forests with heavy humidity. 

There are several different species of this plant, but most common in Canada is the version with tall woody stalks, crowned by narrow leafy heads. The leaves are very similar in size and shape to corn stalks, thus earning this plant the common name, the corn plant. If you’re looking for a tall plant in your house, this one is perfect, as it grows straight up and looks nice in corners. 

This plant does best if placed in a sunny area, but with a curtain in between the plant and the sun. Soil should be soaked and then drained so it remains just a little wet. Watering from beneath by pouring tepid water into a tray is great for this plant, but over-watering can cause root rot so it’s best to watch how this plant is reacting to the care you give it. 

fernKimberley Queen Fern, aka Sword Fern
The Kimberley Queen Fern is also called the Australian Sword Fern and it is one of the top choices for plants put in entryways of homes. It is a very strong and resilient plant that can handle the cold and extreme heat of doors constantly opening and closing. 

These green plants typically don’t grow more than two feet and thrive best when put in well-drained soil. With their ragged but uniformly rippled leaves, these plants can grow to be very bushy and impossibly green.

Trouble keeping track of you plants’ care? Writer the proper care instructions on a small index card, glue it to a popsicle stick and stick it in the soil at the back of the plant. It’s always there for reference.

With these care tips in mind, pick up the perfect plant for you on your next visit to Co-op.

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