Its just days away from spring and we often like to bring the outside in and share our plants with the household.  So often, we have no clue on how to take care of our plants, the benefits or the challenges and the flimsy information card doesnt always clarify.  So we went on the hunt for a local expert and found the wonderful Stacey Clause from the Root Clause a local expert on indoor plants. and we asked her some of our top questions about plants.

Stacey, what are the best houseplants?  Aloe, English Ivy, Rubber tree, Peace lily, Boston Fern, Snake plant, Bamboo Palm, Spider and Golden Pothos.  These plants are easy to care for a require little maintenance and attention.  Not only does the punch of colour brighten any room, it helps create a relaxing, zen like ambiance.

We have heard that some plants can be toxic to humans and pets, what should we look out for? Stay away from Philodendron, Pothos, Arrowhead, Lily, Peace lily, Dieffenbachia, Oleander, Caladium Mother in Laws Tongue and Ivy.  Poison can take place if:  Eating or touching leaves, Ingesting berries, blossoms or roots, Skin contact with sap or juices, Eating soil or Drinking water from the plant tray

How do you know to dispose of a plant? You will know if a plant is sick or unhappy if leaves start turning yellow or brown and start falling off.  Or perhaps the leaves start to lose their plumpness and the plant starts to droop or lean over.  This could be a result of lighting issues (too much/too little) or it could indicate bugs or a fungus/disease or it could be too much or too little water.  It is possible to kill a plant with kindness and overwater the poor thing!!!!  Sometimes all the plant needs is a new location in a sunnier or shadier place.  Perhaps the plant is too close to a drafty window or high traffic door and doesn’t react well to dramatic temperature changes.  If you do notice your plant is unhappy, try to identify the symptoms and deal with them specifically which may allow the plant to continue to thrive happily.  It would be sad to just throw out a plant without trying to help it!

What are the benefits of houseplants?  It’s amazing how beneficial these small green leafy organisms can be!  They interact with your mind, body and home and increase the quality of your home.   Through photosynthesis, the plant absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen.   Also during this process, the plant releases moisture in the air which helps increase the humidity and improves air quality.   They also help reduce the levels of certain pollutants such as benzene, nitrogen dioxide and also, they help reduce airborne dust levels.  Research has also been done that concluded that having plants in a class room help with focus, concentration and increase attendance levels!

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Do plants need feeding?  Most indoor house plants will be happy with a steady diet of tap water.  However the chlorine, minerals and other additives may not allow your plant to thrive as well as possible.  Plants need a mixture of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) and other micro nutrients to grow healthy and happy.  Starting off with proper drainage and a good soil is always important too as not all soils are created equal!   Often a small amount of fertilizer is helpful during the growing season.  During the winter season, most plants go into a dormant phase and only require water.
What are the lowest maintenance plants we should look out for? In my opinion and experience, the easiest plants to have are succulents.  My personal favorites are Aloe and the Jade tree.    If they are planted in proper cactus soil with good drainage, they tend to draw moisture out of the air and because of this, they don’t require constant watering.  They don’t need full sun but thrive in bright spaces.  Most succulents originate in the desert so if you can imagine the type of weather they receive there, if you happen to go on vacation or forget to water your plant for a couple weeks, they tend to be very forgiving!

A huge thank you to Stacey Clause from The Root Clause, be sure to check her out on facebook here.  Stacey is a huge advocate of bringing the beauty of nature indoors and into your lifestyle from plants to essential oils.



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