Wednesday Wellness::Bringing Home the Green

by heatherkp

Keep houseplants and get out and garden if you can.

Woops, don’t suppose it matters but I should have posted this last week and got things out of order. I think it’s appropriate though as I’m currently starting some seeds for my garden.  It is that time of year when we all start thinking about things turning green, the cycle of growth and spring flowers.

I’m a big fan of gardening and that includes anything from designing landscapes, creating garden plans, choosing plants, starting seeds, pruning, raking leaves etc.  Some people have NO interest in growing anything and for those of you who feel that way, okay fine maybe you could just keep a couple houseplants!  Seriously, houseplants improve indoor air quality haven’t you heard?  They create oxygen and help filter out toxins in the air.  Some of the hardest working houseplants are also the easiest to care for.

NASA and ALCA (Associated Landscape Contractors of America) conducted a study testing common houseplants for their ability to remove indoor air pollutants and below is their list of the 19 that do the best job.  The study revealed that in a home under 2000 sq feet there should be about 15 plants (in 6″ pots or bigger) to have the best effect.
1. Philodendron scandens `oxycardium’, heartleaf philodendron
2. Philodendron domesticum, elephant ear philodendron
3. Dracaena fragrans `Massangeana’, cornstalk dracaena
4. Hedera helix, English ivy
5. Chlorophytum comosum, spider plant
6. Dracaena deremensis `Janet Craig’, Janet Craig dracaena
7. Dracaena deremensis `Warneckii’, Warneck dracaena
8. Ficus benjamina, weeping fig
9. Epipiremnum aureum, golden pothos
10. Spathiphyllum `Mauna Loa’, peace lily
11. Philodendron selloum, selloum philodendron
12. Aglaonema modestum, Chinese evergreen
13. Chamaedorea sefritzii, bamboo or reed palm
14. Sansevieria trifasciata, snake plant
15. Dracaena marginata , red-edged dracaena

If you are more into gardening outside then I think any gardening activity you do is good for your overall health and wellness.  Fresh air, Vitamin D (but use the sunscreen), exercise and a sense of peace and well being are all benefits that come from being out in nature.  Recent research is showing that there are tremendous yet unknown benefits to getting some form of exercise outdoors.  There has even been a term coined recently “Nature Deficient Disorder“, check out this article for more about that concept.  It kind of makes sense to me!

One thing I always try to incorporate into my gardening is growing a bit of food.  It’s fun, it’s easy and it’s healthy.  I’ve done the majority of my food production in one form of container or another over the past  years.  I’ve grown garlic, lettuce, spinach, bok choi, kale, radish, beets, strawberries, peppers, tomatoes, malibar spinach and all sorts of herbs in containers.   NOW is the time to start those seeds for the upcoming season.  If you are interested in learning about how to start your own seeds  check out these great videos.  The Grow It Eat It website is one that offers a tremendous amount of information specifically on gardening for food production.

Whatever you like to grow, I hope your growing something!  It’s good for the soul, good for your health and good for the planet.

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2 Comments to “Wednesday Wellness::Bringing Home the Green”

  1. Thank you for the article! The info on air-cleaning houseplants is great as is the fact that there is an actual study on nature deficiency disorder (I’ve long argued I’ve suffered from that since moving…not that I’m complaining! ;). What a beautiful blog – love the photos!
    -Leah

    • Thanks Leah, I suppose that Nature Deficiency Disorder isn’t so far fetched when there are other disorders such as Seasonal Affective Disorder that have similar relevancy. Glad you are enjoying the blog and photos. I’ll see you round at UYL!

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