With the holiday season behind us and the decorations safely stored, indoor spaces can feel somewhat empty. We reached out to horticulturist Cynthia Booth from Glass Earth Plant Store to explore some of the benefits of introducing plants to your home or workspace and some tips on getting started.
Glass Earth (located in Edmonton, AB) has been in business since 2012 assisting consumers and corporate clients alike in revitalising their indoor spaces. What started as a holiday mall kiosk space, swiftly transformed to the awe-inspiring storefront and online store operated today. The business specializes in all things indoor plants including accessories, exotics and the creation of highly sought-after and interior design trending, moss panels.
Plants have been utilized indoors for a number of reasons such as assisting in raising the humidity within a room (minimizing the dry air), shading a large bright space, masking unattractive areas and even noise reduction. However, through further research, it has been found that the inclusion of plants can also provide a number of mental and physiological benefits.
A catalyst for happiness - the simple act of stopping to smell or touch a plant or plant soil can release antidepressant-triggering microbes called "outdoorphines." These microbes simultaneously stimulate your body to secrete cytokines that lead to your brain producing additional serotonin – the key hormone in stabilizing your feelings, well-being and overall happiness. Yes, it is that simple!
Fresher Air - plants are also known for their air cleansing qualities whereby they absorb carbon dioxide and harmful toxins from the air and convert them into food.
Increase productivity – plants help to transform dull or unmotivating spaces with a pop of colour or fresh scent to fill the room, leaving you feeling less stressed and further able to focus on tasks at hand.
Increase mental health – plants provide a sense of comfort and purpose for those struggling with depression or loneliness as they provide a platform for individuals to nurture and care for something that is rewarding.
Deciding upon the type of plant to bring into your home or workspace depends upon a couple of factors such as location, lighting and what your level of commitment towards caring for a plant will be. Generally, indoor plants do not require direct sunlight, many can even survive under artificial light as long as they are exposed to it for roughly 8 hrs per day. Be sure to monitor the temperature of the location you choose to place your plant (close to a heating system could quickly dry out the soil and overheat the plant, set in a windowsill during the winter months could cause unnecessary cold to your plant). The key to watering is all in your finger, yes, your finger. Though the soil up top may appear dry, be sure to stick your finger deeper into the soil to feel for moisture by the roots prior to watering. This will help you gauge a more accurate watering schedule.
A couple of easy plant care tips include looking under your leaves for bugs (that is where they hide), if your leaves are brown - you are underwatering, if your leaves turn yellow- you are overwatering.
Plants ground us and, in a roundabout way, they do truly make us better people – says Cynthia.
She recommends the following drought-resistant varietals as easy starter plants to add to your indoor spaces:
Snake Plant – large stiff-leaved plant growing anywhere from 6" to 8' in height
Dracaena – a stiff-leaved plant with green sword-like leaves
Pothos – a trailing vine plant with green heart-shaped leaves
Monstera – large glossy green heart-shaped leaves with slits within
Moss panel – built using real, preserved moss, no watering, no care required! They pull enough moisture out of the air to survive and thrive!