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Adding Houseplants to Your Spaces Successfully

Adding Houseplants to Your Spaces Successfully

AUBURN, Alabama — Made popular in the 19th century, houseplants come in many shapes and sizes and usually do not take up too much space in your home.  Most people use them  to lighten up a space or give a cozy appearance to a room.

What are houseplants?

First, let’s distinguish between houseplants and outdoor plants. Rhonda Britton, a regional Alabama Extension agent in home grounds, gardens and home pests, said a variety of plants can be placed in both inside and outside environments.

Always, pick a plant for size, light and temperature needs. “Most common houseplants don’t tolerant the cold,” said Britton.  Also, many popular ones are adapted to the low light levels found in homes and other indoor spaces.

Like any other plants, houseplants require regular care. Britton pointed out that watering needs may vary depending on the plant, size, location and soil type.

“Plants will show wilting when they need water,” said Britton. Test the soil with your finger to a depth of two inches. If the soil is dry, it probably needs to be watered.

“Plants grow toward the light so rotating on a regular basis will help it to grow evenly.”

Yellowing may be cause by overwatering or insufficient light. However, Britton added that plants will show signs of yellowing if in need of fertilizer.   Fertilizing once a month is adequate for most houseplants actively growing or flowering.  Additionally, plants do not need fertilizer in winter when growth slows dramatically.

Common houseplants


Many choices are available at local nurseries or garden centers.  “The most common are foliage plants,” said Gigi Bullman, an Alabama Master Gardener in Madison County. ” They are more tolerant of lower light conditions in most homes.”

Six common houseplants are:

  • Prayer plant (Maranta leuconeura)
  • Snake plant, mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria)
  • Peace lily (Spathiphyllum species)
  • Rubber plant (Ficus elastica)
  • Dumb cane (Dieffenbachia hybrids)
  • Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Bullman added that peace lilies and pothos are often purchased as  gifts.

The benefits

houseplantsAlthough houseplants are known to be air humidifiers as well as remove air pollutants, they also serve additional benefits. Houseplants act as a design element and serves as an enjoyable hobby, especially for the homebound or those in bad health.

Some studies say indoor plants improve work attendance as well as improving concentration.

Whether you are looking to purchase an indoor plant or just needing some aesthetic appeal for your living or working space, houseplants are an affordable way to serve your needs and beautify your home or office. Check your local nursery or fresh market to find one that meets your needs.




Featured image by Artex67/Shutterstock.com

Peace lily image by ballykdy/Shutterstock.com

Mother in law tongue by lobster20/Shutterstock.com

About Su Jin Park