There are two other plants that you’ll want to consider if you’re interested in boosting the quality of the air in your home.
They are: Ficus and the Snake Plant.
Here’s a bit of information about each and why you should consider them:
Ficus: (Weeping Fig)
Ficus trees are common houseplants in the home or office, mainly because they look more like a typical tree, with one trunk and leafy branches. You may also have seen them with braided trunks.
These plants are a little finicky, but with a little work, you can keep your Ficus happy and healthy. They’re native to Southeast Asia, and can grow anywhere from two to ten feet tall.
Your Ficus will appreciate bright indirect or filtered sunlight and a weekly watering, with the soil allowed to dry out between watering. Variegated varieties can tolerate medium sunlight, but bright direct light can result in leaf scald and leaf loss.
Ficus trees cannot tolerate cold temperatures. Keep them in a temperature over 60 degrees F – and over 70 degrees is even better.
Place your tree in a protected area of the room where it’s safe from drafts. Regular misting will keep your Ficus healthy, or you can place the pot on a pebble-lined tray full of water.
Remember to let the soil dry out in between watering, though, because they don’t like overly wet roots. They’re also rapid growing plants, so you should fertilize once a month in spring and summer and once every two months in fall and winter.
One thing you’ll notice about your ficus is that any change or disturbance will cause leaf drop. If your tree is losing leaves, check the water first (for over- or under-watering), then check for low humidity or low sunlight.
- Tip: Make sure there hasn’t been a change in temperature, like a draft or the plant getting too hot or too cold. Even moving the plant or repotting can cause leaf drop. Fertilize once a month during growing season (Spring and Summer).
Ficus trees remove formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene from the air, so they will purify any room in the house. Try them in a freshly painted or refurbished room or office as well.
Low-maintenance snake plants are perfect for the person who can’t keep any plant alive. With striking dark green striped leaves, they’ve become quite a popular houseplant. They’re hardy succulents that can grow up to six feet tall.
Your snake plant should have dark green leaves – pale leaves mean the plant’s not healthy, so don’t buy that one.
Choose a pot that is porous in texture and a well-draining potting mix. They’re prone to rot, so a soil-less mix is great.
Snake plants thrive when you almost forget about them! Let the potting mix dry out between watering and be sure not to over-water during winter when they’re dormant. Further, try to keep from wetting the leaves when you water, too.
Snake plants like bright indirect light for a couple of hours a day, though they’ll tolerate almost anything. Fertilize them with an all-purpose plant food during growing season and leave them alone in cooler months.
Snake plants can remove benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene from the air, so they’re good anywhere in the house.
They’re especially useful in freshly painted or refurbished rooms or offices. They are toxic to pets, though, and can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, so keep them out of reach.
All the plants featured in this special report help to purify the quality of the air in your home, but in closing, we’ll leave you with a few final tips:
First, choose the right container. It’s important to consider what your plant prefers in the way of water retention. A porous, clay pot is best for plants that don’t like having their roots wet, while a plastic or ceramic pot will work for a water-loving plant.
Match your houseplant with the right light conditions, as well, keeping in mind that they vary in their requirements. Some plants like the strong light found next to a south-facing window, while others prefer the soft morning light of an east-facing window.
The distance from that window will also affect the quality of light, as will the season. All houseplants do best with some natural light, but some need less than others. Too much light usually turns the foliage dull green to yellowish. The leaves may also wilt.
If your plant isn’t getting enough light, it may become leggy and less compact. Check the growing directions on your houseplant before you decide where to place it in your home. The better you match the plant with the recommended light condition, the more it will thrive.
Use a high-quality potting soil or mix. Never use regular garden soil for your houseplants because it can contain harmful microorganisms or pests you don’t want inside. A good soil encourages healthy roots by providing the right balance of proper aeration, nutrition, and water retention. You can purchase high-quality potting soil at almost any nursery or gardening center.
And finally, you want to be sure you water your plants properly. Your houseplants won’t be exposed to natural precipitation, so you’ll need to water them more often. Wet the entire root ball and let the excess water run out the bottom of the pot.
Never leave standing water in the catch-tray for more than a day or so because it promotes root disease. Most plants prefer that you allow the soil to dry out between watering.
To check soil moisture, stich your finger into the top two inches of soil. If it feels dry, it’s probably time to water. You can also check how dry the plant is by lifting the pot. A dry plant will be noticeably lighter than a well-watered one.
To prevent salts from building up in the soil, water especially heavily once every month or two. That means refilling the container four or five times, so you’ll probably want to put the pot in the sink or take it outside on a warm day.
The frequent watering required by most houseplants leaches nutrients from the soil, so you must replace these by regular “feeding” or fertilization. A good all-purpose plant food will work fine, though you may also find one specific for the type of plant you’ve chosen.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this special report and with you the absolute best.