How to Select Houseplants for Your Home

Posted by in Home Improvement Tips, on March 18, 2016

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This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook learns how to select houseplants for different situations from expert Carrie Kelly. (See below for a shopping list, tools, and steps.)

Shopping List for How to Select Houseplants for Your Home:
– Houseplants
– Various pots, dishes and vases, used to repot plants
– Gravel or marble, for planting gardenias

Tools List for How to Select Houseplants for Your Home:
– Plant mister, for moistening plant leaves

Steps for How to Select Houseplants for Your Home:
1. Many houseplants, such as lemon trees, add fragrance to a room.
2. Place a lemon tree near a window in direct sunlight.
3. Gardenias have beautiful flowers and lovely fragrance. To thrive, gardenias need high humidity. Mist the plant frequently and set it on tray of pebbles, then fill tray with water.
4. Stephanotis and jasmine are vine houseplants that smell great and produce delicate flowers.
5. Rosemary can be trained to grow vertically, and then trimmed like a Christmas tree. Rosemary leaves have a wonderful aroma, and can be picked and used in cooking.
6. Paperwhites are part of the daffodil family and are very easy to grow.
7. When repotting paperwhites, use a shallow dish with no drainage holes.
8. Partially fill the dish with gravel or marbles.
9. Press the paperwhite bulbs partway into the gravel, then add water until it just touches the bottom of the bulbs.
10. Place the dish in a cool location (50 to 60-degrees F) until you see new growth, then move it to a warmer spot. Flowers will bloom in four to six weeks.
11. Plant individual paperwhite bulbs in a small vase; don't set the bulb directly in water.
12. Houseplants, through a process called translocation, can help clean the air of toxins and pollutants.
13. The eureka palm, lady palm, rubber tree, and peace lily are excellent air purifiers.
14. One large houseplant can clean the air in a 100-square-foot area.
15. In lowlight areas, consider growing mother-in-law's tongue or any plant in the dracena family.
16. Zamioculcas Zamifolia, commonly called the ZZ plant, tolerates very little light and requires very little water.
17. Edible houseplants include sage, mint, basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme.
18. Remove herb plants from plastic containers and repot them into clay pots.

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