It’s no secret that being around plants and nature makes you feel happier and healthier – and growing plants indoors is a great way to bring more greenery into your daily life!
With the average Australian spending around 90% of their time inside, bringing the outdoors in makes sense. And the best part is, you don’t need a large home, or any previous experience to give it a go. This makes growing plants indoors ideal for any stage of your life, especially in retirement where you have a little more time to appreciate and care for them.
While there is no such thing as a ‘true’ indoor plant, there are some tried and tested varieties that are hardy enough to adapt and thrive to living inside. So if you’re keen to get started (or add to your collection) read on to discover how to grow healthy, happy, indoor plants in retirement.
Why grow plants inside?
As mentioned above, we spend a lot of time inside – and while there have been few studies published on indoor air quality, it is thought it is often more polluted than outside! This is largely due to pollutants such as gas from cookers, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from carpets, paints and furniture.
Growing plants indoors can significantly reduce VOCs in your home, which makes for better air quality and health. Indoor plants have also been shown to lift mood and increase productivity – not to mention they look fantastic too!
Where to start
Before you go shopping for your new plants, work out where they will be positioned in your home. Different plants need different levels of light, so make a note of how much light each spot will receive to help you make the right choice.
To get an idea of the types of plants you like, jump online or grab a home decorating or gardening magazine from the newsagent and jot down your favourites. Look for size, colour, texture and shape, and think about pots and baskets to match.
Which plants to try
There are lots of possibilities when it comes to growing plants indoors, however, there are some popular choices that have been found to work especially well. Below are three easy-to-grow choices that are a good place to start:
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum spp.)
A popular plant for its superior air cleaning qualities and hardiness to indoor heating and cooling. It can also survive with low levels of light. It tells you when it needs a drink as the leaves will noticeably droop, however, it performs best when the soil surface is kept moist. Importantly, it is toxic if ingested, so keep out of reach of pets and children.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Ideal as a hanging plant, the spider plant is very hardy, tolerating both dark corners and bright light. An excellent choice for its air cleaning abilities, it’s also non-toxic to animals. Can survive with infrequent watering and will produce white flowers that also carry new baby plants on their long stems.
Zanzibar Gem (Zamioculcus zamiifolia)
A stylish plant with pairs of dark glossy leaves along stiff, upright stems. It likes a bright position, but can tolerate low light. The roots store water so let the soil dry out between watering, and keep them looking shiny by wiping with a damp cloth as needed.
Caring for your plants
Be sure to take note of the special care requirements of your plant of choice. The level of light, water and attention they will need will vary, so keep the plant tag for future reference.
Like all gardening, it’s a matter of trial and error. Take note of what works and what doesn’t, and learn from the experience.
Indoor plants mean healthier, happier, homes
The benefits of being around nature are clear – so why not bring the outdoors in? Creating an indoor garden in retirement is fun, rewarding and good for your health and mood. So pick a plant and give it a go today!
Over to You
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