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Welcome to the STIHL USA Blog

Friday, January 10, 2014

Indoor Plants and Trees for Your Life?

By Chris Raimondi, CLP

Old man winter is upon us, and most of us regrettably spend more time indoors now. We dream of the feelings associated with spring fever.  Warmer temperatures and the spring leaf-out makes us feel  euphoric. Well, interior plants can have a similar effect on our physiologic well being. Studies have proven that the types of plant material we surround ourselves will affect us in many ways.  Breath deep - the oxygen we crave for existence is one of the biggest benefits that plants provide.  The benefits don’t stop there. Formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene, are just some of the noxious VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) linked to medical problems that plants can reduce.  NASA and other researchers all over the world have studied this in depth.  They have found that plant materials reduce dust, increase human efficiency, and reduce flu like symptoms.  Commercially, we use plants to help reduce the effects of a common complaint called the Sick Building Syndrome.  Research and discussion are now underway to see how plants help increase another factor called the Happiness factor. 

Unless you are an experienced pro, stick with the tried and proven plants and tree varieties that are available.  You will recognize about 20 plants.  Families or groupings work best. Do not forget about some of the inspiring new ways to use the plants.  Green walls or Vertical walls are very much in vogue, and offer space saving ways to use plant materials in new ways.  These walls also offer a unique ability to increase the effectiveness of the plants' cleansing ability.

If you pay attention to the light requirements of each plant or tree, your chances of failure are much less. Choose the correct species for the available light in the area.  Asking a cactus to live in a dark room is a death sentence.  Plants usually are grouped into High, Medium and Low light levels. If unsure ask your interior plant provider. Water is the next area where people have issues. Water your plant when it needs it, not before and obviously not when it’s too late. All plants will give signals on water needs. Use your finger as one of the tests to determine soil moisture. And remember, we actually kill more plants than you believe from overwatering. Don’t worry about humidity, fertilizer or insects for starters. After you establish a good environment you will see that these issues are not a big deal and you will be able to handle it.

Great Interior plant choices:   Aglaonema                              Pothos

                                                Bromeliad                                Rhapis

                                                Dracaena                                Sansevieria

                                                Ficus                                       Spathiphyllum


Utilizing some real basic skills, the interior plants and trees will automatically provide cleaner air, happiness and chemical remediation that benefit us within hours.  Good luck and remember that photosynthesis is a necessity of life!

Chris Raimondi, a Certified Landscape Professional, is President /CEO of Raimondi Horticultural Group, Inc.  www.raimondihg.com.   He is an instructor at the New York Botanical Garden, Adjunct Professor and frequent Green Industry speaker.
Helpful Links
GPGB    www.greenplantsforgreenbuildings.org
Consumer Resources. http://www.loveyourlandscape.com/