In 1989 NASA released the results of a two-year-long study on the effects of indoor plants. Their findings proved that growing certain common varieties of plants indoors (including philodendron, spider plant, and golden pothos) help to reduce indoor air pollution. Their study was mainly focused on office buildings and the phenomenon known as “sick building syndrome,” but growing an indoor garden in your home can help improve the air quality and possibly your health.
- Purchase plants that will grow well indoors. All of the plants listed in NASA’s study grow well indoors. Most varieties of ivy, as well as most tropical plants, will grow easily indoors.
- Use quality containers. An indoor garden should make a homeowner or visitor feel relaxed and peaceful. Cheap, lightweight plastic containers (such as those in which the plants are transported to gardening centers) are too light to properly support a growing plant and will end up being knocked over time and again.
- Use potting soil for houseplants. Do not use topsoil from your yard, because it is devoid of the nutrients needed to grow healthy houseplants.
- Find an area of your home that receives a lot of sunlight during the day. An eastern-facing window gets a great deal of sunlight in the afternoon and is ideal for an indoor garden.
- Mist your plants frequently. Most modern homes have air conditioning, which saps the indoor air of humidity. This makes the air pleasant for humans but can make plants uncomfortable. To make your plants happier, mist them daily (or as often as possible) with a spray bottle filled with filtered water.
- Arrange the plants in an attractive way. Consider hanging some plants from the ceiling (especially those that like to grow downward, such as spider plants and ivies). Place taller plants in the back of plant groupings, so that the smaller plants can be seen.