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Mar 29

Green Living: Three House Plants to Seed this Spring

With a long, cold winter behind us and spring in the air, it’s time to look forward to the new budding blossoms that will be filling our gardens and homes. Here are three in particular that are not only good to add to your home décor,  but can really make an impact on your overall health and well-being.

Aloe Vera

A staple houseplant with a remarkably easy maintenance schedule and several health benefits, the noble aloe vera plant is a great place to start. Commonly used as a first-line treatment against scrapes, burns, rashes, sunburns, or other skin maladies, it’s so easy to administer that even children can manage it. Simply break off a piece of the aloe vera stalk and rub its sap anywhere you like – topical use is deemed safe by the FDA.

Historically, aloe has also been used to treat hair loss, hemorrhoids, frostbite, cold sores, and psoriasis. It’s included as an ingredient in beauty products for hair and skin.

Some holistic health practitioners also juice the aloe vera plant and drink it as part of a shake, but be warned that it contains strong laxative compounds and internal use is not FDA approved.

Plant in wide, well-draining containers with a potting mix designed for cacti, with indirect sunlight, such as on your kitchen shelf.

Lavender

The sweet smell of lavender has been used for centuries to help its cultivators drift into a relaxing sleep.

Research supports this ancient healing wisdom, showing that the scent of lavender lowers blood pressure and heart rate.

Readers in regions closer to the equator – hot climates with lots of sunlight – will have an easier time growing lavender indoors, as the plant requires substantial sunlight to achieve the distinct color and scent reminiscent of lavender.

The ideal place to plant lavender is in the bedroom, in a small pot an inch or two larger than the plant’s root ball, in a south-facing window that allows plenty of sunlight.  Alternatively, plant outside and use a bedside vase to hold dried lavender – the scent will last for weeks.

Peace Lily

Mold growth in your home is unsightly at best, dangerous at worst. The Peace Lily plant removes mold spores from the air so that you can skip a shower cleaning without endangering your health. The plant thrives in the shade and high-humidity environments, making it the perfect bathroom plant.

Plant it in regular potting soil and replant in fresh soil annually. Keep an eye on the soil’s dryness level year-round (moist, but not wet), and if you regularly shower in the room with the plant, you may not need to water it at all.