In the northern hemisphere, for most of us, gardening season is winding down. Days–and daylight–is much shorter. In fact, even when I lecture about house plants I always say no re-potting and fertilizer between December and March because the plants are pretty much dormant this time of year. (Of course, there are always those instances where re-potting is not optional but mandatory–a pot slips from your grasp when watering and now you must re-pot. Clearly you can’t wait until March to do that or the plant will be dead. Common sense rules apply here).
This is the time of year when my house plants are literally my salvation. They are my “indoor” garden. If it were not for them, I literally do not know how would get from October or November, when I finish working outside, to March or April, when I can get back outside. That’s why my house is a jungle.
But there are benefits to the “jungle.” While I may occasionally resent the time it takes me to water during the busy holidays, my plants give back so much more than they demand from me! They clean the air, as I talked about last week.
And while last week I spoke specifically about certain plants that I was using to take formaldehyde from new carpet out of the air, all plants perform the basic carbon dioxide to oxygen exchange. When our homes are so tightly closed up for winter (at least up here in the north) plants are giving us fresh oxygen.
Even more, if we are heating (or cooking) with natural gas (as so many do) plants can clean the air of the benzene that natural gas produces.
Plants also produce humidity to offset winter’s natural dryness. Anyone who has ever gone into a greenhouse in the winter knows that. My own home’s humidity averages about 45% (really nice but not enough to be humid) in the winter.
There are so many “easy care” plants these days that don’t require a lot of “fussing.” Bring some into your home this winter and garden year round!