Life in the big city can leave a person feeling out of touch with nature. It’s a little too industrial, with too much noise, too much steel and concrete and, well just too much. We can’t help but feel as though something is missing, especially during the winter time, when the skies are grey, tree branches are bare and everything just starts to look and feel sort of gloomy. Don’t despair; create your own Garden of Eden in your living room and send those winter blues packing!
Even with limited space, you can achieve a lush rain forest feeling with some hardy indoor plants, some beneficial lighting that will elevate your mood and green up your foliage, and a soothing waterfall or indoor fountain to make you feel as though you’re on an exotic holiday.
Even if you don’t have a green thumb, the right plants will thrive as long as you provide them sufficient water and:
- Adequate natural sunlight or artificial “grow” lights;
- Good ventilation;
- A little bit of humidity;
- A comfortable temperature.
Cool-white fluorescent tubes are sufficient to aid plant growth as long as there is also a source of natural sunlight, however special fluorescent bulbs designed to aid plant growth are also available and should be added if there is little to no natural light.
Plants need ventilation to move the air around a bit to help them breathe. A small fan should accomplish this nicely. If the air in your apartment is quite dry, as with forced air heating, a daily misting of water from a spray bottle will keep plant leaves shiny and healthy. As for temperature, houseplants can tolerate anything we can, but they don’t like drastic daily temperature changes.
A water feature such as an indoor fountain, water wall or something of the sort will naturally provide a bit of humidity to the air, making it more pleasant for both you and your plants, allowing you to sleep more comfortably without waking up with a chapped nose, cracked lips or cotton mouth that sometimes results from forced air heating.
Water features are also quite soothing, acoustically, as well as pleasing to look at, and are an important part of the whole exotic garden ambiance you are attempting to create. Even if it’s just a small tabletop fountain, it will bring you many hours of relaxation and pleasure.
Hardy Houseplants for the Black Thumb
So you’re not Martha Stewart when it comes to houseplants. Here are some very forgiving varieties that will add lovely green, tropical foliage to your abode and fill the air with fresh oxygen:
- Start with a beefy philodendron. An exotic looking tropical plant with giant, heart-shaped leaves which are split along the sides, it will grow quite large and needs very little care;
- The Spathiphyllum or Peace Lily is a lovely medium sized houseplant which has tall white blooms;
- English Ivy loves to spread around, giving your room that jungle effect, and clippings will root in a jar of water;
- For a touch of color, add an African Violet, which needs only weekly watering, and then only when thoroughly dry. This is a very hardy plant that doesn’t even require direct sunlight;
- The Chlorophytum comosum or Spider Plant has long spiky leaves and is constantly branching out into multitudes of little plants, each of which can be clipped off and potted to make a new plant. Before you know it you’ll be surrounded.
- Epipremnum aureum, also known as Pothos is another creeping vine sort of plant with heart-shaped leaves that will grow most anywhere. It can survive the most stringent of watering conditions, and with regular water will grow like a weed. Cuttings will root in water so you can propagate this plant all over the place!
Now you have exotic plants, warm (artificial) sunlight and a bubbling waterfall. Who needs summer?