House plants serve different purposes. Some people grow house plants to provide a focal point in a room, but there are some houseplants that are so easy to grow, that anyone can grow them. If you have never had houseplants before, try pick the ones that require little care. Don’t try growing an orchid for your first time, because chances are, the orchid won’t live very long.
Cacti make good first choices. They require little care and can go for long periods of time between each watering. Sit your cacti pot in a sunny windowsill and they will grow for weeks, even months and you won’t have to do a thing. There are two kinds of cactiand some have spines, and some do not. Cacti are all succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. The ones with spines or stickers are the easiest to grow. They will give you flowers and bugs rarely bother them.
Cacti plants without stickers need a little more care. These are the jungle types of cacti and most of them are named after the period or holiday in which they bloom. The Christmas and Easter cactus is the most popular spineless cactus sold. Of course, you aren’t limited to these holiday bloomers, you can choose among many others such as the queen-of-the-night, lobster-claw and rat-tail cacti.
The success to growing these plants depends on the soil you use. For the cacti with spines, they prefer to grow in a half soil half sand mixture. If you plant them into straight garden soil they can easily rot. If you want to grow the type of cacti without the spines, then you need a soil mixture with three fourths compost and one fourth sand. You will need to water these more often than the desert type cacti.
Houseplants That Clean The Air
Another easy plant to grow is the ones that also help clean the indoor air. Some plants will absorb indoor contaminants. Dr. Bill Wolverton, formorly a senior research scientist at NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center Bay, St. Louis Missouri, is part of the research team. NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America have joined forces in the study of houseplants that help clean the air. They are determining which plants clean the air best and what contaminants they remove. NASA has determined that in order to clean the air of an average 1,800 square foot house, you should have 15 to 18 good-sized houseplants growing in 6 to 8 inch containers.
Some other houseplants that are easy to grow and clean the air include Dracaena, Mother-in-law’s tongue and spider plants. According to the studies conducted at NASA, these plants help remove toxics such as Formaldehyde, Benzene, and Carbon Monoxide from the air.
Grow your Dracaena in an east, south or west window, but do not put it in direct sunlight. The dracaena prefers to grow in an area with 75 degrees F. If the temperatures fall below 65 degrees F. then the dracaena’s growth will be stunted. Water when the soil is dry, being careful to not overwater your plant, especially during the winter when the plants go into a resting period. In order to determine whether your plant needs water, stick your finger into the pot’s soil. If the soil is dry, then you need to water it. The plant’s leaves will turn brown if it is receiving too much water.
Mother-in-law’s tongue is practically a plant that you can ignore for months and it will continue to live. Grow your mother-in-law’s tongue in cacti soil or a soil that is well-draining. If you grow it in regular soil, the plant can rot. Allow the soil to dry out between watering and only water your mother-in-law’s tongue moderately during the summer. You do not need to water it during the winter months because the plant does not take up much water during the winter months.
Spider Plant has been a houseplant favorite for over 200 years. It is an easy plant to grow and it will grow equally well in hot or cool rooms, a shady corner or a sunny window, but not in direct sunlight. Grow your spider plant in well-draining potting soil. Repot this plant in the spring if it has started to lift out of its pot.
Zone10 NASA Study Houseplants Clean Air Source