Milton, Pennsylvania – Caring for and enjoying our indoor houseplants can have a positive effect on our health, especially as we move toward the cooler months.
Studies have shown that indoor gardening reduces stress levels, boosts productivity, improves air quality, and makes a person feel more calm and relaxed, according to healthline.com.
Is it time to update your indoor plants?
Salamander Wellness & Yoga Studio, 126 S. Front Street, Milton, is hosting a free community vegan swap tomorrow from 5-7 p.m.
Bring scraps, keiki, pups, and extras to trade in, gifts or trade. If you don’t have plants to swap, find something to take home.
Everyone is invited to attend the Saturday event. There will be free kombucha tastings by Earthly Delights Kombucha (with bottles for sale), snacks, and vegan raffles.
NCPA’s Indoor Plant Recommendations
An NCPA resident houseplant therapist provides recommendations and advice on the most important plants:
Flower power: Gesneriads
The Gesneriad family of plants includes the famous African violet, the flowering Streptocarpus, the exotic and comforting Kohleria, and many others. Care requirements can vary between species and cultivars, but in general these plants hate getting their leaves wet and do well in self-watering or wicking containers. Their lighting requirements are relatively unpredictable – an ordinary LED lamp or a compact fluorescent desk lamp is usually sufficient.
Gesneriads are great options for year-round blooms, offering a variety of flower shapes, sizes, colors, and patterns. Gesneriads are not toxic to people or pets.
Low Maintenance, But Still Interesting: Haworthia and Haworthiasis
Haworthias are succulent plants that come in unusual shapes and feature translucent “windows” in their leaves. These plants are undemanding, with low lighting and water requirements – the main cause of disaster is excessive watering or excessive water retention in the planting soil.
Common cultivars include ‘Moon Shadow’, a bluish-green plant with clear flat leaf tops and striking white stripes, ‘Ice Lantern’, a rose made with translucent bulbous leaf tips, and ‘Ice City’ which has cool, transparent, and geometric tips. One of the most unusual types of Haworthias is sex sectionedthat resemble rows of teeth or a folding fan.
Likewise, Haworthiopsis is carefree, but lacks the transparent windows of its cousin. It often features an aloe-like rosette with white streaks or spots. In addition to the common zebra and hawthorneopsis pearls, this family also includes the “fairy washboard” known for its unusual texture.
Haworthia and Haworthiopsis are non-toxic to humans and pets.
Hanging plants in windows: Curio, xCodonatanthus, Sedum morganianum
South or west facing windows are recommended for most hanging plants due to their exposure to light.
Curio rowleyanus, commonly called “String of Pearls,” is a fast-growing succulent plant. If you have a happy Curio, it will be several feet long before you know it – you can clip the ends off to let go of others or throw them back into the pot where they will root. The twine can also be folded back into the bowl.
These shallow-rooted plants require more moisture than most other succulents because of their anatomy; The short roots cannot reach deep into the potting soil to find water. Healthy string pearls usually bloom once a year, producing small, delicate white flowers with a strong floral scent.
Note that the variegated string pearls (which feature leaves with white and/or yellow stripes) grow much slower than the all-green variety. The string pearl plant is toxic to animals and humans.
xCodonatanthus is a Gesneriad with small, glossy, green leaves and small trumpet-shaped flowers available in yellow, red, and pink. For flower lovers who want an attractive hanging basket plant, there are many other Gesneriads that are trailing or available in cascading varieties, including African violets and lipstick plants.
Morgan seatDonkey’s tail is an incredibly popular hanging basket plant. Donkeys’ tails feature showy, lime-green cords of succulent, plump leaves. It is very easy to reproduce it from cuttings or fallen leaves. If cared for particularly well, it may produce small pink or red flowers.
The main downsides of donkey tails are their incredibly slow growth and fragility. The leaves and stems of donkey’s tail plants are fragile, and there are many tragic tales of pot fall and broken donkey tail spills all over the place.
S. morganianum Not toxic to people or pets.