HYDERABAD : I realised how bare my one-bedroom flat was when I started WFH last year after being stuck at home due to Covid-19 and the lockdown. To spruce things up and detox the air, I bought a terrarium and then palm lilies and areca palm plants,” says Khushbu R, an HR executive at an MNC in Gachibowli.
Indoor plants and succulents which are not only decorative, but also purify the air, have been growing in popularity among the city’s residents for the past few years. However, since the onset of the pandemic, their demand has steadily increased. Be it online, from roadside vendors or nurseries, indoor plants are bestsellers.
“The best part is they don’t need much sun,” says Alekhya G, 22, an IT associate from Koti. For her ground floor apartment which she shares with her parents, she bought a few of the hardy and upright looking snake plants, regarded as good air purifiers. She adds, “With Coronavirus in the air, this seemed like the best choice.”
Deepika Guha from Green Corner in PBEL City, TSPA Junction, says: “Whether you have a small indoor corner or a big balcony or patio, nothing can beat having a garden that you create yourself.” She adds, “With online classes for kids, and adults also WFH, people are indulging in family time with planting, sowing and tending to plants.”
She informs that Philodendron (known for its beautiful flowering leaves and bold appearance) and Peace Lily (not only is this easy on the eyes, but also powerhouses when it comes to detoxifying the air of Benzene, Formaldehyde, Trichloroethylene, and Ammonia) are fast-moving varieties.
Bharat Kumar Reddy, an urban farmer and owner of Nativus Farms at Somajiguda, has been selling plants since 2018. He says, “Plants are stress busters. When indoor plants are positioned at workplaces, they provide many health benefits and make workspaces and houses more attractive.” Bharat shares five house plants that can increase the beauty of the room, purify the air and provide oxygen.
This plant, also called Devil’s Ivy or more commonly as money plant, is available at any garden store and is rated as the best house plant. This perennial plant with glossy leaves grows both in water and soil. An air purifier, it removes all toxins from the air. Money plants can grow in low light areas, but they do well in bright indirect light and do not require a lot of fertilisers. Just water this climber when the soil is dry. Moss-covered support sticks or a trellis is to be provided for its aerial roots to cling on
Fiddle Leaf Fig
This lush plant with its shiny, violin-shaped leaves is the most “it” house plant that can make any room look gorgeous. Not only is this plant aesthetically appealing with its stunning big leaves, but it also cleans the air at home. The plant is easy to grow in filtered bright light with minimal care. It loves to grow in humid environments, so mist it frequently. Water the plant when the soil gets dry; fertiliser can be added once a month
There are different variants in this plant Monstera Deliciosa, Monstera Adasonii, Monstera Borsigiana. The plant has perforated leaves and its shape and vivid colours make people fall in love with it. The glossy vibrant green gives it an exotic look. The plant grows fast and purifies the air, especially in air-conditioned rooms. It is fairly easy to take care of. It should be planted in soil mixed with good fertiliser in a pot that has got good drainage holes. The plant is a climber, so moss-covered support sticks or a trellis is to be provided for its aerial roots to cling on
Sansevieria or snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue, as it is called, is known for absorbing cancer-causing pollutants, including carbon dioxide, benzene, formaldehyde, xylene and toluene pollutants. It acts as an effective defence against airborne allergies. That’s the reason this hardy plant is also called a good luck plant. Apart from air purification, the succulent looks beautiful with its unique shape leaves without stems. Various shades of yellow, green, grey and stripes on the foliage gives an elegant appearance. It hardly needs maintenance except watering when the soil gets dry as the plant thrives in extremely hot temperatures
ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia)
Zamioculcas Zamiifolia is a very hardy and indoor plant that can be grown easily. The ZZ plant
with its wide and dark colour leaves absorbs pollutants such as xylene, toluene and carbon dioxide from the surroundings. Its elegant style of foliage is a good attraction at home and can withstand different temperatures and low-light conditions. Well-drained soil, moderately moist is best for this plant
Most of the air-purifying plants require moist, well-drained soil. Keeping roots too damp can result in root rot, shortening the plant’s life. Use soilless media (Coco peat, Vermi, Perlite and neem cake). Keep plants in semi-shade and spray any neem-based pesticide every month to keep the pests away, recommends Deepika Guha
Benefits of house plants
- Increase oxygen levels
- Relieve stress
- Increase focus and concentration
- Boost productivity
From adding character to our work desks and living areas to being natural humidifiers providing a cool green patch, killing mosquitoes, ridding the air of pollutants and providing oxygen, indoor plants are versatile. Here’s a list of a few easy-to-maintain house plants that are sure to help you breathe better
— Tamanna S Mehdi firstname.lastname@example.org @tamannamehdi