Use greenery to make your house happier

Cassie Pryce

Our interiors expert Cassie Pryce offers her top tips on how to use fresh—and faux—greenery to give both you and your home a healthy start to the new year.

Good health

orchids are good for you
Orchids are perfect for the bedroom as they keep the air fresh while you sleep

Not only can flowers and foliage add a decorative touch to your space, but many plant species can also provide numerous perks to your wellbeing. For example, during to the process of photosynthesis, plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, meaning they can help increase oxygen levels in your home.

There are several plants, such as succulents and orchids, that reverse the process at night time; taking in carbon dioxide and giving out oxygen. These are perfect plants to keep in your bedroom, as they help to keep the air fresher while you sleep.

Most plants also release water vapour which helps increase humidity levels in the room; low humidity can cause problems like dry skin, sore throats and dry coughs. Some plants, including spider plants, are very efficient at purifying the air and can remove a high percentage of toxins found in our homes.

Read more: 5 things to avoid if you want a good night's sleep

 

A splash of colour

colourful plant pots

Using greenery indoors will liven up any space in no time at all and, with so many varieties to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice when picking the right plant for your home. Why not start off small and introduce a trio of potted herbs into your kitchen for a pretty addition that can also be used in cooking?

Alternatively, cacti and succulents are a hot trend in interiors this season and are a great option for those seeking something hardy and durable. They require minimal watering and can be bought in very small sizes if you’re looking for a manageable first purchase.

Orchids can flourish in indoor conditions and come in a beautiful range of colours if you’re looking for something more than pure greenery. Take care to choose the right orchid for your home though; their survival is dependent on many factors, including light, temperature and humidity. Phalaenopsis orchids are known to be the easiest type to grow indoors.

 

Winter weather

water plants

Caring for your houseplants during the colder months can be challenging due to decreased temperatures and less daylight hours. As a general rule, try to keep plants away from areas of extreme cold or heat, such as vents or radiators, to keep their temperature moderated and consistent.

Move plants closer to the windows to help them get the correct exposure to daylight, depending on their needs, but avoid putting them too close to windows that are prone to frosting over at night.

The most common problem that houseplants face during winter is being overwatered. Alter your watering patterns from the summer months and be sure to test whether the soil is dry; place your finger about 2 inches into the soil to get an accurate idea of how dry it is beneath the surface and whether it is ready to be watered.

Every plant has different needs, of course, so check the individual requirements if you are unsure.

Read more: How to keep indoor plants healthy

 

Faking it

fake plants

Consider purchasing artificial greenery if you’re prone to killing living plants. Faux plants and flowers are a great hassle-free alternative to the real deal and involve no maintenance whatsoever; meaning there will be no panicking about over or underwatering, or asking the neighbour to pop in and water them whilst you’re on holiday.

Nowadays, artificial plants are made to look very realistic, both visually and in texture, and their design has long since moved on from their 80s counterparts.

When it comes to showcasing faux greenery at home, try displaying a grouping of individual faux stems in a narrow or bottle-necked vase for a minimalist look, or bunch together a large handful of artificial foliage to act as a base to be mixed in with real flowers when they need bulking out in a wider vase.

 

3 artificial plants to buy this season

We’ve rounded-up our favourite faux plants to introduce into your home:

 

TK Maxx plant

Faux plant, £16.99, TK Maxx (pot sold separately)

 

miafleur

Artificial Areca palm, £16.95, Miafleur

 

best fake plants

Jane Packer faux orchid in glass vase, £20, Sainsbury’s

 

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