In this article, we offer a few tips on growing houseplants without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. That way, you can clean the air of your home or office without the potentially harmful effects of chemicals!

Grow Houseplants Organically to Improve Air Quality

Kent Swanson

Grow Houseplants Organically to
In this article, we offer a few tips on growing houseplants without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. That way, you can clean the air of your home or office without the potentially harmful effects of chemicals!
Grow Houseplants Organically to Improve Air Quality
Kent Swanson

It is well known that houseplants can improve the air quality of homes and closed buildings. In fact, in the 1980s NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) conducted a study that proved that some houseplants can filter out major impurities in homes and office buildings. However, the use of chemical pesticides and other chemicals on houseplants can largely negate their beneficial properties.

In this article, we offer a few tips on growing houseplants without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. That way, you can clean the air of your home or office without the potentially harmful effects of chemicals!

One of the most important things you can do to grow houseplants without chemicals is to carefully research their needs and ideal growing conditions. Take a quick tour of your home and study the areas you can grow plants. See what parts of your home receive the most sun. You can grow some houseplants with minimal sunlight, but most plants need at least a little sun during the day. Once you have identified appropriate areas, make sure you study the needs of all the plants you want grow. Most problems with houseplants result from improper growing conditions. See a list of common houseplants and their needs here.

Watering is also an essential part of keeping your plants happy and healthy. In general, houseplants that have flowers need more water than plants that only have foliage. Never let your plants get so dry that they begin to wilt. This will weaken the plants and make them less resistant to pests and diseases. Likewise, never let your plants sit in standing water for long periods of time. Your plants may have problems with rot and disease.

Many people like to move their houseplants outside during the summer to give them a little extra light, rainwater, and fresh air. This is great for your plants and will make them very happy. However, when you bring them back indoors, carefully inspect your plants for signs of pests and diseases. Once indoors, pests may spread quickly from one plant to the next.

Sometimes even if you're careful to inspect them, pests can attack your houseplants. In these cases, it is best to get rid of the pests without chemicals, especially once they're indoors where you live! The key is to identify the pest as quickly as possible and deal with it before the problem becomes an infestation! Aphids, white flies, mealy bugs, spider mites, and scales are some of the most common houseplant pests. Read more about how to recognize these pests here

Washing your plants thoroughly once you spot pests is a good way to deal with some of these pests. Another way to deal with bugs such as mealy bugs is by applying a cotton ball dipped in alcohol to the infected areas. The alcohol will dissolve their waxy coating. Orange peel extract is another great way to safely get rid of insect pests indoors. Please see this guide to natural or organic pesticides for more information on how to control pests like white flies and aphids organically. Remember, the best ways to grow houseplants organically is to avoid problems in the first place. Find suitable areas in your home for growing houseplants, treat them well, don't over water, and use natural products when problems do occur! For more information on the NASA/ACLA study on houseplants and a list of the best houseplants for improving air quality, click here.

Also, see this houseplant growing guide for lots of tips on organic houseplant care.

Kent Swanson is a freelance writer specializing in environmental issues. See these websites for more of his work:

EcoBackyard (www.ecobackyard.com)

Practical Environmentalist (www.practicalenvironmentalist.com)

Clean Air Gardening Organic Gardening Advice (www.cleanairgardening.com/advice.html)

 

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