Hand sanitisers, face masks, air purifiers – what about beautiful houseplants?
For a long time, people have looked to bringing luscious foliage into their homes for their rejuvenating purposes. Not only are these labours of love – from gigantic colourful garden blooms to cute leafy potted plants – proven to boost overall wellness and lower stress levels, they also have that magical quality of pulling a whole space together, injecting it with a splash of zen, and transforming it into a true sanctuary of tranquillity and peace of mind.
And now, as the region is battling to keep the raging coronavirus at bay with a range of desperate measures, why not look again into nature’s tried-and-true method to help amplify oxygen content, remove organic pollutants and improve the air quality of your home? Better yet, many varieties are able to withstand the smallest of apartments and minimal up-keeping – ideal for the lifestyles of harried Hong Kongers.
With their curved creamy-white flowers sitting pretty atop lush dark green leaves, it is no surprise this low-maintenance species is among the most beloved indoor plants. Originated from tropical American and Asian regions, they bloom all year round and can survive without water and sunlight for days on end. Studies have shown that they are able to remove pollutants benzene, trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, xylene and ammonia from the air through their leaves, giving it a natural air-purifying quality.
Photo courtesy of Giving Plants
Look no further than this gorgeous flower for a burst of colour and sweet scent. Native to the eastern part of the Mediterranean region, these garden bloomers have been proven among the most effective to get rid of formaldehyde in indoor air. They span hues of white, fiery red, yellow, mauve and orange and bloom from spring to fall. It’s also known to be a natural mosquito repellent which is plus during flu season. They require moderate temperate, weekly watering and some six hours of sunlight a day.
Photo courtesy of The Last Straw
This exotic species of flowering plant in the mulberry and fig family from western Africa lends a tropical rainforest vibe to your space, while purifying your air of formaldehyde and xylene. Boasting a lustrous silhouette with fiddle-shaped leaves and stark veins, these sophisticated trees are not the easiest to keep alive, however. Moist but well-drained soil of 6 to 8 pH level would do the trick, and they especially thrive in high humidity and ample sunlight. Healthy fiddle-leaf figs might grow to 2 to 3 metres tall.
Photo courtesy of Leon & George
You might have used the leaf juices of this evergreen succulent as a natural remedy for sunburn, but studies show that aloe vera also works wonderfully to keep the home free of benzene, which is commonly found in toxic paint and chemical cleaners. These adorable plants with spikey, fleshy leaves also do well as dainty house plants for decorating your bedside table, kitchen counter or work desk. They do best in relatively dry soil and bright sunlight, and only require watering once every fortnight.
Photo courtesy of wish home+gift
These magnificent bloomers make for an impressive centrepiece in any home with their striking, powerful form that all at once exudes a delicate, willowy charm. A little known fact is that they also help to fight xylene and toluene in the air. Orchids span over 30,000 different species, 200,000 hybrids and countless colour varieties from ivory-white to magenta and deep lilac. They are deceptively adaptable, however, and are well suited for all sorts of conditions as long as they are privy to sufficient air circulation, sheltered sunlight, humidity at some 70 percent and are watered once a week.
Photo courtesy of Homes to Love