Did you know certain plants can help clear the air in your home? NASA’s official Clean Air Study sets the record straight. Here’s a quick list of the plants to have in your home:
The Areca Palm
The most efficient air humidifier. You can count on the Areca Palm to keep your home moist when it’s dry, like in winter.
The Lady Palm
This versatile air-purifying plant thrives in dry or humid climates, and resists most types of plant-eating insects.
The Bamboo Palm
A little higher-maintenance than the first two on this list, the Bamboo Palm thrives when kept moist (but not wet) in indirect sunlight, and is a great air purifier.
Nicknamed the “Janet Craig” after a prominent nurseryman’s daughter, the Dracaena is beautiful and versatile, with shiny deep-green leaves. It is renowned for trapping allergens in its leaves.
Other Options: Colorful Houseplants
There are some bright, colorful plants that produce pollens that are heavier and stickier. Plus, they are less likely to cause allergic reactions. Consider the Peace Lily, Marginata or English Ivy.
Growing herbs indoors can be useful and beautiful. To help you get started, we turned to Gina Samarotto, horticulturalist, founder and principal designer of The Samarotto Design Group, for tips on growing herbs all winter long.
Allergies that occur in the fall (from late August to the first frost) are often due to ragweed. Consider keeping a record of your symptoms for a few days to help you and your doctor learn what might be triggering your symptoms.
Plan Your Style and Design
What kind of herb garden do you want to create? (e.g., one with modern planters, or with classic terracotta pots?)
Grow Herbs You’ll Use
Basil and oregano are great for Italian fare; cilantro is a Mexican staple; and nasturtium, wheat grass and alfalfa sprouts go well with healthy dishes. Consider purple basil and lavender for a great-smelling herb garden.
Assess the Light
If you’re growing under lights with regulated temperatures, you can grow almost anything. If you’re using a windowsill in the kitchen, make sure there is enough natural sunlight, so your herbs can thrive.
Choose Decorative Containers
If you buy an herb starter kit, you’re all set. But if you’re creating your own, get creative: use mason jars, a wooden box or mini-pots.
Follow Gardening Basics
Be aware of the temperature of your herb garden; how much air is circulating; if fertilizer is needed (it may already be in the soil you’re using); if your herbs are getting too much or too little water; and see if you notice any bugs or pests.
Know when to transplant your trees, shrubs and perennials? Amanda Segura, Horticulturalist and Garden Education Coordinator, shares her tips for a healthy garden in any climate.
It may be a beautiful day for gardening, but what it really means is sneezing and watery, itchy eyes. With a little planning, it's possible to create a beautiful garden while keeping your environment low-pollen, low mold and highly attractive.
Sharing your passion for gardening with your kids can be great fun. Here, Horticulturist Amanda Segura shares a few great tips to get your children interested.