Everything You Need to Know to Keep Plants Happy and Healthy at Home

Tudo o Que Precisa de Saber Para Manter Plantas Felizes e Saudáveis em Casa

Plants can represent exactly what the soul needs at this time of year. How about lighting up your home and starting to celebrate the month of spring now?

Studies have shown that the therapeutic power of plants can help them to:

  • Reduce our signs of tiredness;
  • Increase our productivity and concentration;
  • Help clean the air in spaces, absorbing toxins, increasing humidity and producing oxygen.

To understand the healthiest way to provide our home with the energy of Nature, we spoke with Cristina Capitão, one of the founders of the Generosa project, an online plant store that helps create green spaces according to our preferences. You can discover Generosa's plant collections and purchase your favorite plant, through this link , or visit the Instagram page @generosanature . We promise that after reading the interview, the next thing you'll want to do is get a new “generously” green housemate.

With spring getting closer, what are the best plants to have indoors? What precautions should we take?

For us, all indoor plants are good to have at home all year round. However, to be happy, we have to know which ones are best for our lives (something that includes our space and who we share it with, but also our experience with plants and our availability to take care of them) and adapt the type of care throughout the year.

In spring, the main concerns are:

  • Water more regularly. As the days get longer and the temperature rises, it is likely that we will have to shorten the periods between waterings. Rule number one is to never water without first feeling the substrate inside to know whether or not it is the right time to do so.
  • Move away from the windows a little. The intensity of light increases and, therefore, it may be necessary to move some of the more sensitive plants back into the room, which do not like direct sunlight on their leaves, especially in rooms facing South and West.
  • Repot. After the winter, when most of our plants were in a dormant period, the ideal would be to repot them with a new substrate, so that they can grow happily during the next season.
  • Fertilize. Fertilization is essential so that our plants can grow vigorously in the coming months. Being confined to a pot with little substrate volume, they will be very happy if we give them “treats”.

What tips do you have for anyone buying a plant for the first time and wanting to keep it happy and healthy?

A common mistake when we start out in this world is seeing plants as decorative objects and not as living beings that require specific conditions and attention. If the criteria for choosing a plant are only aesthetic, we run a strong risk that the conditions we have at home will not meet the needs for its development. Before venturing out to buy plants, we must start by getting to know the social exposure of the spaces in which we live. In particular, that corner that is really asking for a plant. Does it receive sun? Direct or indirect? How many hours per day? If we choose a plant that requires light, but that corner is always in the shade, it is most likely to die. Another suggestion for anyone starting out in this area is to start slowly. Buy one, get to know it well and, when you feel like you already know what makes you happy, you can and should venture out and buy more plants.

Are there plants best suited for each room in the house?

As long as the conditions of each room are appropriate for a particular plant, we don't see why it can't be recommended for us to place it there. However, it is normal that, taking into account the growth and shape of each plant, we like to choose plants based on these aspects as well. For example, the living room is usually the social area of ​​the house and also the largest. Therefore, plants with a more majestic appearance that create an impact can be a good option. Alternatively, in smaller spaces or in which we need useful bench space, such as in the kitchen, small plants or pendants hanging from the ceiling will certainly be a beautiful option to introduce potted happiness into these rooms. It is important to remember that plants need light to survive. We cannot place them in an indoor bathroom without windows. Unless we have the discipline to remove them from the dark and temporarily place them in a bright place every day, they will hardly receive the amount of light necessary to be truly happy. On the Generosa website we have collections with plant suggestions for each room in the house.

Is having plants in the bedroom harmful to your health?

This myth is probably associated with the fear that plants “steal” our oxygen, due to the fact that, during the night, in the absence of light, they consume oxygen and release carbon dioxide, in a process identical to our breathing. But the amount of oxygen consumed by a plant is very low compared to the amount consumed by another human being, or animal, during a night next to us in the room. If we imagine the Earth as a giant room, then animals would be in serious trouble if plants consumed a significant amount of oxygen every night compared to what they release during the day. If we want to have plants in the bedroom, we don't need to be afraid. We can even have plants that purify the air, like our Edu ( photos ) and our Sebas (the famous Saint George's sword), which is special: it continues to produce oxygen in the dark.

Do you believe in the healing power of plants?

Introducing plants into the spaces we live in helps us reconnect with something so basic, but so essential, as the natural environment and rhythm of life. Plants make our homes calmer, more positive places. Proof of this is the green wave created by the moment we are living in. According to Google Trends , internet searches for “indoor plants” have increased by more than 100%, as a result of the isolation and social distancing of recent months. It has been proven that dedicating a moment to a plant, in a conscious break in connection with Nature, is something that restores our well-being. Generosity is paid with generosity.

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