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Woodstock Magazine

Combat Depression & Anxiety with Houseplants

Feb 24, 2017 02:17PM ● Published by Linda Ditch

Got the winter blahs? Wishing you could see green outside versus all the white? Maybe it’s time to add some houseplants to your home. Caring for houseplants is a good way to fight the winter blues, combat depression and anxiety, and reduce stress. In addition, they remove pollutants in the air and absorb the carbon dioxide we exhale while putting oxygen back into the air. Plus, from a décor standpoint, plants can add color and texture to a room.

A visit to a local florist or garden center, such as Longacres Nursery Center (220 Mechanic Street, Lebanon), is a good place to start. They will offer a large selection of houseplants to consider and a staff to help you pick the right ones. However, before you buy, consider the following:

  • Where will the plant be placed? Take into consideration how much light the space gets. Will the sun shine on the plant for part of the day? How long? Or does the space get indirect light?
  • Are you a high-maintenance or low-maintenance plant owner? Some plants require more care than others. If work, family commitments, or travel keep you busy, then choose a plant that requires minimal care.
  • How fast does the plant grow? That pretty little plant you chose for a cute side table may grow into a large shrub needing more space.
  • Do you have children or pets? Some plants are poisonous when consumed, so check to make sure the plant you want to purchase won’t harm the other people or creatures living in your home.

Think you were born without a green thumb? For the insecure indoor gardener, here are a couple of plant suggestions. First, consider buying a heartleaf philodendron. Known as the sweetheart plant, this variety of philodendron stays small and can survive a human-made drought brought on by forgetful watering.

Along with a philodendron, the spider plant is often selected as a first houseplant. It likes bright, indirect light and can survive forgetful watering. Plus, it produces tiny white flowers and multiple “babies” that can be potted to make another houseplant for a friend.

It is a good idea to buy plants from someone who can tell you how to care for them. You may see pretty plants in grocery or discount stores, only to discover you don’t have a clue how to care for them once they get home. Melissa from Longacres Nursery Center said "knowing what type of plant you have and the individual conditions the plant needs will help in your success with the plant.  Ie - Cacti and succulents like it dry and sunny while ferns and ivy like it moist and shady." Stop on by and ask anyone of the staff members to further along the life of each one of your plants.

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