Growing Fresh Air

The year 2020 brought changes to many people around the world. Even though cases of Covid-19 seem to be slowing down as of mid-November 2020, it is doubtful that any of us will forget this year. If you have been stuck at home or if you are working from home, or even if you have other reasons for being at home, nothing brightens up a house like a living plant. More than that, if you want a living plant in good health, the regimen of watering, feeding, and perhaps moving it into a window or back out of it provides a kind of stability that can only come from caring for a living thing.

What Plants Can Do for a Room

  • Growing Fresh Air. While perhaps not the miracle certain books might claim, a plant does help freshen the air. After all, plants are part of the respiration cycle of our planet. Humans and animals in the home breath out carbon dioxide and take in oxygen. Plants need to “breathe” carbon dioxide and give off oxygen.

Now, with that said, it would take an enormous number of plants to completely re-oxygenate a sealed room. According to “Which houseplants should you buy to purify air? None of them.” By Sarah Gibbens, published in National Geographic, November 14, 2019, you would need ten plants per square foot in order to sufficiently purify and replenish the air. She then puts it another way. You would need 5000 plants in a 500 square foot apartment. It is far more efficient to just open a window or to install an air purifier.

However, Gibbens admits that plants do have some affect on air quality in a room. So while it would probably be folly to assume that you could refresh the air on, oh, say, a space station simply by growing a lot of plants, over time plants can have a cleansing affect on the air in a room. Perhaps she did not have young trees in mind when she was running the numbers. We certainly hope so, because this is one myth we would be sad if it were completely debunked.

  • Living Décor. Here we are on sure ground. There are excellent reasons why living plants are often used as office decorations, or in living rooms or similar formal areas of the house. A well-grown dragon tree, grass tree, or even an agave or golden barrel cactus, lends interest to what might otherwise be a sterile environment. Say what you will about cleanliness or bacteria, humankind originated in a living environment of trees, grasses, flowers, and animals.

A bonsai, or even a simple tree potted in a lovely molded or even an understated classically shaped GRC pot can create a focal point in an otherwise modestly furnished room. If it has an interesting shape or unusually shaped leaves, such as a yucca tree or a grass tree, so much the better. If it blooms, as will many of the cactus varieties, then you have bonus decorating points for a splash of color.

What Caring for Plants Can Do for You

Not everyone has the same abilities when it comes to caring for plants, but nearly anyone can find at least one plant that they manage to grow and keep growing. Here are a few of the things that might be gained from caring for a plant.

  • A justifiable sense of pride. Now, pride might be one of the seven deadly sins, but there are some things of which it is fine to be proud. Growing a plant is one of them because it shows consistency, persistence, and the ability to follow directions and stick to a routine.
  • Ability to Follow Directions and to pay attention. Plants are not animals. They will not meow, bark, or whistle at you if they are stressed or neglected. They will drop leaves, turn yellow, become brittle, or get little webs on them, but you must pay attention to these things. While some plants are generic in their needs, others require specific regimens. A good plant book, the sellers directions, and the plant itself will tell you about its needs.
  • Consistency of Effort. Whether growing a plant, caring for mobile pets, raising children, or increasing sales for a company, consistency of effort is important. While you might get a plant sitter for while you are vacationing, it is difficult to call home and tell your plant it will be another day or two before you can make it through your door to give it water.
  • You might not have good success with your first plant, or perhaps even with your second. Having a “green thumb” is not some magical thing that some people have while others do not. It is largely about developing knowledge, learning to apply it, and about keeping on with doing something, even when you are not met with initial success.
  • Environmental Interaction. You can hug a tree, but chances are, it will not hug back. The jury is still out on whether talking to your plants helps them grow, or whether certain types of music improve their health, but it is believed that plants do respond beyond the obvious reactions to watering, adding plant food, and making sure that there is adequate light and correct heat levels. Of course, it is difficult to separate those activities from other kinds of attention. That jury might be deliberating a long time on this topic.

Selecting a Pot

One important part of “growing fresh air” is selecting the right pot for your indoor plants. If you are going for a plant that is actually large enough to make a difference in the air in a room, you might want to grow a small tree.

That makes having a sturdy pot that is both lightweight and strong, as well as a good color and shape for your interior décor. For that, there is nothing better than a GRC pot. Made of Glass Reinforced Concrete, which is more environmentally friendly than regular concrete, a GRC pot is tough, but not overly heavy.

Set on a wheeled platform, a GRC pot filled with growing medium and a four or five foot tree can easily be moved around your living space to catch the best rays of the sun or simply to clean under it.

If that were not enough, GRC pots can have color added during their final molding, so finding one to match your décor should be no problem at all. Even if you are going for something more understated, they are an excellent choice for your indoor or outdoor potting needs.


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