Houseplants for Health

Kneaded Relief resides next to a gorgeous restored prairie. This time of year, the grasses are a burnt orange, the trees a mix of lively yellow and pale green, and a smattering of bright light purple flowers remain. Enjoying nature outside is an excellent way to improve your health, and it’s been shown that bringing nature inside can improve the environment within. This blog discusses some common houseplants, how tend for them, and how they improve the atmosphere in your home, office, or spa.
At Kneaded Relief we always keep a few seasonal floral arrangements around the Spa to add natural touches to the space. We also have several plants that serve as functional decorations in our Wellness Classroom, Nail Suite, and Retreat. My house has more than a few plants in it, and as I was writing this blog, I think I just may get a few more!
The Spa’s largest indoor plant, a rubber tree or Havea brasiliensis, stands over five feet tall and is very easy to maintain. Rubber trees don’t mind dim lighting or cooler temperatures. Our Wellness Classroom where this plant resides is mostly windows, however it doesn’t get full sun this time of year and is often cooler. The plant thrives in this environment and helps us by eliminating toxins and purifying the air.
In the Nail Suite, we have a Christmas Cactus, or Zygocactus. These bright bloomers are named as they are often sold in the fall primed to bloom around Christmas. The leaves have a large surface area, allowing them to exude higher amounts of oxygen and water, while also filtering out dust and chemical particles from the air.

Christmas Cactus
Christmas Cactus

Outside nearly every garden shop, grocery store, or landscaped building chrysanthemums sprout happily from pots, reminding us that fall colors are beautiful, and to embrace the change of season. Surprisingly, the “common mum”, or Chrysanteium morifolium, purifies the air in a very specific way. The blooms remove benzene, a chemical that can be found in paint, plastics, and detergents. Our houses are full of these materials, and inhaling the fumes can’t be good for us. I love the thought of the colorful flowers I bring into my home cleaning the air, making the environment safer for loved ones and myself.
I often hear people say that they don’t have a “green thumb” or they always kill any plant they touch. Speaking from experience, plants don’t have vendettas against certain people. Anybody can keep a plant alive and thriving with a just a bit of effort. My suggestion is to Google the plant you are trying to care for and find detailed instructions for care. If you don’t know the name of it, try entering in characteristics (for example, dark green, round leaves, yellow spots, etc.) and you’ll likely be able to find it. When I was looking up information on our Christmas Cactus one site had 14 steps for care. If that seems like WAY too many, perhaps choose a plant that requires less attention. However, I can assure you that our Christmas Cactus looks excellent and we aren’t giving it that much attention.
Go out and get a plant! They’re fun to have around; they brighten up your home, look great, and improve the quality of the air.

Tara Coberly-Horrall – Guest Service Rep and Houseplant Enthusiast