Houseplants add a lot more than beauty to a home's environment. The NASA Clean Air Study proved that many plants can actually clean the air in our homes of potentially toxic substances. Many attractive houseplants are not only easy to care for, but don't require a lot of light in order to thrive.
Dieffenbachia is a tropical plant that is popular as a houseplant because of its tolerance to low-light conditions. It will do fine as long as it is kept no further than eight feet from a window. Also known as the dumb cane, this plant requires moist soil and regular misting to provide humidity. Use a misting bottle, set on the fine spray setting and mist the leaves daily. The dieffenbachia requires room temperatures above 60 degrees F. Fertilize the dieffenbachia bi-monthly with a standard, balanced houseplant fertilizer, diluted to half the strength recommended on the label. Keep in mind that this plant is toxic if ingested by people and pets.
The snake plant, a native of Africa, has tall, variegated leaves in patterns very similar to snakeskin. This is a plant that can take a lot of neglect and still thrive. It prefers a loamy/sandy soil but will take anything you give it. It is also drought tolerant so if you forget to water it the plant won't up and die on you. Fertilize it once a month with basic houseplant fertilizer.
The spider plant is an all-time favorite for indoor gardeners, mostly because it is such a prolific plant. The spider plant will shoot out long tendrils, on the end of which lie its offspring. These are easy to root and can provide you with a house full of spider plants. This plant won't do well in a dark corner, but it can tolerate somewhat shady conditions. Keep the soil moist and mist it every day. If the leaves begin to turn brown at the tips, try misting it twice a day. It loves humidity.
Cast Iron Plant
A perennial herb, native to Japan, the cast iron plant lives up to its name. This houseplant is one of the easiest to care for and will take abuse and neglect and keep on growing. Growers at the University of Oklahoma suggest potting your cast iron plant in a fluffy, airy mixture of two parts peat moss, two parts sand and one part loam. The cast iron plant likes moist soil, but will forgive you if you forget to water it. This is a plant you can throw on a table in a somewhat dark corner and it will be happy.
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