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Power your winter months with the help of indoor plants

Marianne Caesar
Features Writer

Students viewing winter slush must depend upon indoor plants for an early spring. Not only can having indoor plants reduce Seasonal Affective Disorder, but they harbor additional benefits. According to Healthline.com, plants can reduce indoor pollution, known as phytoremediation.

Some of the psychological benefits found in those who have indoor plants include having a higher self-esteem, mood, well-being and stability. Individuals were also found to experience less stress and depression, often important in seasons where sunlight is limited. Cognitive benefits included better focus and memory, as well as an increase in completing personal goals.

Individuals can be intimidated by the idea of caring for plants, yet there are many kinds which are relatively easy to care for without much maintenance. One category of plants which comes to mind is the Succulents. Succulents are plants which have a modified stem system, in which the extensions of the stem have a leaf-like appearance and function as storage centers for excess water. By having this modified system, these kinds of plants fare well in areas with a low-water supply present.

Some plants of this variety include aloe, the jade plant and cacti. Aloe is beneficial to have within a living-space for its healing properties as well, often used as a direct topical agent in treating burn cases. A fact unknown by many is that the spikes present on cacti actually represent the leaves of the plant, though they serve more of a protective function.

Aloe acts can serve purpose beyond aesthetic appeal. The plant also offers some healing properties ( photo courtesy blog.freepeople.com)
Aloe acts can serve purpose beyond aesthetic appeal. The plant also offers some healing properties (Photo courtesy blog.freepeople.com)

Another category of easy to care for plants is palm trees. The Areca palm is one example, and tends to grow in accordance to the container in which it grows. This plant succeeds well in indirect light and needs relatively dry soil, with watering taking place every other week.

Hanging and climbing plants also function as easy-care plants. One of these is English Ivy, preferring moist soil and cooler temperatures. Similar to aloe, ivy can be used to start other plants when one makes a cutting. Beginning from the stem, one separates the cutting from the original plant being sure to include several nodes and internodes. Nodes represent the sites from which leaves and new branches emerge, while internodes are the spaces in-between these leaf and stem shoots.
A popular trailing plant found in homes is the Heart-Leaf Philodendron, best in indirect light and room-temperatures. The soil’s surface should be allowed to dry in between watering sessions.

Heart-leaf Philodendron makes a great addition to rooms that offer indirect light (photo courtesy dreamhousees.tk)
Heart-leaf Philodendron makes a great addition to rooms that offer indirect light (Photo courtesy dreamhousees.tk)

As a final common-household example, Spider plants are often desired for their striped-appearance and thrive well in bright or medium lighting. Having evenly moist soil, these plants can start small and often turn into expanded hanging plants or can start new plants entirely.
All of these plants are options for easy care and maintain benefits for the health and environment of the owner. Not only do they remove toxins from the air, but they are small enough to keep space available in one’s apartment or dorm without becoming an intrusion. As for the risks of having such plant life, children or pets may be in danger. If ingested some of these plants could risk the presence of toxins. As the thirty-some days remain until warmer weather and green grass, these are some options to brighten up one’s home and day.