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Greenteriors - Plants for Biophilic Design

By Justin Hancock, Costa Farms
Photographs courtesy of Costa Farms

Interest in houseplants continues to soar, not just with plant parents, but with interior designers, too! Who doesn’t love the natural power of plants to help reduce stress, improve our moods, and enhance the quality of our air? Numerous scientific studies have proven simply being around indoor plants is associated with a calming effect, positive emotions, and enhanced cognitive performance.

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Biophilic design is a scientifically backed approach to interior design that builds on a connection to nature. As proof of its power, a 2020 Harvard study revealed people in a room with plants showed better physical and mental recovery after completing stressful tasks than people in a room without plants. And a study by Texas A&M University found keeping potted plants around a workspace substantially improved workers’ creative performance and problem solving. Another study from the University of Michigan revealed memory and attention span increased with exposure to nature—such as live plants.

There’s an ideal plant for just about every person and every space. Here are some varieties to consider:

  1. Baltic Blue Pothos: An easy-to-grow climbing or trailing plant that features dark, blue-green leaves decorated with chic cut edges.
  2. Global Green Pothos: A no-fuss climbing or trailing plant with dark green, heart-shaped leaves trendily marked with lighter green.
  3. Mini Monstera: An easy-care climbing plant with trendy splits from the edges to the center.
  4. Monstera Little Swiss: A quick-growing climbing or trailing plant whose leaves feature playful window-like holes, creating interplay of light and shadow.
  5. Pink Princess Philodendron: A super-trendy plant that features dark green leaves and soft- to hot-pink streaks and splashes.
  6. Polka Dot Begonia: An upright houseplant whose dark green leaves are rusty red beneath and bear silver polka dots on top of the leaf surface.
  7. Raven® ZZ Plant: One of the easiest plants to grow and features goth-like, purple-black leaves.
  8. Silver Dragon Alocasia: A small desk or tabletop plant with heart-shaped, two-tone silver leaves.

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Not sure what plant is right for you? Try these tips!

Light: Almost every houseplant wants as much light as it can get inside. Some tolerate lower light conditions than others and it’s usually noted on a plant tag. You can put a plant that tolerates low light in a bright spot, but don’t put a plant that needs bright light in a low-light spot.

Water: If you’re not sure when or how much to water, look for plants offered in a self-watering system, like the Wick & Grow system. Most plants survive being too dry for extended periods better than being too wet, so if in doubt, it’s better to under- rather than overwater.

Temperature: Practically every houseplant likes average household temperatures (65-80ºF), so you shouldn’t need to worry about temperature.

So make your home healthier with plants, and reap the benefits of biophilic design.

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Photos and story by Monrovia Nursery Company

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