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What are Houseplants?

Phil Shepley
Phil Shepley

Houseplants are simply plants that are grown indoors for ornamentation and decoration, and serve other purposes as well. Most houseplants adapt rather well to being indoors rather than outdoors, while others need special care and attention, since some are mainly suited towards growing outdoors. Just because they are called “houseplants” does not necessarily mean that they have to be grown in a house or home, and many houseplants are popular decorations in buildings and offices.

There are several purposes houseplants can serve in addition to their aesthetic value. One of these is for the purpose of air purification and for the removal of various toxins in the air. Of course, plants mainly take carbon dioxide and replace it with beneficial oxygen, but some plants are more likely than others to process other toxins as well, such as formaldehyde and benzene. Another popular use of houseplants is to grow herbs that can be used in cooking, such as basil, mint, chives and many more, and many people grow indoor herb gardens as houseplants.

Houseplant fertilizer.
Houseplant fertilizer.

While most houseplants are pleasing to the eye, there are still more that are grown mainly for their pleasant smells. A popular example of a plant used in many offices for its scent is the eucalyptus plant, which is also known to have several health benefits. Another good example of a scented houseplant is lavender, and this plant can later be dried and used in potpourri. There are practically limitless varieties of scented houseplants that range from weak-smelling to very fragrant, and they can be used to freshen up just about any living space.

Many people grow their own basil as a houseplant.
Many people grow their own basil as a houseplant.

Another aspect of houseplants that is as varied as the plants themselves is the amount of care that must be put into maintaining a healthy plant. Some require little or no care at all while others require daily watering, intense sunlight, special nutrients, fertilizers and more. Most houseplants require various amounts of water, light, soil and humidity, and some will only thrive in certain temperatures. When deciding on buying a new houseplant, you should be sure that you are able to put forth the amount of effort that is required of the plant you purchase, and the rewards will be worth the effort.

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    • Houseplant fertilizer.
      By: Marek
      Houseplant fertilizer.
    • Many people grow their own basil as a houseplant.
      By: Barbara Pheby
      Many people grow their own basil as a houseplant.
    • Lavender is a popular scented houseplant.
      By: Kimberly Reinick
      Lavender is a popular scented houseplant.
    • Houseplants can help purify air in the home.
      By: stillkost
      Houseplants can help purify air in the home.