Homes and gardens

Indoor plants that purify air are in demand

20mp Spider plant

20mp Spider plant   | Photo Credit: mail pic

Indoor plants are in demand this season, for a variety of reasons

Now that the monsoons have set in and the welcome showers are raising the groundwater levels, the smell of wet soil and fresh blooms add to the pleasure. Roadside nurseries are busy with customers looking for flowering plants, particularly the indoor variety.

Why the rush to buy indoor plants when it rains? “No matter how much we water our plants it can never be as good as a spell of rain. Sowing seeds after rains is good because the moisture helps the seeds germinate faster which means it will root well,” says Ramesh who runs a roadside nursery at AS Rao Nagar.

Easy maintenance

Roadside vendors are making a quick buck by selling Boston fern, green ficus, palm tree, bamboo plants and aloe vera plants in good numbers. Easy to maintain, most of these plants need only a little water, air and some sunlight to thrive.

Kitchen gardeners are not far behind in making the best out of the humidity. Their hunt for the perfect curry karivepaaku sapling is on. “My house help gave me a long lecture on store-bought curry leaves. Apparently at a recent meeting, GHMC officials informed them about the dirty places and water used to grow curry leaves plants that are sold in the shops. After that I tried my luck with growing my own plant a number of times, now I will give it another try in my kitchen compost,” says Radhika Lal a home-maker, who is looking for a plant that has grown beyond a sapling. While there, she is looking into other plants that purify the indoor air. “I will buy the palm’ it looks beautiful and needs very little maintenance,” she smiles.

In tune with the demand, nurseries line up rows and rows of air purifiers. “It must also look good. Many people who want to gift such plants buy the peace lily. People who want a lot of greenery inside ask for the weeping fig. The shrub’s small green leaves make it look very busy. Only issue is cleaning the leaves of dust,” informs Rajan, nursery owners at Banjara Hills near KBR park.

There are a number of non-flowering plants that are great as gifts. Some of the widely available ones are Snake plant, Peace Lily, bamboo palms, garden mum, dracaena, spider plant, ficus/weeping fig, golden pothos and Boston fern.

On the down side, monsoon brings in the mosquito scare along with diseases like malaria, dengue, chikungunya etc. Some nurseries and online portals make the best use of the opportunity by stocking up on plants like lemongrass citronella, lemon balm, catnip, marigolds, basil, lavender, peppermint, garlic and selling them as mosquito repellents. Does it really work? “The plant itself won’t act as a mosquito repellent. However, most of these plants have a fragrance, and if someone crushes the leaves or flowers to spread the fragrance, the smell can deter mosquitoes. Unless this is done every now and then, these plants only act a decoration,” says Dr Sharad Kulkarni, an ayurveda consultant.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 2:00:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/homes-and-gardens/indoor-plants-that-purify-air-are-in-demand/article28892038.ece

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