Michael Perry, aka Mr Plant Geek, set tongues wagging on ITV’s This Morning earlier this year, and now he’s sharing his green-fingered tips with Attitude readers.
From home-grown fitness and healthy eating to sprucing up your home and garden, there’s no better expert when it comes to homo horticulture – and this month he’s revealing the easy steps for how health-minded can grow their own fitness…
Some of us might spend our Saturday afternoons thumbing the cushions in the Conran store, or stroking the delectable fabrics of Laura Ashley, but did you know there’s a guaranteed way to add some pretty unique features to your decor - and you’ve probably overlooked it thus far? Houseplants, uh huh! You couldn’t have picked a better time either, they’re just about to become trendy.
Before we even begin, forget that myth about houseplants being difficult to grow, because I know exactly what you did wrong. You over-watered them. I bet every time you walked past your plant you gave it a little drink (hopefully not with old tea), and that probably ended up being once or maybe twice a day, because you were terrified you’d forget about it. Turns out our houseplants only need need water once the surface of the compost dries out though, which is kinda just once a week, so go easy tiger!
Amazingly, houseplants are good for your well-being too. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, and oxygen is just what our bodies needs, and we happen to give out carbon dioxide too, which plants lap up. It’s a neat little air purification process, which can remove some levels of toxin from the air too. The mere presence of an indoor plant is good for you, and many studies have shown that having houseplants near patients in hospitals has actually accelerated their recovery.
It’s also said that productivity in the workplace can increase when houseplants are present. It’s not like they’re in the corner cracking an imaginary whip, but being around nature can apparently help you to concentrate better and be more productive.
So, where to start with your air quality and well-being overhaul? Well, some of the most effective for that purpose tend to be the foliage plants, and how about something familiar to begin with? It’s the humble Spider Plant! I am sure your family home had one ensconced on top of the fridge, half-forgotten and tangling in the door every time you are trying to grab a sneaky choc ice.
Another easy type of indoor plant to start with is cacti and succulents. Cacti are known for their pricks (no jokes here please!), and in fact there’s a new cactus shop in Shoreditch is called just that. Now, succulents tend to be plants that make people giggle, their little fat leaves can be rather amusing I guess. But, don't mock them, those chunky pieces of foliage are storing water, so you can sit back and relax more, without wielding a watering can at them every day of the week.
If you want to get a bit tropical with your decor plans, then how about an orchid? Some of these have become a bit throwaway in the last few years, thanks to IKEA knocking them out at just a few pounds a time. However, for the connoisseur, there are some highbrow choices such as perfumed Dendrobium or the very grand, stately home favourites, the Cymbidium. They also enjoy a smoothie of eggshells, used tea bags and banana puree every so often, oh yes, it has all the nutrients they need.
It’s just a short guide to houseplants, but I really recommend that you go and browse for yourself. Another fab store is Geo Fleur
in London's Stratford. And don’t forget about matching the plant to the pot too - I adore the retro curved containers of Tanti Design
Until next time, have fun getting your fingers dirty, and next time we speak, I hope you have a Ficus in your lounge!
Follow Michael on Twitter @mr_plantgeek, and be sure to visit mrplantgeek.com for more.
For more Mr Plant Geek on attitude.co.uk click here
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