In­door plants breathe life into homes

When it’s cold and dark out­side, in­door plants will brighten your liv­ing spa­ces and im­prove air qual­ity, and some va­ri­eties are easy to main­tain.

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - REAL ESTATE - CHAR­LIE AL­BONE — Char­lie Al­bone is co-host of Selling Houses Aus­tralia on the Lifestyle chan­nel and runs his own busi­ness, Inspired Ex­te­ri­ors

WIN­TER can be a tough time in the gar­den as the ex­u­ber­ance of other sea­sons has passed and gar­den­ing seems to take a mo­men­tary rest.

When lit­tle is hap­pen­ing out­side, I like to fo­cus my energy in­side as in­door plants can re­ally lift a room and help to breathe life and per­son­al­ity into a home.

In­door plants not only look great but they are good for you. This may sound like a hip­pie ram­bling on, but in­door plants have been proven to im­prove air qual­ity by de­creas­ing volatile or­ganic com­pounds, in­creas­ing oxy­gen and also in­creas­ing hu­mid­ity in a room, all of which lead to greater con­cen­tra­tion lev­els and an im­proved mood.

A few peo­ple strug­gle with in­door plants and never seem to have much luck, which leads to dis­ap­point­ment and turns them off try­ing again.

I have a few fail-safe in­door plants that I al­ways sug­gest be­cause they are easy to care for and look mar­vel­lous.

Spathiphyl­lum or the peace lily is a great in­door plant be­cause its glossy green leaves and creamy white flower lift a space.

They are also use­ful in damp ar­eas such as kitchens and bath­rooms be­cause they help to re­move mould from the air.

This plant likes a bright area out of di­rect sun­light and re­li­able mois­ture. It will tell you when it needs wa­ter as its leaves will droop. When this hap­pens, give it a good soak.

Chlorophytum comosum or the spi­der plant is known as a weed in the gar­den, but in the home it is top of the class for pu­ri­fy­ing the air as well as be­ing in­cred­i­bly easy to main­tain.

Spi­der plants like in­di­rect sun­light and pre­fer for the soil to dry out be­tween wa­ter­ings, so they suit a lazy gar­dener.

Fi­cus lyrata or the fid­dle leaf fig is the de­signer’s in­door plant be­cause it has huge ar­chi­tec­tural leaves and an up­right, open habit.

Like most in­door plants, it needs to be in a light spot with­out di­rect sun and it doesn’t like too much wa­ter. If over­wa­tered, the lower leaves will fall off the plant.

Adi­antum or maid­en­hair ferns are real mois­ture lovers, so are per­fect for moist, dark spots like the bath­room.

They have light limey green, feath­ery fo­liage that adds soft­ness to any room.

If yours dries out and looks dead, don’t give up on it. Just pump it full of wa­ter and you will be sur­prised how quickly it bounces back.

San­se­vieria or mother-in-law’s tongue may sound like the best gift for your wife’s mum and you wouldn’t be wrong, as this plant is close to im­pos­si­ble to kill.

It will take sunny and shady spots in the home and will suf­fer only if you over­wa­ter it. It is also a great air pu­ri­fier and has the ben­e­fit of re­mov­ing ni­tro­gen ox­ide pro­duced by fuel-burn­ing ap­pli­ances.

Peace lilies (left) and maid­en­hair ferns are pop­u­lar in­door plants be­cause they need lit­tle main­te­nance.

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