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Monday
Jan082018

Top 5 Easiest Plants to Grow at Home 

Flickr | Maggie HoffmanHaving plants anywhere is always beneficial, and since we spend so much of our time indoors, it is especially vital that we have some green décor to keep us going! Plants create habitats, absorb carbon dioxide and thus clean our air, provide us with oxygen and reduce benzene and nitrogen dioxide levels!

Plant Positivity

Plants in general are uplifting; they are even backed up by science. A 2006 Kansas State University study found that hospital patients were less stressed, more positive and even had faster recovery times if their rooms were filled with plants (compared to patients in plant-free rooms). A year later, another study conducted in Norway revealed indoor plants kept office workers more productive, and most importantly, healthier overall even during the winter months. Plants also help with mental fatigue and overall mood; they’re natural comforters, plus they look great in any space. One of the most amazing things indoor plants can do is reduce background noise, believe it or not!  Recent studies have shown that plant leaves can absorb, reflect or diffract sounds waves, reducing background noise and making your space much more tranquil.

Here are the top five easiest plants to grow at home, making your space that much better!  


Salad Leaves

Flickr | Marco VerchThese leaves have such a flexible sowing period, they can be planted between March and October, so almost any time of the year is a good time to start growing these multipurpose leaves!  They are low growing and can be planted in pots or garden borders, so whether you have a lot or a little space, these leaves can thrive either way. As if these couldn’t get any easier, most leaves are ready to be picked after only three weeks and ready to be popped into a salad! Easy to grow, great looking and edible, salad leaves are amust have. A salad also counts towards your recommended daily vegetable intake; what’s not to love?

Aloe Vera
Flickr | Paul SturgessAloe Vera has been the aesthetic of the last couple of years, appearing in music videos, fashion shoots and general home furnishing media. It is a plant that is similar to cacti, meaning the best way to pot it is in cacti soil in a porous planter. It doesn’t ask for much, but it gives so much in return. You only need to leave aloe vera in a nice sunny spot and water it every 3 weeks or so…and that’s it! In fact, you may even need to water it less during the winter months and absolutely no fertiliser is required.

As well as looking cool, you can use the plant to enhance your life in so many ways. Why not add it to as smoothie? It aids digestion and stomach health. Why not create a face mask with it? It sooths and moisturises skin whilst helping to close pores and reduce pimples. We might as well go all the way and ask, why not use it as wound relief? Aloe vera can be placed on burns as it contains certain anti-inflammatory compounds and may act as an antibacterial agent, but please always seeks medical advice from an expert with any injury, aloe vera can only be used in addition to, and not in replacement of, expert advice.


Nigella
Flickr | storebukkebruseAvailable in a variety of pinks, purples, blues and whites, Nigellas will add a beautiful pop to your home.  Their wispy and flat petals surrounding the curly, fluffy seed pods at the centre make them a visual treat. They are also surrounded by abundant foliage, making them a great border filler and perfect for an earthy, shabby-chic look. What makes them perfect to have at home is that they flourish easily, they don’t require any particular soil, so long as they’re able to enjoy the sun and have a regular drink of water, they will bloom in all their shades of glory. They’re virtually pest free; they will bloom for several weeks during the spring time and if re-sown, can even bloom during autumn. The best part is that they self-sow for the next year in moderate numbers so they don’t spread aggressively. That’s one less job for you to do!

Spring Onions
Flickr | Jeremy Keith Spring onions are delicious is any raw or cooked dish and they are super easy to cultivate, no seeds required! Simply buy a bunch of the onions, they usually cost approximately 60p, and then pop them bulb down into an inch of water. You can use a glass or jar for this. Super simple so far, and it gets even simpler! Once roots and shoots have sprouted move the onions to a shallow container filled with soil and leave them in a sunny spot. Water evenly and regularly. Snip the green tops as and when you wish to use them and if you want to use the entire spring onion, wait until it has grown to six inches, then remove from soil and enjoy!


Basil
Flickr | Katrin Gilger Basil looks lovely on a window sill, and it smells great too. It’s a healthy herb that also has anti-inflammatory properties, plus you can keep it indoors. You can buy a small basil plant from any supermarket and keep it in the container if it has drainage holes. Pop it on a sill that will definitely get sunlight, water it every other day or every day in high temperatures. Once a month, the soil needs fertilising organically, you can use compost tea for this. Prune the plant every so often, removing any flowers that pop up. Pick the leaves off as and when you require them, sprinkle them into a salad, a sauce or into pasta! Enjoy!

 

By Hanna-Johara Dokal - Online Journalism Intern

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