Surviving Lockdown with Plants

Now that our horizons have narrowed, and those of us without a garden have less contact with the natural world, it is the perfect time to consider adding plants to our home. There are numerous online vendors of seeds and plants suited to the indoors, or window boxes, balconies or gardens to help us through the weeks of isolation. In terms of rewarding our love, care and attention, plants more than pay their way as lockdown buddies.

House plants brighten and vary a room, and it is even possible that there may be beneficial health effects in terms of absorption of the cocktail of toxins present in the modern home. Plants such as Chlorophytum (Spider Plant), Sansaveria (Snake Plant) Ficus Elastica (Rubber Plant), Ficus Benjamin (Weeping Fig) and Dragen Marginata (Dragon Tree) have all been showed to remove the carcinogen formaldehyde from the air. Aloe Vera is simple to care for, decorative and emits oxygen at night time, aiding concentration and general health. The presence of plants creates a more soothing atmosphere, leading to lower stress levels. As well as companionship and decoration, plants can also of course offer food. The opportunity to supplement our stockpiled pasta and rice with homegrown herbs or even vegetables represents a different and absorbing challenge to while away our time indoors. The full range of herbs can be grown successfully from seed on a sunny windowsill, as can pea shoots or bean sprouts, grown straightforwardly by sprouting mung beans.

If your vegetable growing urge becomes stronger, there are plenty of larger options. Spinach, kale and lettuce will all grow well indoors and will produce a crop all year round. Drainage is important for these veg so grow in a pot with drainage holes and a well-draining soil. Peppers can be grown indoors in deep containers on a sunny windowsill which receives 10 hours of sunlight a day. For a greater challenge, tomatoes and strawberries can be started indoors and grown on in containers on a balcony. Potatoes or carrots can also be grown in large containers. So grab a trowel and search those horticultural websites!

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