Let’s Celebrate Houseplant Appreciation Day!

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Photo: National Houseplant Appreciation Day

Yes, today, January 10, is Houseplant Appreciation Day! And it’s about time! 

By mid-January, most of our various holiday decorations and Christmas trees have made their way out of our homes. National Houseplant Appreciation Day is on January 10 every year and it reminds us that we don’t have to lose the freshness and vibrancy that plants bring to our homes just because the holidays have drawn to a close. If you have the post-holiday blues, this is the perfect chance for you to brighten up your house with a lovely plant that you can enjoy all year long.

But houseplants do more than just bring a splash of green into our homes, and National Houseplant Appreciation Day is all about raising awareness of the numerous benefits of tending an indoor plant. 

• Houseplants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen for us to breathe, improving the air quality in your home. 

• Plants also release moisture into the air, conditioning it with refreshing humidity that can actually make your house feel cooler! 

• What’s more, many houseplants are easy to care for and have an array of household uses that help you save money. 

Whether your green thumb has driven you to amass an impressive indoor garden or you’re just kicking around the idea of a low-maintenance cactus for your desk, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and join us in bringing the outdoors inside on National Houseplant Appreciation Day.

NATIONAL HOUSEPLANT APPRECIATION DAY ACTIVITIES

  1. Get a Houseplant—and Appreciate It!

After the wreaths and holly of the holidays, our wintertime houses can seem a little dreary. National Houseplant Appreciation Day is the perfect opportunity to pick up some greenery that will brighten up your home year-round. If you already have a houseplant, try moving it to a new place in your home. The change will refresh your attention so you can appreciate your plant more. Just make sure the plant’s new position gets the same amount of light!

  1. Give Your Plants a “Spa Day”

Yes, most houseplants will do just fine if all you ever do is water them regularly and repot them very occasionally. But why not give them an extra special day when they get spa treatment

Hand cleaning a dusty houseplant leaf with a pink cloth.
Your plants will love a spa day! Photo: pflanzenfreude.de
  • Give them a shower or rinse them with soapy water to remove dust and grime from their leaves.
  • Leach their soil of contaminants by taking them to the sink and pouring tepid water through, letting the excess drain away.
  • Give a little nip and tuck. Remove yellowing and brown leaves and faded flowers, plus pinch or prune back stems that are overgrown.
  • Move them to a slightly sunnier place. Most plants find winter, with its short, gray days, a bit difficult, and it never hurts to give them a bit more light at this time of year.
  • Take them for a spin. Give your plants a quarter turn clockwise. In fact, learn to do this each time you water. That will give them light from all around and keep them from bending towards the source of light.
  1. Visit a Plant Nursery
Woman shopping for a houseplant in a nursery.
Plant shop till you drop! Photo: swoonworthy.co.uk

You deserve a plant today! There are plenty of baby plants in grocery stores that are looking for a good home, but the folks at a nursery will be able to help you pick a houseplant that is right for you. All plants need sunlight, water, and nutrients; however, the amount of each differs between plants. A sunny window ledge with watering every few days is perfect for certain plants, while others prefer more dappled sunlight and water about once a week or 10 days. With an idea of where you’d like to put your plant and how often you’d like to care for it, the experts at your local nursery will be able to match you up with the perfect houseplant.

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National Houseplant Appreciation Day takes place every year on January 10. Mark it on your calendar!

Article adapted from the National Houseplant Appreciation Day website

Houseplant Appreciation Day

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20170110A www.designsponge.com.jpg

Houseplants deserve our appreciation on this special day. Source: http://www.designsponge.com

They say you learn something new every day and I’ve just learned that the 10th of January is Houseplant Appreciation Day! Who knew? You’d think that, since I’ve been such a shameless promoter of houseplants for over 40 years and author of 10 books on the subject, someone would have told me, but no luck. Instead, I stumbled across this bit of info by accident on the Internet just a few days ago.

Apparently, Houseplant Appreciation Day was launched by The Gardener’s Network, a group I really don’t know … but they seem like nice people. They give two reasons for creating it:

  1. To remind people after the holidays that their forgotten houseplants need a little attention.
  2. To celebrate the benefits of houseplants and to encourage growing them.

It’s not clear when Houseplant Appreciation Day was first inaugurated nor how many years I missed, but it’s never too late to participate in something good, so…

Why You Should Appreciate Houseplants

20180110C archzine.net

Just having living greenery around you makes you feel so much better! Source: archzine.net

There are all sorts of reasons why you should appreciate houseplants, including:

  • They make your home look more like an “environment” than just a bunch of empty cubes glued together.
  • Just being able to look at living plants on a regular basis is known to reduce heart rates and blood pressure.
  • They clean the air you breathe of pollutants and dust.
  • People with houseplants in their home or office are happier and have greater self-esteem than those that don’t.
  • They reduce the carbon dioxide levels in your home and give you a tiny boost of oxygen.
  • They remove harmful microbes from the air and reduce rates of infectious disease, including colds and flu, by up to 60 percent.

    20180110D verena yunita yapik, upsplash.com.jpg

    If you’re feeling down, look at your plants, not at your coffee! Source:  verena yunita yapik, upsplash.com

  • They make you relax. When you feel stressed, try this: get up and “visit” them. Touch a few, smell them, pick off a yellowing leaf, give one or two a quarter turn. By the time you’ve finished, you probably will either no longer remember what was bothering you or it just doesn’t seem as important any more.
  • They increase attentiveness and memory and improve creativity.
  • They help you sleep better.
  • When, you’re ill, they help you recover faster.

How to Show Your Appreciation

20180110B www.wohnungs-einrichtung.de

Just putter about in your houseplants: it’s good for you and it’s good for them! Source: www.wohnungs-einrichtung.de

Here is a list of ways to celebrate Houseplant Appreciation Day from the folks at The Gardener’s Net:

  • Start by making sure that the houseplants you already have are well watered.
  • Give them a special treat today … a little fertilizer.*
    *This is the only point I’m in disagreement with. I don’t believe you should give fertilizer to plants in the middle of the winter, at least not in temperate climates. When days are so short and light so rare, fertilizer just encourages etiolated growth. Wait until days are a bit longer, say early March, before pepping them up with minerals.
  • If you do not have any houseplants, or just have a couple, buy a new houseplant (or two) on this day.
  • Learn more about the benefits of houseplants to your health.
  • Stand by your houseplant and breath in the air! It’s giving off oxygen.
  • Teach your kids about growing and caring for plants.
  • Give a houseplant to a friend, especially the elderly or shut-ins.
  • Talk to your plants. Many people believe plants respond positively when you talk to them.

To the above list, I suggest adding:

  • Give them a bit more light if they’re looking depressed or unhappy. Light therapy is as good for plants as it is for people … indeed, even better!
  • Improve the humidity in their immediate vicinity by placing them on a humidity tray.

In short, be nice to your houseplants and they’ll be nice to you!

Happy Houseplant Appreciation Day!20170110A www.designsponge.com