Know your Plant Profile

House plants make us happier, healthier and stress free – it is a proven scientific fact.
Plants produce oxygen as well as grow food for human beings and animals. However, the importance of plants does not just end here. They are also responsible for absorbing the carbon dioxide present in the air and releasing fresh air for us to breathe. They play an important role in the water cycle. They are the main source of food and their existence has an essential part in sustaining the survival of living beings.
We see a huge variety of plants all around us. They all have the same parts and common functions. Yet, they are unique with different types of roots, stems, leaves, flowers, seeds etc.In this blog, we will explain different categories of plants profile:
    1. Bromeliads
    2. Bulbous Plants
    3. Orchids
    4. Ferns
    5. Palms
    6. Trailing and Climbing plants
    7. Foliage plants
    8. Cacti
    9. Succulents
    10. Air plants
    11. Carnivorous plant

1. Bromeliads:

Bromeliad plants provide an exotic touch to the home and bring a sense of the vegetation and sun-kissed climate. They grow on trees in their native habitat, attaining moisture and nutrients from the air rather than soil. They do not require exceptionally high humidity levels and are quite easy to care for. Growing it as a houseplant is easy and brings interesting texture and colour to the interior space.

These plants will generally start to die back after blooming, but most of them will produce “baby” offsets next to the base of the old leaves, which then grows into new plants. These baby bromeliads require the same care as the parent plant.
Some basic information:
  • Botanical Name: Bromeliaceae genera
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light when grown indoors
  • Soil Type: Fast-draining potting soil
  • Watering: Bromeliads are tolerant of drought conditions.Water them well and allow the soil to dry before watering again.
  • Toxicity: Non-toxic, but some individuals may have allergic reactions.

2. Bulbous Plants:

Bulbous plants are grown for their beautiful flowers.There are a number of them varying in habit of growth, forms, color etc. Flowers of these plants sprinkle splashes of seasonal colour and scent inside home displays. Some of these plants are prized for their magnificent flowers and growth for mass effect, cut flowers, pot plants, extracting essential oils.They are often associated with spring, may bloom even in winter & all the year around with a bit of care. Just remember to plant the bulbs a few months before you want them to bloom.
Some basic information:
  • Botanical Name: Tillandsiabulbosa
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light or part shade
  • Soil Type: Sandy loam or loamy sand in texture for better production of bulbs.
  • Watering: Need two or three light misting every week with a spray bottle. Try not to soak the leaves.
  • Toxicity: Mostly toxic.

3. Orchids:

Orchids are some of the most exotic flowering plants. They are wonderful and fascinating. Blooming in almost every colour, they are prized for their look and sweet-smelling flowers. Many are used as houseplants while charming hardy orchids grow in the garden. They may have a reputation of being difficult to care for, however certain types of orchids are easy to grow. Whether you grow them on your window sill or outdoors, their incomparable beauty brings a way to escape from the stresses of everyday living.
Basic information:
  • Botanical Name: Orchidaceae
  • Sun Exposure: Filtered sun, not direct; late-afternoon sunlight.
  • Soil Type: Moist, bark-like potting media.
  • Watering: Water once every 1-2 weeks, or when the potting medium is dry to the touch.
  • Toxicity: Most varieties of orchids are not toxic.
  • 4. Ferns:

    With their elegant, arching stems of finely- divided or wavy-edged leaves (fronds),ferns make beautiful indoor plants for shady areas. Ferns are plants that do not have flowers. Similar to flowering plants, they have roots, stems and leaves. However, unlike flowering plants, they do not have flowers or seeds; instead, they usually reproduce sexually by tiny spores. It is important to choose a fern carefully if you plan to grow them indoors. Read about easiest of ferns to grow as houseplants.

    Some basic information:
    • Botanical Name: Tracheophyta
    • Sun Exposure: MostlyLight Shade / Semi Shade. Ferns can handle some direct sunlight.
    • Soil Type: They prefer a soil that is moist and well-draining.
    • Watering: Water regularly during periods without rain; do not let the soil get dry.

    5. Palms:

    Palms are a group of plants that includes thousands of species from various biomes all over the world, and each has its own needs.These tall, leafy & elegant plantsneed some care. Growing indoors, palm plants in your home can go a long way in livening up your décor. They live long and will provide many years of beauty if given proper care.
    Some basic information:
    • Botanical Name: Arecaceae
    • Sun Exposure: Low to moderate light; prefer bright indirect light but also can tolerate less light.
    • Soil Type: Well-drained soil.
    • Watering: Water these plants when the top portion of soil is dry.
    • Toxicity: Most palms that are available as houseplants are non-toxic to pets.

    6. Trailing and Climbing Plants:

    Cover your walls with flowers and foliage to sprinkle colour head with lovely trailing and climbing plants. Easy to grow in hanging baskets or cascading from shelves, trailing plants are a good option when floor space is less. Climbing plants have roots that allow them to climb vertical supports, although they will run along the ground until they find one. Immature English ivy, for example, creeps everywhere, but they don’t achieve maturity and the ability to flower until they grow vertically. Virginia creeper, Boston ivy, and creeping fig are some species of climbing plants. Add vertical interest to your balcony garden with climber plants that are perfect for Indian homes. Climber plants have the quality of covering up the walls with growing branches and can produce a stunning effect on the walls.

    7. Foliage plants:

    These plants comprise the backbone of the indoor garden. While they come in a huge variety of green tones and many flaunt foliage in bright colors like red, yellow, and orange. Foliage plants that you grow indoors are mostly from tropical or arid regions and must adapt to less than ideal conditions in your home. These leafy plants are used for creating a calming green relief in your environment.
    Some basic information:
    • Sun Exposure: Semi-sun / Filtered sun.
    • Soil Type: Can be grown in a variety of soil mixes, but are easier to care for if planted in soils containing high levels of peat moss.
    • Watering: Watering frequency will depend on weather, type and size of plant and stage of plant growth.
    • Botanical names and toxicity will differ with its types. Read through the link to know about various foliage plants.

    8. Cacti:

    A cactus is a great addition to the home thanks to its striking shape, size and flowers. No cactus plant is the same, these indoor plants are unique, decorative way to add interest to your living space, whether it is placed on your windowsill or styled on a shelf. Many are perfect for a sunny window sill show or hanging basket. Their ability to store water in their leaves and stems allow them to survive extended periods of drought, make them ideal for beginners.
    Some basic information:
    • Botanical Name: Cactaceae
    • Sun Exposure: Sun / Semi-sun; quantity varies depending on variety.
    • Soil Type: Well-draining sandy soil.
    • Watering: It is best to give more water in spring/summer and less in winter. It is better to allow the soil to dry out a bit before watering the plant again.
    • Toxicity: Most cacti species are safe for both humans and animals.

    9. Succulents:

    Succulents have long been one of the most liked types of indoor plants for their attractive foliage. There are various reasons for their popularity. They come in a vast range of shapes and sizes and require very little care in the way of watering and pruning. These drought-lovers are grown mainly for their striking foliage. They are easy to grow, because their foliage acts as the perfect water-storage unit.
    Some basic information:
    • Sun Exposure: Sun / Semi-sum / Filtered sun
    • Soil Type: Provide a very well-drained soil.
    • Watering: Soak the soil completely then let the soil dry out completely before watering again.
    • Toxicity: Most succulents are considered non-toxic and are harmless to pets when ingested. Others contain skin irritants that can cause minor skin irritations, and some can cause mild symptoms when ingested.

    10. Air Plants:

    Air plants are notably different than most indoor plants since they are very hardy and require far less care and attention. These plants come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. When they mature, these will burst into bloom, brightening up your home with colourful flowers. Air plants are tiny creatures, easy to grow, and do not need soil or compost. As the name implies, they absorb nutrients and water from the air through scales on their leaves.
    Some basic information:
    • Sun Exposure: Filtered sun / Indirect light.
    • Watering: Water couple of times in a week in a tray for about an hour or half, then, leave it to drain. Do not wet the flowers.
    • Toxicity: Air plants are not toxic to humans or pets.

    11. Carnivorous plant:

    You know all plants make their own food through photosynthesis, so you might be wondering why some plants have adapted to eat protein like insects, sometimes small frogs and mammals. These plants have a range of colorful pitchers or sticky leaves and stems to trap and consume insects and small other creatures for essential nutrients. Most of them require boggy or marshy soil to thrive and some require more special care to maintain.
    Some basic information:
    • Botanical Name: Nepenthes gracilis, Droseracapensis
    • Sun Exposure: Sun / Semi-sun / Filtered sun
    • Soil Type: Mineral-free soil.
    • Watering: Wet them all of the time. Use Mineral-free water.
    • Toxicity: These plants eat toxic metal from their prey.

    12. Other Flowering Plants:

    Many indoor plants produce flowers, some are grown for their beautiful blooms and can be used to inject seasonal colour into a green leafy display. Selection includes plants that blossom at different times of the year. Keep these flowering beauties blooming they may seem difficult to grow indoors, but given the right lighting conditions and nutrient-rich organic food, many flowering plants can be kept in bloom with very little effort.
    Flowering indoor plants have become increasingly popular over the last few decades and it is easy to understand. Watching the beginning of flowers bloom and the colorfulness the plant brings to your indoors is uplifting to the soul and adds to a home’s attractiveness.

    The Bottom Line:

    Most of us enjoy having trees around our homes, plants in our houses / office, and nature in general. However, many of us may not always understand the importance of plants in our everyday lives. Think about the average home and how even a few indoor plants can make a big difference. They help to purify the air, add a nice touch to most rooms and provide various other benefits. Many plants are versatile and grow well indoors; they are a great way to refresh or add a nice touch to a home without doing a complete remodel. Plants, both inside and outside are an enjoyable part of life, even if we do not always realize their impact. Now, we hand over the pen of imagination to our readers so that they can decide the necessity and significance of different categories of the plants which we have portrayed in this article.

    Reference links used:
    1. – Practical Houseplant Book (RHS, Fran Bailey & Zia Allaway)
    2. – Other links as given in the blog.
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    Know Your Home Air

    Gas heating systems, leaking chimneys, fire places emits carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and other harmful pollutants. Plastics and common household cleaners, paints, paint thinner often placed under the kitchen sink, release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), when used and stored. Overheating of non-stick cookware releases toxic fumes. Pesticides we use in and around the home also release various chemical and semi-volatile compounds.


    Harmful effects
    Carbon monoxide causes headache, dizziness and fatigue. These often cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, nausea, and can also damage the liver, kidney, and central nervous system. Fine particles are produced during all kinds of combustion which lead to acute and chronic effects to respiratory and cardiovascular systems.

    Pet dander and hair, carpet, rugs, upholstery furniture are main source of dust mites, fungus, and bacteria. A dirty filter of air conditioners acts as a reservoir for dirt, dust and other airborne contaminants that are continuously circulated back into your breathing air. Secondhand smoke from cigarettes, other tobacco products and mosquito coil emits VOC’s and formaldehyde and various particulate matters. CO2 released from our lungs is exhaled in the air which pollutes the air if the place is too crowded or there is less ventilation.


    Harmful effects
    All these can trigger coughing, nosebleeds, shortness of breath, dry mouth, vomiting,
    digestive tract problems, depression, allergy and asthma attacks, and other respiratory illness.

    Shower, faucets and other water sources are main cause of humidity and mold. Bathroom cleaners and personal care products like toothpaste, soaps, facial tissues, detergent, fabric softeners, air fresheners, deodorizers, hair sprays, disinfectants, are full of VOC’s and chemicals which emits harmful pollutants.


    Harmful effects
    Mold can cause allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory ailments. VOC’s and toxic chemicals released in the bathroom can causes eye, nose, and throat irritation, nausea and respiratory problems. All these products release harmful pollutants while they are used also when they are stored.

    A bedroom contains many sources of indoor air pollution. Mattress, pillow and blankets, soft toys, are the reservoirs of dust mites, fungi and bacteria. Furniture, carpets, paints and beauty product like hairspray, nail polishes, perfumes, deodorants etc off gas VOC, formaldehyde and toxic gases into the air.


    Harmful effects
    These pollutants make the air unhealthy which leads to allergy, asthma attacks, dizziness, headache, fatigue and other respiratory ailments.

    Second-hand smoke
    Second hand Smoke is a mixture of the smoke given off by the burning of tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars or pipes and the smoke exhaled by smokers. Secondhand smoke is also called environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). Passive smoking can lead to coughing, excess phlegm, and chest discomfort. NCI (National Cancer Institute) also notes that spontaneous abortion (miscarriage), cervical cancer, sudden infant death syndrome, low birth weight, nasal sinus cancer, decreased lung function, exacerbation of cystic fibrosis, and negative cognitive and behavioral effects in children have been linked to ETS. Secondhand smoke exposure commonly occurs indoors, particularly in homes and cars. Secondhand smoke can move between rooms of a home and between apartment units.

    Guest Bathroom

    Central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices
    The air filter in your HVAC system is the front line of defense against poor indoor air quality. A typical central heating and cooling system circulates over 1,000 cubic feet per minute of air through the filter. This means the entire air volume in your house passes through the filter multiple times every day. A dirty filter, however, can actually make indoor air quality worse by acting as a reservoir for dirt, dust and other airborne contaminants that are continuously circulated back into your breathing air. In addition to driving up your utility bill, a clogged air filter will allow all that dust and debris that should be filtered out to be re-circulated back into your home. This can cause chronic allergies and especially be dangerous for people with asthma or other respiratory conditions.

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