Green Thumbs

October 19, 2020 | Alden Miller Interiors, Noteworthy

Pandemic plant parenting is a thing. Garden centers and plant stores have seen a boom in plant sales in recent months and seed sales are also up as people plant their own vegetable gardens. Plants in the home can improve indoor air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide and the presence of plants is known to lower stress and anxiety. Having houseplants around your home is not only aesthetically pleasing, they bring cleaner air to your surroundings.

To find out which plants make the best indoor companions, we talked to Dawn Hope, the owner of Living Room Plant Co., a family-owned, small business in the Bay Area.

Alden @ Alden Miller Interiors: “When considering an indoor plant for a particular interior space, what do you suggest be considered?”

Hope @ Living Room Plant Co.: “Your plants need the chance to thrive in your indoor climate. You need to take into account three things about the space you want to add an indoor plant.”

  • The amount of sunlight the space receives. Identify where you want to place a plant and determine the sunlight situation. All plants need natural light, however, some like indirect light, while others crave full sun. Note that sunlight travelling through glass gets amplified, so even a plant that loves direct sunlight may need a break sometimes.
  • The size and location of the space. Assess the ceiling height, the space around where the plant would go, and the amount of traffic passing by. The shape, form, and growth habit of the plant should determine where it is placed. You don’t want a fast-growing plant located in a small area with no space to expand.
  • The indoor environment and temperature. Consider your home’s indoor climate. Do you leave windows open, allowing fresh air in, or do you run your air conditioner because you live in a hot or dry climate?

Alden: “How do you help customers choose the right plants?”

Hope: “When the Living Room Plant Co. assists customers with selecting the right plants for their homes, they ask a series of questions. These questions can be asked of anyone looking to purchase plants for their home.” 

  • Is this your first plant? Your prior experience with plants determines the sort of plant you should get.
  • Where will this plant live in your home and what kind of light does that area get? Knowing where you’ll place a new plant will determine which one is best for you.
  • Does this plant bring you joy? Make sure it’s a plant you love to look at every day.

Alden: “What do you suggest as the top 5 plants that can help purify the air in your home?”

Hope: “There are many great plants to purify the air in your home, but living in CA this has become key. These are our top 5.”

  1. Pothos: A great purifier, tolerant of a variety of environments, and very forgiving when it comes to over/under watering. It offers interesting leaf patterns and colors and propagates easily.
  2. Dracaena: Low maintenance plant that makes a powerful air purifier. It does not require frequent watering and can tolerate different light environments. Also comes in many shapes and sizes.
  3. Sansevieria: While most plants release oxygen during the day, this one is a nighttime oxygenator. It cleans the air during the day and produces oxygen at night: a win-win! It’s forgiving and versatile and easy to propagate.
  4. Palms: While you may think of a palm as an outdoor plant, they make great indoor plants and purify indoor air. There are many varieties of palms and they add a tropical touch to any space.
  5. Spathiphyllum: Also known at the Peace Lily, it is a powerhouse for air purification. It’s a good option for an area with less light; it will dramatically wilt when not watered enough, but spring back to life once it’s been refreshed.

Alden: “Can you tell us a little more about what you offer? Is it possible to get in home consultations?”

Hope: “Living Room Plant Co. is a family owned/operated, small business located in Pacifica, CA. We maintain a brick and mortar store, take online orders, and offer virtual home consultations (providing in-person consultations in a non-pandemic world). Customers can also create custom compositions and terrariums at a fully stocked potting table in the store, and we answer all types of plant-related questions via email, phone, or Instagram.”

Alden: “What is your favorite part of what you do?”

Hope: “We do what we do because we love plants and we love our community. Having a local business that offers that which we believe in has afforded us the opportunity to not only share our passion for bringing the natural world inside but to connect on many levels with our neighbors and community at large. We love how plants unite us – bringing us together through their beauty and a multitude of benefits namely, they make us feel good. It is something we can agree on in a world that already offers too much division.”