Plants beneficial in the home
Brian Sipkens looks up at the Rabbit Foot Ferns at Sipkens Nurseries, where they house a number of indoor and outdoor plants in the greenhouses. (Melissa Schilz/Postmedia Network)
If you love plants but lack a green thumb, Brian Sipkens wants you to know this shouldn’t spell then end of your dreams to bring plants into your home.
The Garden Centre Manager at Sipkens Nurseries said there are plenty of plants that are low maintenance, and as with all things, trial and error is the best way to learn how to care for houseplants.
Sipkens said houseplants offer a number of benefits, including acting as air cleaners to remove toxins, humidifying the air and even lowering the amount of dust that accumulates on surfaces.
“They’re always pulling in carbon dioxide as part of their photosynthesis process, and putting out oxygen…cleaning toxins out of the air,” he said.
With newer homes being built to be air tight, Sipkens said this can actually be a downside, but plants help to recycle the air, in turn, making inhabitants healthier.
“You need that air exchange, and the plants do that,” he said.
He also noted that besides physical health benefits, plants can also help with stress, anxiety and depression, providing mental relaxation through enhancing and naturalizing the atmosphere. Without greenery, Sipkens said homes can feel sterile, but plants make a space warmer and inviting.
“Caring for something is huge, especially if they’re alone…they have something that relies on them,” he said. “People love coming to the greenhouse because it’s relaxing.”
Sipkens said most houseplants are relatively easy to care for, especially those with waxy leaves. But he still hears worries over plants dying, something that he said you shouldn’t let bother you too much.
“A lot of people say they can’t keep them alive, but that’s not really the sole purpose of a houseplant,” he said. “Yes plants live, but they also die…and you don’t have to be heartbroken when something dies.”
Sipkens said it’s all about trial and error; if you want to keep plants thriving, you have to do the homework. Some plants require a lot of maintenance, particularly those that bloom or those with thinner leaves. However, plants like succulents, cacti, snake plants and rubber plants are more hardy.
He said ensuring you have the right size of containers, a good amount of light, the correct potting soil and are working to keep pests at bay are key to keeping your houseplants healthy.
“It’s just practice, you don’t learn how to grow something well until you’ve killed it a few times and figured out what it can’t handle,” he said, adding that once you get into a routine, it gets easier.
On March 24, Sipkens Nurseries is hosting a session on houseplants and indoor gardening. The free event will go over different groups of plants, dealing with common pest problems and offer an opportunity to view and touch different plants in the greenhouse.
Sipkens said all are welcome to come and ask questions, and staff will be available to offer advice.
“It will be interactive in terms of answering questions…we’ll be keeping it more of a natural conversation,” he said. “That’s why we call it ‘let’s talk plants’.”
IF YOU GO:
What: Let’s talk houseplants and indoor gardeing
When: March 24 at 11:30 a.m.
Where: Sipkens Nurseries, 3261 London Line, Wyoming
For more events, check the Sipkens Nurseries Facebook Page.