Explaining the science behind it, Rajendra Reddy who runs a plant shop, said, “Certain varieties of indoor plants are ideal for Chennai climate because when they lose water during transpiration, the moisture increases humidity, cools the air and purifies it. If maintained properly, in some cases, it has reduced the indoor temperature by 10 degrees Celsius.”
Some of the most effective and popular varieties are Boston fern, Golden Pothos (money plant), snake plant also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, areca palm, peace lily, aloe vera, crotons, ficus and so on. “Take the snake plant for instance, growing it at home has so many benefits. Apart from cooling, it actually releases oxygen at night unlike most other plants, thereby purifying the air,” said Gayathri Viswanathan, a home gardener. She recommends that this plant be kept in the bedroom for best effect.
But when the entire city is facing a water shortage, is it sensible to grow plants at home? “That’s the advantage — these plants don’t need to be watered very frequently. Hardy species like the areca palm need one mugful a week. Adding more can choke the plant and kill it,” she added. In her home, she has around 15 potted plants spread out evenly. The foliage and flowers also help reduce stress, she observed.
S Kiran, an interior decorator, believes summer is all about brightness. “Add a splash of colour to your homes by potting plants in vibrant containers. Green goes well with yellow, turquoise, orange and brown. Place a soil-based compost in a pot and add a generous layer of drainage material. Spruce up your landscape using decorative pebbles and place the entire unit inside a pot base to prevent staining or spillage while watering,” she said.
A ‘COOL’ hobby
Cost of indoor plants (Rs)
- Areca palm: up to 500
- Golden pothos: 250
- Peace lily: 200
- Snake plant: 300
- Croton: 400