There was a time when plants traditionally stayed outdoors, pot plants were just for the garden and you’d only spot some form of greenery at work when it was time for lunch! Fast forward to today, where plants are coveted home accessories and we’re in abundance of lush foliage and cute cacti.
Not sure how best to embrace the green living trend and start flexing your green fingers? We caught up with Lana and Katie at Bloombox Club to find how best to choose and care for your foliage friends.
Why do you think plants have become more popular in recent years?
There’s an overall move towards more ethical and mindful consumerism – people are starting to realise that just buying for the sake of buying doesn’t make them happy. As humans, we have an innate need to connect with nature and surround ourselves with it, and in recent decades, we’ve done the exact opposite and surrounded ourselves with urban landscapes instead. Plus, they’re beautiful and make every space look stylish!
What plants are easy to care for?
There are lots of tough plants out there for people who feel their green fingers aren’t up to scratch. It’s pretty tough to kill a Mother-in-law’s Tongue, and most succulents and cacti are hardy too. String of Hearts and String of Pearls are beautifully delicate-looking but very hardy too. Only thing that can kill them really is overwatering!
Neither of us come from a horticulture background, so plant care has been a learning curve for us both – surrounding ourselves with plants has been an awesome experience.
Are there any plants that can help de-stress or purify the home?
All plants help to de-stress – research has shown that being surrounded by just the colour green in itself makes us happier. And plant care has been shown to reduce cortisol (stress hormone) levels. Daily caring for plants such as pruning, watering and dusting their leaves is a mindful pastime that helps us reconnect with the present and in turn feel more relaxed and happier. Plants can also increase productivity, concentration and fight fatigue so really, offices should be a haven of green, which they rarely are.
In terms of air-purifying, there are many plants that will help clear the air of toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene and xylene- all chemicals found in modern upholstery, furnishing, carpets and cleaning products. These plants actually feed on these toxins, removing them from your home.
Some of our favourite air-purifiers are Calatheas – they stem from South American jungles and come in the most amazing leaf shapes and patterns. Other great air purifiers are all types of ferns, Rubber plants, Mother-in-law’s Tongue and Snake Plants to name a few.
How can we keep plants alive?
The most important thing is to place your plant in a place it will thrive. The easiest way to figure this out is to know where the plant comes from. For example, a South American deep rainforest dweller will not thrive on a south facing windowsill. Cacti and succulents which stem from dry, desert-like areas will love sun.
As for watering, succulents and plants with thick waxy leaves tend to be a bit like camels, keeping a good supply of water inside them so they prefer drought to constant moist soil.
With the vast majority of other plants, a great trick is to stick your finger about an inch into the soil – if it’s dry, water away but if it’s moist, the plant has enough.
Is your home a haven of green foliage?
We find that it’s hard to have too many plants – we both have plenty in our homes and we’re far from finished with our collections! We’re both having to find more inventive places to house them – hanging has been a big theme now that we’ve mostly filled up the shelves. We stock some great hanging plants and planters which has made this easier.
One of the things we find is that people only think of their living rooms as a place to have plants and sometimes have to be reminded that plants are great for bedrooms and even bathrooms – ferns for example, love the humidity. Once you realise every room is fit for a plant, it opens you up to really creating a mini-jungle!
What’s your favourite plant?
Our current faves are the Fishbone Cactus and the Calathea Network. The Fishbone cactus, sometimes referred to as the zig zag cactus is a crazy-looking non-spiky cactus that produces the most amazing brightly-coloured flowers in the autumn. And the Calathea Network is one of our newest arrivals in the shop with an intricate web pattern on its leaves and mighty air-purifying powers.
About Bloombox club.
Bloombox Club is run by co-founders Katie and Lana. It was born out of Katie’s background as a psychologist. Finding that she was repeatedly treating patients for stress and anxiety-related issues, she began to recommend plant-care as a form of self-care. Learning to nurture a plant had a great effect on her patients, who in turn learned to care better for themselves. It’s this idea of spreading the wellbeing benefits of plant care that underpins what we do at Bloombox Club – filling people’s homes with plants and reconnecting them with nature. We offer plant subscriptions for those who want to build a mini oasis bit by bit and a plant shop featuring hard-to-find statement plants.