Refresh Your Indoor Plants


It's finally starting to get warmer here in New York City. My plants are loving it! I made a little instagram collage of the plants around my apartment here in the Lower East Side. It's a great time to start giving your house plants some special attention. 

House plants improve the overall indoor air qualityThe Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science has studies online that prove this to be true. They also add natural beauty to your home, bringing some nature inside. On a Feng Shui level, plants bring in the wood element - for new beginnings, kind-heartedness, and fresh life energy.

This past weekend I spent some time giving my house plants some extra care. My mother-in-law and her husband, Shabari Bird and Hugh Lovel, teach biodynamic farming techniques all over the world, their website is Quantum Agriculture. Their agricultural research looks at the entire environment holistically. On their website they say:

"Basically this means that everything in the universe is vibration...By working with the rules of quantum mechanics using combinations of self-organizing patterns, such as the biodynamic/homeopathic/ remedies we can accomplish seeming miracles of reducing agricultural inputs while increasing crop quality."

Hugh recommends the following:

EM-1 Organic Soil Conditioner : general conditioning for all my houseplants. They recommend one ounce per gallon of water for all plants. I use this whenever I water my plants.  Hugh explained that EM-1 creates healthy microrganisms that would in particular help one of my potted trees with some chlorine poisoning.  The edges of the leaves of a tree I have were turning brown (thus his conclusion was that the plant had chlorine poisoning).

Infusion of Horsetail and Nettle : to strengthen my plants from the inside out. This was in response to the white flies I have on my flowering maple 'bella'. This is one of my favorite plants. It's so delicate and the leaves look like mini maple leaves. Hugh told me that the horsetail and nettle would make my plants healthier, and then in turn be unattractive to pests like white flies. He also told me that the infusion should be a handful of each herb, with a big pot of water. Bring it to a simmer for 30 minutes (not boiling). Then I would add some of this infusion in when I water my plants, approximately a two ounces per gallon.  This also makes a healthy tea for humans!

Geranium Essential oil spray : as a general pest repellent. While I wait for the Horsetail and Nettle infusion to take effect, a few drops of Geranium essential oil in a spray bottle of water will help repel the flies that are attacking my flowering maple bella. I adore Geranium. It's especially uplifting and balancing in the daytime. I often use it for aromatherapy when I'm getting stressed out and about to sit down to do a lot of work. Alternatively, it's very relaxing mixed with Lavender. As an aside, Jivamukti Yoga has this heavenly Organic Aloe And Lavender Aroma Lotion with a touch of Geranium.  It's really wonderful!!

On a final note, my husband's late step-father Christopher Bird, co-author of The Secret Life of Plants wrote:

"...that plants move their bodies as freely, easily, and gracefully as the most skilled animal or human, and that the only reason we don't appreciate the fact is that plants do so at a much slower pace than humans."

I interpret that as, plants are just like us -- they just happen to move much slower.

by Anjie Cho