Posts tagged with "Horticulture"

Yoga illustration for 360 Magazine

The Roots Between Yoga and Plants

Yoga is a way for humans to connect with nature, and plants play a pivotal role in that. Plants increase mood, they can help heal the body, and some plants can also clean the air, which can make a pretty big difference in how people feel as they practice yoga. According to Adam Husler, one of the UK’s most sought after yoga instructors, having a green, plant-filled space adds multiple benefits to your yoga practice. As Adam states it, plants bring four major attributes to one’s yoga practice: Air purity, Form and Structure, Mood lifting, and Meditation Anchors.

Air Purity

Breathing is the foundation of yoga, which allows plants to play a huge role as they purify the air. Living plants are natural air purifiers, removing carbon dioxide from the air and producing oxygen during the day. There’s nothing like an oxygen-producing plant to bring life, and fresh air, to an indoor room. This offers a healthy environment for your practice, and allows you to intake the good stuff and less of the bad.

Form and Structure

Yoga is about form, self-enquiry and exploring various shapes and poses. For the ultimate balance, this should also be reflected in your space through combining yin and yang, masculine and feminine colors and shapes. Plants with interesting structure amongst robust leafy plants can help balance the look and feel of your space and improve your practice.

Mood Lifting

Did you know that different plants have almost instantaneous effects on your mood? Creating a green space sanctuary can really lift your mood. Mixing plants and positioning plants in various locations instantly creates an urban-jungle vibe, which encourages a sense of calm and happiness. Some of these include Aloe vera, Ferns, and Lavender (for direct light areas inside). According to a study published in the “Journal of Environmental Psychology,” people reported higher levels of mood and perceived comfort when plants were present than when they were not.

Meditation Anchors

Plants are soothing and add to one’s calmness. The foliage from plants make for great meditation anchors – their leaves are intricate and hypnotic to look at, you can easily get lost in them. And how about a little fragrance! Adding a little fragrance to meditation has a very powerful, positive and supportive effect on any type of meditation and becomes a way of helping our mind to become focused, clear, balanced and peaceful.

Lively Root recommends the following plants for your yoga studio:
White Bird Dragon Tree (Dracaena warneckii ‘White Stripe’)
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum Wallisii)
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)
Variegated Snake Plants (Sansevieria Trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)
ZZ Plant/Eternity Plant (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia)
Croton (Codiaeum variegatum ‘Petra’)
Peacock Plant (Calathea roseopicta ‘Medallion’)
Bromeliad

Perhaps the most low maintenance plants on our list are the ZZ Plant & the Snake Plant. They can grow in almost any location regardless of the lighting conditions. These plants, like the peace lily, have been shown to filter harsh toxins from the air including formaldehyde, toluene and benzene. As we said earlier, there’s nothing like oxygen-producing plants to bring life, and fresh air, to an indoor room.

For more information, please visit Lively Root’s website.

More about Lively Root
At Lively Root, the green spaces created have been instrumental in developing an ideal green space. Lively Root’s plants are home grown and full-scale fulfillment centers. They only sell eco-friendly products that are packaged and delivered right to your doorstep. Founding members have over a century of horticultural experience as growers, retailers, and landscapers, ranging from small plants, to indoor plants, outdoor plants, large trees, and flowering shrubs. They have planted & maintained trees on residential and commercial properties. Plants improve health by purifying the air, soothing stress, making people feel happier, and offering style and ambiance.

Plants by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

Feng Shui Plant Positioning

There are good and bad feng shui plants and positioning arrangements. It’s all about how you position plants in specific areas of your living room, bedroom or other areas of your home. As feng shui has a lot to do with the overall “feeling” of a space, it is important to find plants that fit comfortably in your space and are not cramped or too small for the area. Healthy, robust plants are a must!

What is Bagua and why is it important?

Bagua is one of the main tools used in feng shui. It is an eight sided  ‘energy map’ used to evaluate the energy of the green space in your home. Each of the eight sections and the center correspond with different life experiences: career, wisdom/knowledge, finances, family, fame, relationships, children/creativity, supportive people, and health. Plants can be used to connect these eight sides of the map and create harmony and well-being in an area.

Good feng shui plants
This includes plants that are known to cleanse the air and have a strong presence. Some of these include Philodendron, Areca Palms, Ferns, Jade, Money Tree and Mother in Law Tongue. Of course, there cannot be positive energy in a home or office without clean, good quality air, which makes this aspect of the plant very important. Appearances also play an important role, as it is important to have a strong, healthy plant that radiates a strong energy. Struggling plants may not offer these qualities so keep your plants healthy and pair them with visually pleasing pots as they can offer vibrancy and joyful energy.

Bad feng shui plants

These are generally considered plants whose shape can bring undesired energy. Cactus is a classic example of a so-called bad feng shui plant because its energy is very “spiky.” In addition, the Snake Plant could be considered bad feng shui because of their lengthy pointed leaves. However, the Snake Plant has strong protective energies to specific areas of your home and is considered helpful.

Positioning of Feng Shui Plants
East, Southeast, and South bagua areas are excellent feng shui areas to decorate with plants. Be sure to experiment with the best placement of plants in your living room, bedroom, or other areas of your home, and keep them healthy! This will create an environment where plants will become a harmonious part of your decor and create excellent feng shui in your green space.

Money Tree Brings Fortune and Luck
One of the most common feng shui plants is the money tree. Appropriately named, as it is believed to encourage prosperity and good luck. Some feng shui experts say these plants also reduce stress and anxiety, and can even help prevent arguments and sleeping disorders. This bonsai style tree, with braided trunks, brings the best fortune when placed in the areas concerning money (office), health (kitchen), or fame (entry-ways). With all of these benefits, no wonder they make great housewarming and new business gifts!

Peace Lily Purifies the Air
Peace Lilies make excellent houseplants for your home or office green space. They not only brighten up a living space, but are also excellent at cleaning the air of rooms they are in. They grow well in spaces with low light (although they bloom in areas with more light). They have a wonderful white bloom with lush foliage, and with their air purifying qualities, placement in an office area can help improve air conditions and correct energetic imbalances.

More about Lively Root
At Lively Root, the green spaces created have been instrumental in development as horticulturists, for an ideal green space. Lively Root’s plants are home-grown and full-scale fulfillment centers. They only sell eco-friendly products that are packaged and delivered right to your doorstep. Founding members have over a century of horticultural experience as growers, retailers, and landscapers, ranging from small plants, to indoor plants, outdoor plants, large trees, and flowering shrubs. They have planted & maintained trees on residential and commercial properties. Plants improve health by purifying the air, soothing stress, making people feel happier, and offering style and ambiance. For more information, please visit Lively Root’s website.

Indoor plant story illustration by Gabrielle Archuleta for 360 MAGAZINE

How to Pick The Right Emotional Support House Plant

By Dana Feeney

Why should you get plants?

Lockdown has taken its toll on us all, especially on those living in cities restricted to their apartments. Since many people haven’t had access to nature since the Coronavirus pandemic started last March, many have turned to house plants to satisfy that need. Owning house plants has many benefits, including purifying air, improving the vibe of environments by adding life, and giving people something to take care of in their free time.

Plants are a delicate and bright way to help decorate your space and being around plants has a positive effect on people’s mood, productivity, and creativity.Taking care of plants is a therapeutic and rewarding way to put time and energy into your own space, even when you aren’t feeling your best. Studies have shown that talking or singing to your house plants increases their growth rate because of the increased CO2, or maybe because they just like your company.

What kind of plant is right for you?

All plants need light, water, and somewhere to grow. Some plants are less work to take care of than others because they are less picky about their environments. Taking care of some plants is as simple as giving them water when their soil is dry, but some have more specific needs like what type of lighting they prefer or if they grow more after getting cut back. Some plants have different functions, like those that serve as decorations or herbs that you can use to cook or make cocktails.

If you struggle with remembering to water your plants but like to have greenery in your space, snake plants or aloe may be for you. Both aloe and snake plants come in many color variations and function as beautiful decorations. They are happy living in a pot on a windowsill or balcony with bright indirect light or in rooms with lower light. These plants are drought resistant; they only need to be watered every 2-4 weeks, depending on how much light they get. They’ll be just fine until you remember to water them. Although, for the truly forgetful, it may be a good idea to set a two-week recurring event in your phone calendar to remind you to give your plants some love.

If you can keep up with weekly watering and want to grow your collection, then pothos or zz plants may be a good choice for you. Pothos, zz plants, aloe, and snake plants are air purifiers that remove pollutants such as benzene, toluene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and xylene from the air. They are slightly different: zz plants are plants that sprout bright green leaves upwards, while pothos are trailing plants that grow vines that hang down over the sides of their planter. They both need water every 7-14 days, depending on light conditions. These plants tend to grow faster in brighter conditions, but they can live in lower light. The most important thing to remember about pothos and zz plants is that they are toxic to cats, dogs, and people. To avoid accidental consumption, it is best to place them out of reach of pets and children.

Both of these are great plants for propagation. Propagating your plants gives you more plants without having to pay for them. With pothos, you can cut a vine at a node with at least one leaf and put it in water. Glass bottles, like kombucha or wine bottles, are great vessels to use for propagation. Fill the bottle with water and add your cutting with the node in the water. Once there are about two inches of root growth, transfer it to a new pot or back to the original to create a full curtain of pothos. Zz plants tend to do better with propagation by division. You can do this by removing the plant from its pot, dividing the plant in half or more depending on its size, and then repotting the resulting plants. This method allows the new plants plenty of room to grow.

If you can keep up with regular watering and like to cook, an herb garden may be a great fit for you. Basil, mint, sage, and rosemary are all versatile herbs that grow well indoors. Rosemary is the easiest to manage, only needing water every 1-2 weeks. Basil, mint, and sage need more attention because they require water every 2-3 days; their leaves wilt when they need water. You have to harvest these plants semi regularly to prevent them from flowering. It’s easy to keep up with if you are using them occasionally in the kitchen. You can plant rosemary, basil, and sage in one large planter, but it’s best to keep mint in its own pot because it tends to smother other plants.

Where can you go to get plants?

All of the plants mentioned above are common and generally easy to find regardless of where you live. Local plant nurseries are a reliable option when buying plants or supplies like potting soil or planters. Some grocery stores, like Trader Joe’s, tend to sell house plants and herbs. The Sill, Bloomscape, Horti, and Home Depot all have online options for ordering plants to your house. The Sill, Bloomscape, and Horti also have subscription services that will deliver new plants to your home already potted and ready to go.

Wherever you buy your plants from, it’s always good to remove them from the container they come in and repot them. You should repot them to check that your new plant’s roots are healthy and not rotted or root-bound. You can either put them back into the original container or a new container. Planters are also a fun way to decorate your space. For more information on how to take care of your plants, The Sill, Bloomscape, and Horti have portions of their sites dedicated to plant care and advice and, in a pinch, you can always google specific questions.

If you are just getting into owning plants or are just looking to shake up your collection make sure to do your research when buying plants. The easiest way to get plants that will thrive is match their needs with care you can reliably provide for them. Remember sometimes plants die, it’s an unavoidable truth of owning a living thing. If a plant of yours dies, try to understand what may have gone wrong and try to not repeat the mistake in the future. Life is about living and learning so just do your best.

Aloe Plant photographed by Dana Feeney

Zz Plant photographed by Vaughn Lowery

Pothos Plant photographed by Dana Feeney