Bringing the Outdoors In . . . and Naturally Keeping the Pests & Fungus Out

August 17, 2011

Living in a climate like Houston can make for a pretty stuffy, indoors-type of life for much of the year.  It seems like it’s often either too hot or too cold or too humid to do anything outdoors or even just to open the windows.  Lately I’ve been learning about indoor plants and I’m hooked!

Bring the Outdoors In

One of the easiest ways to brighten up (not to mention bring fresh and clean oxygen into) your home is to bring in flowers and plants!

The Science of It

Plants absorb carbon dioxide and other chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde.  They also regulate the humidity in your home.

The EPA estimates that indoor air is 2 to 10 times more polluted than outdoor air. Things like adhesives, carpeting, furniture, mattresses, ply-wood, and shower curtains add to the crazy levels of pollution inside.  This is not to mention any harsh chemicals you might use to clean your home or body.  (Click here to learn about natural cleaning alternatives and here to learn about natural body alternatives!)

Two small plants or one medium size plant per 100 square feet will provide fresh air and healthy, mold-free humidity in any room so everyone can breathe deeply with ease. (Easy Green Living by Renee Lou)

Other Benefits

The obvious benefit is that bringing plants indoors makes for a cheery, bright home.  I love the look of beautiful, live plants!  It just really makes a room look alive!

Additionally, having a host of different beautiful plants makes for a great discussion with your kiddos about God’s fabulous creation.

It also makes for a built-in, easy way for children to help take care of something while learning about growth and responsibility!

So Which Plants are Best?

Bamboo Palm, Chinese Evergreen, Chrysanthemum, Corn Plant (Dracaena massangeana, not edible corn), Dragon Tree, English Ivy, Peace Lily, Philodendron, Pothos, and Snake Plant.

I can’t wait to continue decorating our home with beautiful and healthy plants!

Naturally Keeping the Pests Out

The biggest complaint when it comes to live plants indoors seems to be the bugs that come in with them.  Here is a recipe to a homemade natural pesticide that I found, have used, and love:

Natural Homemade Pesticide

  • ½ cup coarsely chopped hot peppers
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped garlic cloves
  • 2 cups water
  1. Combine ingredients in a clear glass jar.  I think I just covered a glass mixing bowl with saran wrap, which worked fine for me.
  2. Leave in the sun for 24 hours to let “tea” steep.  Obviously the sun is not out for 24 hours.  Just leave it outside for 24 hours!
  3. Strain “tea,” pour into spray bottle, and spray on plants. Store extra in a gallon jug.

Naturally Keeping the Fungus Out

Sometimes, particularly in our humid climate, plants can get fungus (mildew) growing on their leaves.  Here is the natural fungicide recipe we use:

Natural Homemade Fungicide

  • 2 Tbsp baking soda
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  1. Mix thoroughly and place in a spay bottle.
  2. Spray on plants. Store extra in a gallon jug.

So there you have it: a charge to bring plants in your home and a way to keep those pesky pests and no-fun fungi out!  In fact, both of these recipes work great for outdoor plants and flowers, as well.  Happy in-home gardening!


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