BY KALAY CHETTY
One cant but help feel helplessness and uncertainty which started with reading and watching daily reports on Corvid -19. I kept wondering if South Africa my home country would be struck by this pandemic and by March 2020 there was no doubt that we too would have to self-isolate, social distance and take all the precautions needed. As I sat listening to the announcement by our President that South Africa would be on lockdown for 21 days, I began to prepare for the worst. The next morning after returning from shopping while washing my hands I looked down at the heart shaped plant on my kitchen counter, a gift received on Valentines Day in 2019 from my daughter, it had sprouted luscious new leaves. I felt my worry transform into gratitude. I had been watering the Valentines day plant daily and each time it gave me this wonderful feeling of abundance and gratitude. It’s great having something that you can see growth from. Though we are at war with COVID-19, each of us will face an individual mental health challenge in self-isolation. Houseplants are one of the most affordable and effective ways to improve indoor wellbeing.
NASA has revealed that houseplants can remove up to 87 per cent of air toxin in 24 hours. The Research has also suggested that plants play a psychological role in welfare, and that people actually recover from illness faster in the presence of plants.
If you are new to gardening, here is a selection of plants that can provide you with lots of greenery, pet friendly and easy to look after.
Monstera deliciosa (Swiss cheese plant): It is fairly inexpensive to buy a 12 inch Monstera and it grows quickly, so you could get some easy height and beautiful leaves in under 3 months.
Orchids: Many orchids are rewarding indoor plants. Orchids are far tougher and hardier than most people think, and are, by and large, extremely adaptable.
Chlorophytum comosum (spider plant).These are great low maintenance plants, which need watering from the bottom perhaps once a week and a misting every now and then. It produces oxygen whilst purifying the air in your home and office by absorbing carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and xylene. Additionally, Spider Plants are non-toxic and are in fact edible, making them safe for pets and young children.
Bird’s Nest Fern. These thrive in medium indirect light and a humid environment, great in a bathroom with a shower, as long as there are windows that receive natural light. This signature-looking plant, have been shown to filter formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene.