Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The added benefits of Valentine's Day flowers

Flowers that clean the air and warm the heart!


Giving flowers on Valentine's day is a long held tradition as a token of love, friendship and thankfulness and Roses are the most common flower given on this holiday.  But there are 2 other flowering plants that deserve more attention as a true sign that you really care - about the air you breathe.... 

The Florist’s mum (Chrysanthemum x morifolium) is readily available all year round and did you know it is also proven to help clean the air in your home or office? Potted florist's mums are one of the best flowering or seasonal plants for removing formaldehyde, benzene, and ammonia from the atmosphere - three chemicals found in every home to some degree.  Mums also help to increase humidity levels in a room especially this time of the year when most homes fall well below the recommended humidity levels of 35-60% because they have a high transpiration rate (the rate at which water evaporates from a plant's leaves).

Mums are also very long lasting - potted mums can bloom continuously for about 6-8 weeks (way longer than your average cut roses that only last for 4-5 days in cool conditions).  Mums are very easy to care for too: just keep them in a cool location in a bright room and keep the soil slightly moist.  They prefer being near bright windows, but keep them out of direct afternoon sun and heaters as the heat will age the blooms quickly.  They will thrive in room temperatures of 60-65 during the day, 45-50 at night but they will do ok in a room slightly warmer.  If it gets too hot, the flowers will wilt and the plant becomes susceptible to mold.  To keep your blooms coming, cut the spent blooms and new buds will appear.
 
Mums come in a great variety of colors, shapes and styles.  They come in all shades of red, pink and purple as well as yellows, oranges and white.  There are single petal varieties (looking more like daisies) to multi-petal resembling little pom-poms to lacy, fluffy types.

Did you know according to Fung Shui principles, chrysanthemum’s bring laughter and happiness to your home?  Another added bonus to bringing home mums!

Another great potted flowering plant that is extremely effective at removing harmful chemical vapors is the Gerbera Daisy, commonly known as the African Daisy.  The gerbera daisy is on NASA's list of indoor-filtering plants, which can help improve the quality of the air in your home - the are rated as the top flowering plant to remove formaldehyde, benzene, and ammonia from the atmosphere, and they help to increase humidity levels.  These cheerful flowers come in a variety of colors from deep reds to pale pinks, from brilliant orange to soft yellow and white.


Gerbera Daisies are easy to care for - just keep them moist but not soggy and locate them in bright sunlight but away from heat. Cut the spent blooms and new buds will appear soon - a potted Gerbera Daisy can last all winter long!  Put them outdoors in the spring and they just might last even longer!  They prefer indoor temperatures between 60-70 during the day, 45-55 at night.  The biggest culprit of their untimely death is root rot so do not overwater!  Give them a light watering about 1-2 times a week. 


You can also purchase large Gerbera Daisies as cut flowers - they look best simply by themselves (maybe with the addition of some simple greens) and you can go with a single color or mix it up for added cheerfulness.  Remember that cut flowers don't last as long as potted plants, but sometimes a colorful bouquet in a tall slender vase is just the perfect thing for the office or dining room table.  Just a few Gerbera Daisies can go a long way too, since they are larger flowers so if you are in pinch, you can really get more bang for the buck with these beautiful flowers!

Gerbera daisies can mean innocence, purity, and cheerfulness.


So next time you are at the florist, think about purchasing a plant that is not only colorful but really shows that you care with flowers that last long AND purify the air.  Stay tuned... I am doing a very extensive post about plants and clean air soon!

Happy Valentine's Day!

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