House plants are good for you!

Bonnie Nowicki

With our Arizona summer heat, many of us are lingering indoors. It’s a perfect opportunity to pay more attention to our foliage house plants, or perhaps decide to purchase one. Decade after decade, house plants continue to be popular. They add an attractive, natural touch to any decor. They also purify the air by removing pollutants while adding more oxygen and humidity.

An aloe vera plant makes a striking addition to any room and is an ideal gift for new homeowners because they remove benzene and formaldehyde from the air. Who knew? Most of us do know the plant’s gel is a first-aid remedy for burns and abrasions. Aloe vera plants prefer light watering, every other week is sufficient, as well as indirect sunlight.

Another excellent foliage house plant is the peace lily (spathiphyllum). Its rain forest roots thrive in warm, humid homes. It’s also an ideal home air purifier, removing pollutants that can trigger allergies. Peace lilies prefer shade and a humid environment. Don’t let the soil dry out.

It’s not often we can beautify our home and help our health with one simple purchase. So fellow plant lovers, take time on these lazy, end of summer days to assess your foliage house plant collection and appreciate their goodness.

Attention avid gardeners!

The dates have been set for the 2020 Master Gardener course held here in Green Valley—every Tuesday between Jan. 21 and March 24, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (there will be an hour for lunch). The cost is a very worthwhile $200. University of Arizona professors and expert Master Gardeners will travel weekly to Green Valley to teach the course. In the past, people interested in becoming Master Gardeners had to travel to Tucson for all classes and required volunteer work. How wonderful to have this resource right here.

For course applications and additional information, call 520-648-0808. Don’t pass up this opportunity to expand your gardening horizons and share your knowledge with our community.

And as a reminder, you can bring plants, or photos of plants, for identification to our Pima County Extension Center at 530 E. Whitehouse Canyon Rd.—a mere ten-minute drive from Quail Creek. You can also purchase bagged compost, soil, cacti plants, and spider house plant starters (chlorophytum comosum vittatum) at this location, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to noon. Yes, the spider plant also reduces air pollution significantly.