By Vina Medenilla

Nowadays, the majority of us spend most of our lives indoors. And with the ongoing health crisis, it is important to make sure that the air that we breathe at home is also safe.

A plant mom

One such person who keeps her home’s air quality clean and healthy is Solenn Heussaff, an actress, model, author, and painter. After giving birth early this year, Heussaff shows her nurturing side, not only to her newborn daughter Thylane, but also to her indoor plants at home. 

She said that to keep the best air quality, one must have good ventilation, use air purifiers and natural furniture, open up the windows from time to time, and tend plants. In her case, she grows plants to remove air toxins. “This is why I have a lot of plants at home because one, it looks beautiful, two, I do not have a garden, and three, it does help with the air and the atmosphere in our house,” Heussaff explained in a video. 

She recently uploaded a plant tour on her YouTube account, where she mainly posts about her travels, workout routine, and cooking series. The caption goes, “Since we’re spending so much time inside, I try to make sure the air we’re breathing in at home is healthy. And that’s why I have so many plants!”

Some of the houseplants that she tend are areca palm (Dypsis lutescens), foxtail palm tree (Wodyetia bifurcata), fortune plant (Dracaena sanderiana), peace lily (Spathiphyllum), rubber plant (Ficus elastica), snake plant (Dracaena trifasciata), philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum), fiddle leaf (Ficus lyrata), spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum), swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa), chinese evergreen (Aglaonema), ponytail palm tree (Beaucarnea recurvata), pothos vine (Epipremnum aureum), and dracaena anita (Dracaena reflexa).

 

There’s a foxtail palm tree in Solenn’s favorite part of the house that she’s been tending for almost two and a half years.

 

Since they have a cat and a dog, Heussaff had to research the plants first for their pets’ safety. She says, “I had to kind of research on what plants can be toxic to my animals. But usually, most of the time, plants are safe unless your animals eat them.” 

 

In a blog post, Heussaff admitted: “I’m definitely not an expert, which is why I like going for plants that are kind of easy to take care of and maintain.” Despite this, she shares some tips that she learned so far from her gardening experience. 

 

Plant maintenance

In maintaining plants, Heussaff says to ensure that the plants get enough natural light. In most cases, without windows that give enough sunlight, big plants like palm trees won’t survive. 

 

Once a week, Solenn takes out most of her indoor plants in their balcony to expose them to full sun.

 

Every week, Heussaff makes sure to bring some of her houseplants outside to get some full sun. For those whose houses have no windows, the safest option, as per Heussaff, is a fortune plant because it doesn’t need any sunlight and only requires watering once a month. Plants like areca are likewise easy to grow and are great to be placed in the living room or in any spots near the window. 

She also grows several areca palms, which she mostly arranged in the living room, as they only require a minimal amount of lighting.

Heussaff stresses that most of the indoor plants can grow well as long as they are placed by the windows that are not overexposed to direct sun. She says, “Make sure you know where the sun rises and the sun sets.” In her plant tour, she showed a fiddle leaf that got burnt by the sun. When this occurs, you just need to cut the damaged leaves, close the curtains, and apply necessary vitamins for the plants to recover. 

 

When it comes to watering, one sign that the plant needs water is when the leaves look sad or are drooping. And if the leaves fall, it means it’s overwatered. Heussaff says, “If you put water in your plants and then you see that there’s water that stays here [on the saucer], make sure you remove the water, so that it doesn’t make the soil too moist.” In most of her plants, she waters them once a week with about 500ml of water each, except for her foxtail palm tree that requires three liters of water. As per Heussaff, it is also good to arrange and level your plants according to their height by using tools, tables, or recycled boxes.

 

Rubber plants and mother-in-law’s tongues, also called snake plants, are other low-maintenance plants that work well indoors. Heussaff mostly puts the latter in the bathroom and other shaded areas at home. Both rubber and snake plants only require watering once a week. 

See the full video here:

 

Being at home doesn’t mean we’re completely safe as toxic indoor air is also hazardous to our health, hence, the need to maintain a good household air quality for everyone’s sake. 

Photos screen captured from Solenn Heussaff’s vlog.