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How to ‘green up’ your home, office or dorm with houseplants

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How to ‘green up’ your home,  office or dorm with houseplants

An example of a houseplant.

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POSTED October 27, 2011 11:07 p.m.

Looking for a fresh new look for your home or office or want to add some color and cool for your college digs? Houseplants are always in style.

For an easy transformation for any space, houseplants add high impact and eco flair that rival expensive makeovers. Whether you choose orchids or Bonsai, houseplants fit any lifestyle, mood and taste.

From finding the perfect plant to decorating ideas at your fingertips, check out the new digital magazine GrowingStyle. This free download and app is your go-to resource for the hottest plants, green living tips, expert advice and lots of eco eye candy.

Whether you’re a long time plant collector or novice, these tips from top garden experts show just how easily houseplants will “green up” your life.

The air in there. Did you know that houseplants do double duty? They not only add beauty to indoor spaces but also clean our indoor air and remove nasty toxins from carpets, paint, household cleaners, printers and even furniture.

“Besides what they give back in aesthetics, one of the greatest things houseplants do is provide much needed humidity in the winter months and freshen the air year round,” says Justin Hancock, editor of Better Homes and Gardens online (BHG.com).

Plant hunter and expert, Mike Rimland, says that houseplants help clean indoor toxins commonly found in homes, apartments and offices. “What houseplants you choose and where they’re placed are important considerations to maximize air filtering benefits.”

Rimland suggests houseplants like peace lilies for bathrooms and Sanseveria and Golden Pothos for your entryway and living spaces. “They’re easy to grow and can help remove volatile organic compounds found in cleaners, carpets and furniture like benzene, formaldehyde, acetone and xylene.”

Set the mood. From added drama to a touch of whimsy, houseplants instantly liven up any room or office with natural beauty and add a funky touch of greenery to boxy dorm rooms.

For happy plants, Rimland recommends you assess your rooms for optimal lighting conditions and care requirements, follow the plant care guidelines on the tags and choose plants that fit your lifestyle.

Want to create a quick and easy upscale look or a serene retreat? Nothing beats orchids, arranged in simple or elaborate containers, for high impact drama and Zen-like simplicity.

“As a great ‘everyman’ plant, orchids can’t be beat,” says Hancock. “Mini orchids are easy to grow and perfect for a centerpiece or a thing of beauty and tranquility alone on a windowsill.”

Green-up your space with living walls. If you have limited space or want a visually dramatic, high impact design for a room, living walls are the ticket.

Not only can they improve air quality, but they are quite a conversation piece, adding instant “wow factor” to any room.

Rimland says that living green walls are a great way to maximize the benefits of houseplants to purify and beautify spaces. “Whether you buy one of the new kits available or have a professional install your living wall, your rooms will spring to life with living art you create.”

Go green and groovy. Looking for fun and easy houseplants that are practically a no-brainer? Water-retaining, light-loving, easy-care succulents and cacti are virtually indestructible and come in many colors, shapes and varieties. So mix them up in containers for a visual feast that draws the eye and soothes the soul.

“Succulents are great-looking, low maintenance plants that make it easy for everyone to bring the outdoors inside,” adds Hancock.

For more ways to spruce up your home with the hottest houseplants and tips on decorating with a splash of sophisticated and refreshing greenery, visit www.growingstylemag.com.

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