Houseplants for the Southwest

Celebrate Houseplant Appreciation Day – January 10

Houseplants are once again “in” which is super! But here in the Southwest, where humidity is low, if you want to be successful with houseplants, you need to select your houseplants with some consideration


Most houseplants are from the low light and high humidity of rain forests need 45 to 99 percent humidity. But Southwest homes average 20 percent humidity, or even less when furnaces pump hot dry air into our homes, or worse, AC units blow cold dry air into our spaces. But use some consideration in your selection.

spider plant

Select plants that have the genes that help them thrive without fuss, like these:
* The narrow leaves on spider plants have use little water.
* Tropical plants from seasonally dry areas, like the peace lily, do fine.
* Dracena have narrow leaves and come from a seasonally dry region.
* Succulents like sanseverias and jade plants tolerate low humidity.
* Plants that normally hang off cliffs or dangling from the tops of trees (epiphytes) are used to toughing it out – pothos and Christmas cactus are examples.


Houseplants are Health Giving

If you are still in doubt – consider houseplants because they can make your home and office a healthier place to be.

Houseplants clean indoor pollutants out of the air according to NASA researchers. In the top ten cleaners are a number that do well in the Southwest – including peace lily, pothos, sanseveria species, dracena species, and spider plant. The NASA researchers recommend one potted plant per 100 square feet of indoor space.

peace lily

There are other health benefits to houseplants, enough for a number of other posts! Meanwhile, even these more arid adapted houseplants will transpire moisture into the air, which can help reduce the dry skin, colds, sore throats and dry coughs. Research shows that higher humidity can reduce survival and transmission of the flu virus.

If you are interested in learning more about houseplants for our region – consider this course that you can download and watch over and over. But hurry, it is only available for a short time.

© Article is copyright by Jacqueline A. Soule. All rights reserved. Republishing an entire blog post or article is prohibited without permission. I receive many requests to reprint my work. My policy is that you may use a short excerpt but you must give proper credit to the author, and must include a link back to the original post on our site. Photos may not be used.

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