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House Plants for Winter & Garden CSI

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Today we're looking at plants that will clear out impurities in your home through the Winter and keep the air around you fresh. Eugene will also be investigating a new case in Garden CSI.

The evenings are closing and we will be looking at gardening indoors to avoid the elements!

Eugene Higgins, He's Plantastic!

"I was born into Horticulture in a plant nursery/garden centre in north Co Dublin started in 1940 by my grandfather, so my excuse is, "that its in my blood". On leaving school I worked in various Dublin radio stations and spent my spare time working in the family run garden centre, this soon reversed after spending an intervening number of years in Australia.

Over the last 12 years I have been combining Horticulture and media work.

In 1999 I returned to retailing opening Colour Green Garden Centre in Malahide Dublin, which won "Best Specialist Garden Centre 2002-Ireland". In 2004 we subsequently moved the business to Tullamore, Co Offaly, where we have a lot more space around us and have concentrated on developing our Colour Green Landscaping Services. Our highlight to date was, being commissioned last year by the Afternoon Show to restore a nursing home's spectacular Japanese garden that had run into serious disrepair (Carrigoran Nursing Home, Co Clare)"

Eugene will take us through his six top plants to keep your home feeling fresh through the Winter.

A NASA scientist named Bill Wolverton found that there may be as many as 800 volatile organic chemicals swirling inside buildings. They seep from walls and ceilings; they're in our clothing, furniture, and carpets. And he found that one simple and cheap way to offset many of these toxic gases: common house plants! So today Eugene will be showing us six houseplants which will cleanse the air around you through the Winter.


Eugenes Six Chosen Plants

. Dracena BiColour, €12.99
Great plant. Very easy to look after. This plant has a great ability to purify the air. House plant that is quite tough and is a great choice to start off with. Its overall NASA rating for removal of chemical vapours is 6/10.

. Varigated Ficus €4.99
Ficus is very prone to leaf droping after you first bring it into a house so as a result people panic, this isn't abnormal for these plants if this happens and people think they may have to over water it. The leaf drops until the plant adjusts to its new location. Its overall NASA rating for removal of chemical vapours is 7/10.

. Ferns, €4.99
Great for areas such as bathrooms but you need light for them to grow and do well in the home. However it isn't great in direct sunlight. You can't let a fern dry out at all. Its overall NASA rating for removal of chemical vapours 9/10.

. Kalanchoe, €4.99
Exceptionally beautiful plant when in bloom. It can manage to go outdoors in a warm summer. It can be a little difficult to grow. After it flowers cut all flower stems and do not water until new growth begins. Its overall NASA rating for removal of chemical vapours is 2/10.

. African Violet €4.99
Notoriously difficult plant to grow so only for the experienced gardener. They originated in eastern tropical Africa so are well adjusted to warm temperatures however it is important to spray the leaves intermittently. This plant has no overall NASA rating for removal of chemical vapours but it has a got a high eugene rating!

. Yucca €5.99
Ideal plant for a sunny location in a house. Usually green plants don't like to be in such a sunny area but yuccas are ok and also manage quite well in dry conditions. This plant has no overall NASA rating for removal of chemical vapours but it has a got a high eugene rating!

Top Tip for keeping houseplants
Spray water onto the leaves during winter. Dry air can kill plants. Many people think that just by watering the soil the plant will remain moist, this isn't so, make sure you're spraying the leaves too!

Source: Eco Friendly Houseplants by DC Wolverton

For More Information
Houseplants on show from
Uniplumo (Irl) Ltd
Rathbeale Rd, Swords, Co. Dublin
01 8401888