I am now a plant person, not by desire but because of my downstairs neighbors and Twitter. My neighbors because they smoke, smoke rises, and flipping the building upside down is not a feasible solution (and would make it really hard to shower). Twitter because @idontlooksick told me plants remove toxins from the air. The funny thing is I Googled “air purifiers” when these people moved in and didn’t get any results regarding plants. Mother Nature really needs to work on her search engine optimization.
Anyone who says that I should have first done radical things like complain to the condo association, seal any cracks in my walls or baseboards, or, God forbid, talk directly to my neighbors about the problem, please know that I have considered those things and done some of them. Also know that I will never, ever solve a problem when I can work around it. It’s a Fulda thing. We avoid conflict at all costs. My Dad once told us he was going on a business trip out of state and then never came back because he didn’t want to sit down and tell my Mom he wanted a divorce. See what I’m working against here? Fulda’s don’t fight. We evade! We seethe silently! We buy lots of plants!
This article on How to Purify the Air Using Plants gave me a list of the best ones to pick. I cross-referenced this with the ASPCA list of Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants to be sure air purification did not lead to cat vomit. Then I headed to Lowe’s and spent a lot of time bending over reading tags stuck in potting soil. A piece of advice: if you’re going to buy big, tall plants, put them in your cart at the end of your shopping trip. Otherwise it makes it really hard to see where you’re going. I felt like I was driving the rain forest around the store, minus the monkeys. I didn’t run anyone down, but if I had they would have identified their assailant as a rogue Majesty Palm, not a 30-something white girl.
I now have two majesty palms, a fern, and a spider plant. I will try to keep them alive, but I make no guarantees. I’m going by what the little white tags say, but I don’t have any idea if the “High Light” plant is getting enough rays or if the plant labeled “Tolerant” will be harder to kill then the “Delicate” one. I don’t know if I want to take advice from the same tag that encourages me to “Collect all 400 of our plant varieties from around the globe.” Seriously? Where am I going to put 400 plants? Do you know what that’d do to my water bill? I bet my air would be really pure though.
That reminds me that I do feel a bit guilty for buying these plants. I am essentially using them as a biomass shield, hoping they’ll suck up the nasty carcinogens instead of me. All I can say is better them than me.
I probably shouldn’t anthropomorphize the plants by painting eyes and mouths on the pots, should I?
(OMG, I spelled “anthropomorphize” correctly before spell check! This is my biggest achievement of the year.)
The death pool is now open if you want to take wagers on when I kill each of these or when Java Bean knocks a pot off the window sill. He’s gone 195 days without breaking a glass. I know his paws must be itching.