Choosing A Tree For A Healthy Home
2.6 million people, mostly women and children, died prematurely over the period of a year as a result of indoor air pollution associated illnesses. However, many indoor trees naturally purify your home by removing benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene from the air. Why is this important? Most newly constructed buildings have higher levels of formaldehyde in the air from the pressed wood used in the construction, carpeting and laminate flooring.
Bringing a tree into your home can remove many of those hazards, introduce more oxygen, as well as reduce psychological and physiological stress due to interactions with other indoor plants. It’s hard to justify not having a tree in your home considering both the aesthetic and health benefits it offers.
A fiddle fig leaf tree underneath a Soltech Aspect grow light
Despite the obvious need for a tree in your home, there is a lot to consider when determining which tree is right for you.
What should I consider when getting a tree for my home?
We all know trees are essential for human life on earth. A fully grown tree can provide a day’s worth of oxygen for up to 4 people! The more of these studies that come out showcasing how important trees are to the human race, the more efforts go into protecting and replanting trees. But we should also focus on our indoor climate concerns as much as helping our forests bounce back. Why not bring trees into our homes as well?
When choosing a tree to bring into our home there are a lot of things to take into consideration. Do you have pets? Plants such as the Golden Pothos are toxic to dogs and cats. (Maybe put that link here instead of in the question) How much time are you able to dedicate to taking care of a tree? Depending on the type of tree you get, you can spend hours taking care of it a day to only needing to water it a couple times a week. Bonsai trees are notoriously difficult to care for and will die quickly if not taken care of properly.
Another tree that requires diligent gardening is the money tree. With their braided trunk, they’re eye-catching and considered good luck by many cultures. Renowned for their ability to purify the air, they can bring a room together both from a visual aspect as well as an air purity aspect. However, as is the case with the golden pothos, they are toxic to cats, dogs, and small children if its leaves are ingested, so make sure to be careful when growing this tree in your home.
A citrus tree underneath a Soltech Aspect Grow light
For those of you looking for more of a tangible reward than luck, consider bringing a Meyer lemon tree into your home. They yield fruit from a young age and do well nearest your sunniest window and doors. South or southwest window exposure is best. They prefer humidity so misting them every day is just as important as watering them. Make sure to do your research when looking for a tree to bring into your home. If you take good care of it, it will take good care of you.
What if I don’t have the time to take care of my tree?
If you are just getting into growing or you just don’t have the time to invest as others do, you might want to go for low maintenance trees. The Yucca tree, Madagascar dragon tree, Fiddle leaf fig and the Areca Palm are four trees that don’t require an excessive amount of maintenance. All four are excellent for reducing indoor air pollutants and emit larger amounts of oxygen than most other trees. Madagascar dragon trees don’t prefer direct sunlight whereas the Areca Palm does well in filtered light and needs to be watered often. Yuccas, on the other hand, should also be in indirect, yet more brightly lit areas of your home. Check out our Fiddle leaf fig care guide to learn more about this plant many call a “royal plant”.
How can I make sure my tree gets enough light?
Lighting is probably the most important part of gardening and most people don’t even realize it. Of course, plants need to be watered and need good soil, but they grow through photosynthesis. Through that chemical process, they produce more plant mass to grow big and tall. If you live in a region of the world that does not have the right amount of light for your trees or plants, you should try investing in grow lights. The Vita grow light is a good place to start. This versatile light can fit nearly any fixture, so you can use it in light fixtures you already own!
One other thing to consider is DLI. DLI stands for Daily Light Integral and it is a important aspect to consider when taking care of your tree. To summarize why DLI is important, the more photosynthetically active light a plant receives, the more efficiently it will grow. Check out our blog on DLI to learn more about this relatively new method of plant care. Remember that trees also rely on darkness as part of their natural cycle, so don’t overdo it with the amount of light you give it. Whatever their needs are, bringing trees into our home is a sustainable way to improve the climate and improve our overall well-being. Take care of them and they’ll take care of us.