Tuesday, September 29, 2015

How to get houseplants cheap and improve your indoor air!


We all know, or should know, that plants clean our air! With the products and pollutants that are brought indoors, we should all think about the quality of our indoor air... and not just at home: According to a 1995 federal government report, an estimated 50 percent of the nation's schools have problems linked to poor indoor air quality. If air quality in schools is bad then it is probably also bad in other indoor places, like at our jobs and in our houses

I'm 30 weeks pregnant now, so having a healthy environment for her is on the top of my mind; I want to do everything I can to keep my baby happy and healthy! Until a few weeks ago I thought I was doing good, then I read this which caused me to rethink just how healthy our home is. There are a few changes I'm making in our home now, but the one I'm here to discuss is PLANTS!

There are many articles out there that discuss the best plants to clean the air. I read a few prior to starting my quest to procure plants on the cheap, but ultimately plants are better than no plants whether they make a list or not!

Plants can be VERY expensive, especially if your buying quiet a few. It is recommended that you have 1 plant per 100 sq ft of space for air purification. For my house that means 15 house plants! Assuming an average cost of around $15/plant I could easily spend $225, and that doesn't even include any pots if any need repotted, nor soil, or food. As you all know I'm cheap so $15 a plant was out, what was in was clearance plants!

 I found most of my indoor clearance plants at Lowe's! I have to admit I usually prefer Home Depot, but when it comes to clearance the best place to go is the place with the best employees! The images you see aren't from my Lowe's, although I wish they were since those reduced plants seem to be in GREAT shape... usually here at least, if a plant is marked down then it is in rough shape, either sickly or cosmetically!
At Lowe's I got:
Bromelaids     $5
Orchid             $3
Palm Tree       $3
Palm Tree       $1
Succulents 4   $2.02/ea  (were supposed to be $1, but I was charged wrong and missed it!)
          -In addition to the houseplants I got a few perennials that had been marked down for outside.

At Kroger I got:
Orchid        $2
Dracaenea  $3

In total I spent around $25 on ten houseplants, impressive since the Bromelaids themselves retail for $18; Four of the houseplants even came with nice pots! We did have to buy pots for the palm trees, we were able to get them on clearance for $11/each, and I needed something to pot the succulents in. For the succulents I chose a decorative dish from the store for just under $3!

My total to add 10 plants to my house: $50!

I'm still planning on getting more plants, an aloe vera for sure! I think my Dracaenea actually is three plants in one pot, which means I might have gotten 12 plants for $25, so I plan to find out and if so repot the extra plants!

Now well I am the clearance queen I want to spend a minute to discuss other ways to save money on houseplants (and what you need for them).
1. Clearance (but we already discussed this one)
2. Propagating your own, if a friend or a neighbor has a plant you like you might be able to get a clipping free and grow your own plant from it... I'm not a green thumb so I haven't done this
3. Getting Free Plants/Pots- sometimes people or businesses throw out plants that are a little worse for the wear, these can sometimes be revived with care (or neglect if they have been overwatered).
4. Garage Sales- I got the pots shown on the right cheap at a yard sale
5. Using alternative items as pots- many inside pots don't have drainage holes anyway so there is no reason you can't use another item as a pot. The pot I wanted for my succulents was $30, the dish I bought was $3!
6. Make your own Pots- pots can be made from clay, wood, concrete, etc. Although many people don't go the DIY option it is a cost saving and creative alternative to shelling out for one at the store.
7. Growing your houseplants from seed/bulb

Update 10/08/2015
Since posting this I have got more garden supplies on clearance at Dollar General. Nothing pictured was over $3, the smallest planters were .30! The boot planter was only .80!!