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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: 4 Houseplant Myths We Should Stop Believing

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So in the world of houseplants, there are oftentimes, uh,

myths or misconceptions or misunderstandings that get passed around on the

internet and memes and social media and videos.

And what I thought I would do is, is go over them. I'm going to pick four today,

we'll do more in other videos,

but these are just some things that we might be thinking are helping our

houseplants. This is my beautiful cebu blue pothos right here,

which took me a while to track down, but really, really loving it.

And so I want to give this guy the best care possible, right?

And so I don't want to do anything that's going to harm it.

And so four myths and misconceptions about houseplant care starting right now.

So we're going to start it off with the one that probably most people do,

I would think. Uh, and that would be misting your plants.

I've got my little mister right here. And you know, these are very popular.

A lot of people like to have a morning routine or an evening routine of going

around and misting their houseplants.

This is a little rabbit's foot fern right here.

And this would be the perfect example of a plant that people would tend to mist,

right? Because it's a fern, it typically wants higher humidity,

a more moist environment. And so if you can't achieve that indoors,

which many of us struggle to do, uh, you'll say, okay,

well if I mist it a couple of times a day,

that's going to increase the humidity and you're actually not wrong.

It does increase the humidity for like five minutes. Uh,

and then the relative humidity or the local humidity around the plant just

returns back to normal. So what ends up happening is the,

the water just evaporates off.

It's going to increase the humidity for a little bit of time,

but then it's going to disperse into the entire room.

And so it doesn't just sort of hover around the plant for really any period of

time long enough to make any actual difference. And you know,

there are some pests that prefer a more damp environment.

There's also the idea of getting any sort of pathogen,

bacterial or fungal disease by increasing the humidity and the moisture for a

little bit of time, especially leaving the leaves wet for a long period of time,

just not the best recipe.

And so if you do want to increase the humidity in your houseplant jungle,

really the only foolproof way is to actually get a humidifier and run it for a

consistent amount of time.

Even things like pebbles on the bottom of the pot don't do a whole lot.

I mean you can measure the actual humidity of misting,

you can measure the humidity of the pebble method and it just doesn't do that

much objectively speaking when you actually measure it.

So that's myth or misconception number one. Myth number two,

and this might be the most shocking one of all.

It's one that I think pretty much everyone on earth believed for a while,

is that how houseplants clean your air.

And so let's unpack this one because it's a little complex,

but basically this came from a study from a guy named Bill Wolverton who was

studying the ability of houseplants to remove VOCs,

which are volatile organic compounds, things like benzene, formaldehyde,

et cetera from the air. And it was a NASA study.

So the study was to see if this could have an impact in space because of course

tight compartments, you can't get more air in space.

So you need to filter out the air that you have.

And so what they did is they took houseplants and they put them in a

hermetically sealed, remember this,

small chamber and then measured the before and after-effects of the ability of a

certain selection of plants to remove VOCs.

What happened is that they did notice a decrease.

And another thing that they did is they just put a pot of soil in there without

a plant and they also noticed a decrease.

Now that's not to say that there isn't some sort of interaction going on that

houseplants can remove some of these from the air. Now,

what I am saying here is that when you scale that out to your and my houseplant


the sheer density of plants you would need to make any tangible impact on that

at all would be so much that instead of having an indoor jungle or a houseplant

jungle, you would need to live in an actual jungle.

That's where you'd need to live to have any real noticeable impact.

Houseplants were just simply out competed by the space that they're in and

everything else that's in that space. And so, you know,

I have probably 50 or 60 plants just in this one room.

They're not really making a dent in the,

in the VOC filtration. So unfortunately that one is not true.

I wish it were.

It makes us feel great again and we feel like we're living in this clean,

beautiful space. And you know, unfortunately it's just not true. But hey,

I'm still going to enjoy these plants. Beautiful, beautiful houseplants.

I still love them. So let's move on to myth number three.

So our next myth is that if you pot a plant up into a bigger pot,

it's just going to grow bigger.

So you should always choose the biggest pot possible and it is simply not true.

So if you guys remember a while ago I did an unboxing of some plants I got from

Josh's Frogs. And this is an oxalis,

this is a purple oxalis really beautiful plant. And it was tiny.

It was in like a tiny little uh, two inch by two inch little pot.

And I slowly moved it up into the pot it's in now,

and it's really started to do well.

But if I had gone straight from that two inch into this, which is,

I don't know, six inches, here's what's going to happen.

What's going to happen is the volume of soil is going to keep the soil moist for

much, much longer.

And the sensitive roots are just going to be sitting in an overly moist amount

of, uh, of soil.

And so the most likely case when you up-pot too far is that you're going to rot

the roots out because the soil's holding onto too much water.

And so that's generally what's going to happen when you go with,

with a really aggressive up-pot, I mean, here's another good example.

I have this cebu blue pothos. This came from, uh,

Josh's Frogs as well. It's been doing really well,

but I've resisted the urge to put this in a really,

really big pot and maybe have it be a nice draping hanging plant like this

pothos you can see over here. A Scindapsus pictus actually, um.

So eventually it's going to happen,

but you can see we have new offshoots coming out right here,

this root system is getting nice and established.

You've got another one coming out right here. And then of course,

this beautiful vine coming out right here.

So I just have to exercise some patience in my up-potting, uh, to,

to wait until the plant can handle it. Because, you know,

if they're not expanding out into the,

the volume of soil that's in this pot right here, what's the point?

There's effectively no benefit to doing it at all.

And so I would say be very conservative about your repotting,

especially when you're going up in size. So our final myth,

myth number four is that as we move into winter,

your houseplants are going to die because they go dormant in that season.

And there's a couple of things that we have to remember about the unique

environment of growing plants indoors. Cause remember,

no plant is actually an indoor plant. All plants evolved outside,

specific to certain regions of the world where they evolve to be adapted and

suited well for, right.

And so what we're doing is we're often growing some tropicals and or

subtropicals, all of which prefer warmer,

more humid environments in general,

which match mostly how we live indoors, right?

Somewhere around 65 to 72 degrees indoors.

Humidity can be kind of dry sometimes, but not terrible.

Certainly not as bad as the winter weather outside,

especially if you're in a colder region. And so what we have to remember is,

especially for growing under lights,

I've got this entire shelf here under lights.

The shelf over here is under lights and there's also light coming through the

windows and I'm giving them a good amount of water and the temperature is much

higher than it would be normally in winter.

They're not going to stop growing then because if you think about where they're

native to,

those places don't experience that type of winter.

So the plant just keeps growing throughout that season in general. Of course,

it's species specific and there's a lot of variables at play.

But this is sort of a general philosophy here. I mean,

you can see I have a spider plant.

This is the one from my 'I Rescued the Spider Plant' video.

It's putting out some really crazy flower spikes and you can see the spiderlings

or the spiderlets, little babies are coming off right now.

All of this happened in the last couple of weeks. Uh,

I've got a watermelon peperomia right here. I have a Discidia right here.

They're all just continuing to grow.

I'm lighting them well and watering them well.

Every now and then I give them a little light fertilizer.

And so there's no surprise that they will grow.

So there are a lot more things that we can talk about in the world of

houseplants that are myths or misunderstandings.

But I wanted to do these four pretty popular ones.

If you have one that you know, drop it down below.

And if you have an experience that contradicts or you have extra information to

add, of course, drop that down below too. But until next time,

good luck in the garden and keep on growing.

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