For The Love Of Plants: Why You Need Houseplants + Which Ones To Start With If You’re A Newbie

by | Feb 28, 2018 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Photo Credit: Electric Ghost


Sure, plants look gorgeous in your home and bring the outside in which we know positively affects our mood. But having plants in your home is good for your overall well being in more ways than that. 

We asked our friend Shannon Tipton of Electric Ghost in Little Rock to tell us more about the power of plants in the home…

Take just one peek @electricghostprinting‘s Insta feed, and it’s easy to tell you love plants. Why do you believe it’s so beneficial for our well being to have plants in the home?

I do love plants, too much sometimes! NASA has actually been studying how to improve the quality of air in places with inadequate ventilation, and the solution is to fill your house with plants. They say that “nature’s life support system” can remove the toxic compounds from the air like formaldehyde, ammonia, benzene and trichloroethylene. These compounds often come from plastics, carpets and other synthetic materials. 

So we basically all have toxins in our homes! Which are your favorites for helping to purify the air in your home?

Some of the plants that NASA has found to be the most purifying are the Peace Lily, Snake Plant, Aloe Vera and Dracaena. Plants are also found to reduce stress, increase focus and productivity and help with memory. Some of my favorites that are also known for these properties are the Golden Pothos, Rubber Tree Plant and Chinese Evergreen. 

Let’s talk more about how to find the right plant/s. Do you find that most people come in looking for a certain type of plant, or is it more of a “let’s find your perfect plant match” type of situation? How do you help match the perfect plant with a new owner?

It’s usually them looking for succulents of hanging baskets but in the end a cactus might win their heart, and who am I to stand in the way of true love? If someone is looking for a plant for their home but isn’t sure what to get, I always ask what kind of light they get in the room. For the majority of cacti and succulents, they need bright light and really like being placed on a windowsill. When the answer is low light, I try to steer them to a pothos or snake plant.

What about for those who find it challenging to keep their house plants alive and well, are there certain plants you recommend for someone who isn’t a natural green thumb?

This is one of the many reasons I love having our store. I’ve grown up around plants my whole life, so caring for them is second nature to me. But that isn’t the case for a lot of people. I have many people come in and say, “I really like this plant but I know I would kill it.” This is one of those situations where baby steps are key. Don’t jump in with a 15 feet tall fiddle leaf fig tree as your experiment. When someone comes in with a self-proclaimed black thumb, I recommend that they start with these three plants:

Botanical name: Epipremnum aureum. Common name: Pothos, Devil’s Ivy, Variegated Philodendron. Pothos is a terrific plant for beginners. They like bright light but are very tolerant of low light as well and they basically tell you when they need water because the leaves will start to droop a little. Probably my most said phrase every day is, “Root rot is the easiest way to kill plants.” For these you want the soil to dry out between waterings and the best way to measure this is by sticking a finger about an inch deep into the soil and checking to see if it feels dry. Once it’s watered, the leaves will get their glossy shine back and stand up again. 

Botanical name: Sansevieria trifasciata. Common name: Snake Plant, Mother-In-Law’s Tongue. Snake plant is another great plant for beginners. They like bright light but are also tolerant of low light. I tell people to just think of these as a desert plant and do not overwater it. I like to let the top two inches of soil dry out before waterings and if you aren’t sure that it’s time to water, don’t. They’re very easy to care for because they require so little care. You should also reduce waterings to once a month in the winter. 

Botanical name: Portulacaria afra. Common name: Elephant Bush. This succulent is a favorite treat for African elephants! They can grow to be 15 feet tall in the wild but will likely stay miniature in your home. They like indirect to bright light and a quick-draining soil. Water when the top three inches of soil are dry. I like this plant so much because when it’s thirsty, the leaves resemble wrinkled skin and when you water it, they plump back up and get shiny again. No anti-aging cream required! Some plants have all the luck. 

Any other benefits of having house plants that you’d like to mention?

Plants are a way to add a unique element of design into a home. I feel that they inspire creativity and an overall feeling of comfort and health. They have a way of accentuating the design of any space. 

Your store is unique and is one of our favorite places in Little Rock to pop into, just to check out what’s going on and what’s new. Tell us a little more about what else you do at Electric Ghost.

Electric Ghost is essentially two shops under one roof. It’s owned by myself and my husband Brooks, and we’re located in the SoMa district. Our shop is divided into two different sections: we’re a full scale custom screen printing shop that prints shirts and products for restaurants and businesses and in the front of the shop is our retail store stocked with home goods and decor, cacti, succulents and other indoor plants. It’s “different” we know, but somehow the two seem to compliment each other. 


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