Green Cheer in Urban Spaces: Plants with Benefits, to Grow at Home.
Dedicated green spots like parks or even a bunch of trees in urban spaces are a relief, aren’t they? With the arrival of summer we notice people on the street huddled under that lone tree by the lane, providing shade and respite to those who ‘wish the sarkaar didn’t cut down trees’.
We don’t need to wait for the government to plant trees on our sidewalk. Similarly, we don’t need to maintain a house in the city with a garden for green cheer. Here is a list of plants which can be used beyond just ornamenting your space and, more importantly, for green cheering your day!
Read more about how Calendula can be used to make balms, here (https://goo.gl/drlwRP).
Calendula is a great medicinal plant, which flowers during spring. Easily grown in pots, its bright orange flowers do more than just lighting up your day- they can also be used as remedy for dry skin and rashes!
We’re all familiar with this wonder plant, which has been making its way to our summer time lotions and potions. Aloe Vera can be planted just about anywhere simply by placing a part of the plant in soil till it acquires roots. Just be careful to not water it too much! Aloe Vera gel can be used as an anti-inflammatory to heal wounds and sunburns, to moisturize skin, and reduce acne and infection. Its green presence in your room makes you feel fresh and cool in the summer. Yup, it is a wonder plant!
Wandering Jew houseplant
This house plant is a creeper and requires very little attention - depending on how you wish to maintain it. It spreads like a runner, especially in bright light. Less light won’t kill the plant but it will fade the leaf markings. In winter care should be taken to prevent the plant from becoming too dry. Either way, its a low maintenance plant which takes care of itself and grows even under minimal attention.
Apart from its culinary uses, lemongrass has amazing health benefits. From helping to cure cold and flu to cleansing and detoxifying the system, lemongrass is easy to grow in a pot. This bushy looking grass grows back once cut to use. It can be added to tea as dry or fresh grass. The lemony linger is an added benefit; a sure fit in your apartment room.
Citronella plant (different from citronella grass), is a strong lemony smelling plant. The plant is also found as a grass which is used commonly to extract oil. Unlike the citronella grass, this geranium doesn’t repel mosquitos…but it does smell nice whenever it catches the breeze!
There you have it. Plants, are extremely intelligent manifestations of nature. As humans our relationship with plants is very closely linked to our evolutionary lineage- a fact often forgotten while living amidst concrete. Plant behavior isn’t one that’s meant solely to benefit humankind, quite the opposite it guides humanity as just ONE part of its larger purpose of existence on this ‘green’ planet.