Monday, February 17, 2014

Three Cheers for Houseplants - Far and Wide!

A Houseplant is Dying.  Tell it why it needs to live. Really?  You know - I have no houseplants right?  Well - the kids brought GRASS home from junior camp this summer.  It lasted several months.  Dead now, but really... ok - here goes.

This is an interesting topic.  My kids just read about photosynthesis recently  in botany.  As soon as the sun rises in the morning, the guard cells swell and the stomata open.  This allows a chemical in the air, called carbon dioxide, into the leaf.  The leaf uses the carbon dioxide to make food for the plant.  When the sun sets - it no longers does this.

Plants release oxygen into the air for us to breath.  The stomata allow oxygen to leave leaves so that we can breath it.  Plants clean the air by taking in carbon dioxide and replace it with oxygen.  Plants take water from the roots and combines it with light from the sun and the carbon dioxide from the air to make sugar for the plant and oxygen for all the rest of God's creation that needs oxygen.  The leaf actually takes the carbon dioxide and combines it with the water... it makes sugar and oxygen.  We can use some of that sugar from some plants to eat - like Maple Syrup.  The real stuff - not the sugar water from the grocery store.  Sap.  The leaf uses the sugar for food, sends the rest of it down to the rest of the plant, and releases the oxygen into the air for you and me to breath. 

God is good yes?  So Houseplant - won't you fulfill your God created duty and clean my air for my family (did I tell you it also is a purifier as well - I may have forgotten)  All KINDS of jobs it does, just by living. 

In addition to it's "duties" and "jobs" a plant is beautiful.  I'm certain if we gave the plant 7 positives for each job it had to perform it would revive it's will to live.  Plus I would have to feed and water it... that would probably help.  Guess what?  I don't actually have any house plants - why?  Because I'm selfish and I forgot to feed and water it.  I'll just open the windows every once in a while and use the oxygen that is outside. 

So -this causes me to ponder...  in winter - when there are no leaves on trees and the sap is not flowing freely - how do we get oxygen?  Do trees and plants make so much in spring and summer that it doesn't run out in the fall and winter when there aren't any green leaves.  What about up in Antarctica... is there less oxygen up there?  I know the HIGHER we get - up on a mountain top there is less oxygen...  so winter - no green leaves or grass.  Less oxygen?  Or does the oxygen created by the green leaves in the jungle make enough to help us continents that are having winter weather - it circulates the oxygen around the globe.  Good thing it's windy.  Blow wind blow.

I really should thank God more for my blessings.  The blessing of oxygen from house plants - even if I don't have any.