Air freshener is typically a product used indoors (offices, restrooms, houses) that emit fragrance. However, frequently used products falling under name of ‘Air Freshener’ have nothing to do with freshening the air rather they intoxicate indoors and I consider them one of the contributors to already polluted indoor air.
Common classes of air fresheners include following
- Solids or Gels
Either these products include fragrances in the form of complex mixture of harmful chemicals or fragrance oils which may or may not be the real essential oils. For Candles displayed in super market or most furniture showrooms are made of paraffin wax that is a petroleum product. Burning paraffin wax produces similar gases as burning any fossil fuel (gasoline etc.).
Having above said doesn’t mean we discard all the fragrance products from our living place. Good things need little attention to be identified and utilized. Real essential oils and non-paraffin (soy or bees) wax candles are healthy option but still there is something that is most natural and I recommend it. All natural and free of any chemical or petroleum product, this is blooming Gardenia. A plant that keep indoors fragrant and photosynthesize carbon dioxide to generate oxygen, plus you are promoting environment friendly behavior.
Gardenia (Gardenia Jasminoids), which is known has high maintenance plant among the gardeners, is native to China and Japan. All it needs is a window in your home where it can see the bright blue sky all day long. Living in Saudi Arabia where hot climate prevails through out the year, it becomes mandatory to keep gardenia indoors where temperature ranges from 13 – 24 degrees Celcius and humidity around 50%.
If you have achieved at least 6 hrs. daytime indirect bright sunlight, right temperature and humidity you are all set. The fragrance is so powerful that even two flowers lasting for days can keep your room smelled awesome all day long and it’s all natural and soothing.
Alright, if your mind has decided to get one beautiful Gardenia in your room, lounge or on office desk, following information would be necessary and useful to keep gardenias healthy and blooming.
Light: Window sill where it can only see the Blue sky. Direct sun may harm the leaves and foliage.
Temperature: Day time temperature must not go beyond 24 degrees Celcius and night temperature should stay above 13 degrees Celcius
Humidity: You might need to add humidifier or pebble tray to keep humidity high around Gardenia. Or Mist as much as possible.
Soil: Well aerated potting mix with pH 5.5-6.5
Water: Only water the plant once top 1-inch soil is dry. Never let soil go dry neither sogged. It will wilt the leaves and drop the buds. You may like to use finger to check if it feels dry.
Here is me with gardenia plant at a local garden center. Where I easily assume light intensity is not enough to let gardenias bloom.
Fragrant environment uplifts mood and relieves stress and Gardenia makes great choice giving us opportunity to get close to nature, our real home.