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Eric W. Kerschen, Caleb Garten, Kimberly A. Williams, and Melanie M. Derby

occupants and the desire to reduce building energy consumption, passive or low-energy humidification approaches are of increasing interest. Plants can influence the humidity of an interior environment through transpiration (water movement through a plant and

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Bridget K. Behe, C. Fred Deneke, and Gary J. Keever

Tissue-cultured plugs of Nandina domestica Thunb. `Hat-hour Dwarf' and `San Gabriel' were grown in 1.5-liter pots under 30%, 47%, or 62% shade. After 20 weeks, plants were moved to a simulated consumer environment (SCE) maintained at 21C, ≈60% relative humidity, and a 12-hour photoperiod with an irradiance of 7 μmol·m -2·s-1. Final quality ratings (after 35 weeks in the SCE) for both cultivars were good, but the plant quality of `San Gabriel' declined more quickly than that of `Harbour Dwarf'. Final quality rating of `Harbour Dwarf' grown under the highest percentage of shade was higher than that of plants grown under 30% or 47% shade; production shade percentages had no influence on the final quality rating of `San Gabriel'. Plants (of both cultivars) grown in 0.6-liter (11-cm-diameter) pots were test-marketed through six supermarket floral departments and captured 16% of total 10- to 11-cm-size foliage plant sales. Sixty percent of consumers indicated the plant's “newness” as the primary consideration for its purchase. These two N. domestica cultivars could be marketed successfully as interior foliage plants.

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Jennifer S. Doxey, Tina Marie Waliczek, and Jayne M. Zajicek

In the 1700s, interior plants were considered to be capable of suffocating a person while they slept. Still, people kept plants in their homes despite the warnings ( Gowan, 1987 ), demonstrating an inherent desire for plants. Today, an urbanized

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Patricia S. Holloway

Five woody ornamentals Rosa rugosa, Cotoneaster acutifolia, Malus baccata, Picea glauca and Pinus contorta var. latifolia, were grown for 4 seasons mulched with one of five treatments: 2.5 cm or 5 cm of crushed basaltic quarry stone, 5 cm or 10 cm of quaking aspen wood chips, and an unmulched control. Maximum soil temperatures at the 10 cm depth on the wood chip plots were decreased by as much as 8°C over control plots, and soil moisture was increased. Stone mulch plots showed a slight increase in both temperature and moisture. Soil minimum temperatures were lower on the wood chip plots than the other treatments early in the season, but were slightly higher in September. Soil pH and available N, P and K did not differ among mulch treatments. Weed growth was suppressed by all mulch treatments but was best controlled on the wood chip plots followed by the 5 cm stone plots. Plant growth for all species except Rosa rugosa was greatest on the stone mulch plots. Roses growing on the stone mulch plots and the control were subject to significant dieback from winter injury and did not show any difference in total growth after 4 years when compared with the wood chip plots. Plants grown on the wood chip plots exhibited varying degrees of nitrogen deficiency which may be related to reduced nutrient uptake in cooler soils or to a significant amount of rooting in the mulch-soil interface.

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Patricia S. Holloway

Five woody ornamentals Rosa rugosa, Cotoneaster acutifolia, Malus baccata, Picea glauca and Pinus contorta var. latifolia, were grown for 4 seasons mulched with one of five treatments: 2.5 cm or 5 cm of crushed basaltic quarry stone, 5 cm or 10 cm of quaking aspen wood chips, and an unmulched control. Maximum soil temperatures at the 10 cm depth on the wood chip plots were decreased by as much as 8°C over control plots, and soil moisture was increased. Stone mulch plots showed a slight increase in both temperature and moisture. Soil minimum temperatures were lower on the wood chip plots than the other treatments early in the season, but were slightly higher in September. Soil pH and available N, P and K did not differ among mulch treatments. Weed growth was suppressed by all mulch treatments but was best controlled on the wood chip plots followed by the 5 cm stone plots. Plant growth for all species except Rosa rugosa was greatest on the stone mulch plots. Roses growing on the stone mulch plots and the control were subject to significant dieback from winter injury and did not show any difference in total growth after 4 years when compared with the wood chip plots. Plants grown on the wood chip plots exhibited varying degrees of nitrogen deficiency which may be related to reduced nutrient uptake in cooler soils or to a significant amount of rooting in the mulch-soil interface.

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Virginia I. Lohr and Caroline H. Pearson-Mims

A well-known research report showed that being in a hospital room with a view of trees rather than a view of a building was linked to the use of fewer pain-reducing medications by patients recovering from surgery. The experiment reported here was designed to further examine the role of plants in pain perception. We found that more subjects were willing to keep a hand submerged in ice water for 5 min if they were in a room with plants present than if they were in a room without plants. This was found to be true even when the room without plants had other colorful objects that might help the subject focus on something other than the discomfort. Results from a room assessment survey confirmed that the room with colorful, nonplant objects was as interesting and colorful as the room with plants present, but the presence of plants was perceived as making the air in the room fresher.

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Tove Fjeld

Plants are widely used in building environments; however, studies reporting the health and discomfort symptoms of people in response to indoor foliage plants are few. The objective of the presented studies was to assess the effect of foliage plants or a combination of foliage plants and full-spectrum fluorescent lamps on self-reported health and discomfort complaints in three different work environments: an office building, an X-ray department in a Norwegian hospital, and a junior high school. Health and discomfort symptoms were found to be 21% to 25% lower during the period when subjects had plants or plants and full-spectrum lighting present compared to a period without plants. Neuropsychological symptoms, such as fatigue and headache, and mucous membrane symptoms, such as dry and hoarse throat, seemed to be more affected by the treatments than skin symptoms, such as itching skin.

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Virginia I. Lohr, Georgia K. Goodwin, and Caroline H. Pearson-Mims

Foliage plants were added to different environments, including an office and a computer lab. Relative humidity and air-borne particulate matter were monitored in the presence and absence of the plants. When the relative humidity was low, the addition of plants increased the relative humidity slightly, but significantly, over that when no plants were present. Particulate matter accumulation was not increased in the presence of plants. Some have hypothesized that the growing medium could be a source of increased particulates when plants are used indoors. Some of our experiments used self-watering containers, irrigated from below, resulting in very dusty conditions in the top of the container. If the growing medium could contribute to increases in particulate matter, we should have detected it in this study.

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Andrea Dravigne, Tina Marie Waliczek, R.D. Lineberger, and J.M. Zajicek

, trees, and naturalized areas to individuals and society have been substantiated through scientific research since the early 1980s ( Ulrich, 1984 ; Wolverton, 1989 ) with positive benefits of plants in interior and exterior physical environments being

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Ruth Kjærsti Raanaas, Grete Grindal Patil, and Terry Hartig

intervention. Intervention. The rehabilitation center had few interior plants at the beginning of the study, and these were not well maintained. Plants had been kept out of the bedrooms as a result of concerns about allergic reactions by patients. For