What Is Million Hearts: Expert Tell You

Discover the unique qualities of Million Hearts plant, its health benefits, care tips, creative uses, and how to combat pests and diseases. Perfect for any home!

What Makes Million Hearts a Unique Plant?

Million hearts is a unique plant due to several factors including its attractive heart shaped leaves, durability and ease of care. The heart shaped foliage exhibits lobules that give it an appealing ornamental appearance.The leaves remain evergreen throughout the year, some varieties can grow up to 20 inches across.
More comprehensive information and care guidelines can be read here.

million hearts, cardiovascular health, red and white plastic bottle
Photo by Mika Baumeister / Unsplash

The Health Benefits of Million Hearts

The leaves and stems of million hearts contain high levels of antioxidants such as flavonoids and phenolic acids which act as powerful free radical scavengers. This helps fight oxidative stress and reduces inflammation in the body.

Some of the potential health benefits include:

  • Reducing inflammation: The antioxidants present help reduce swelling and inflammation associated with conditions like arthritis and asthma.
  • Strengthening immunity: The antioxidants boost the immune system and may aid in fighting infections.
  • Lowering blood pressure: The flavonoids help dilate blood vessels and lower blood pressure levels. This reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Improving mood: The pleasing foliage and ease of care associated with million hearts can uplift mood and reduce stress and anxiety.

Research has shown that million heart plant extract was effective in inhibiting 46-54% of free radicals in laboratory experiments. A study concluded that the leaves have potential as functional food and nutraceutical due to their high nutritional composition.

When consumed as a juice or infusion, the leaves may provide similar health benefits as seen in other greens due to the presence of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. However further clinical trials are needed to verify these benefits in humans.

million hearts, cardiovascular health, green vegetable beside ceramic bowl
Photo by Brooke Lark / Unsplash

Growing and Caring for Million Hearts

Million hearts thrive under conditions that mimic its natural habitat of tropicalclimates. Some of the basic growing requirements for million hearts are:

  • Sunlight: Million hearts prefer indirect sunlight for at least four to six hours. Too much direct sunlight can burn the leaves.

  • Water: The soil needs to be kept consistently moist but not soggy. Water when the top few inches of soil become dry.

  • Fertilizer: Fertilize monthly during spring and summer using a balanced liquid or granular fertilizer for houseplants with NPK ratio of around 10-10-10.

  • Soil: Provide a well draining and slightly acidic soil mix with components like peat moss,perlite and compost.

  • Temperature: It thrives in temperatures between 65 to 80 °F (18 to 27 °C). Avoid temperatures below 50°F (10 °C).

  • Humidity: The foliage appreciates moderate humidity between 40% to 60%. Use pebble trays and room humidifiers if required.

For pruning and shaping million hearts:

  • Remove any wilting or yellowing leaves and stems
  • Cut branches to keep the plant bushy
  • Use pruning shears or scissors to trim stems once or twice a year usually after flowering

When caring for million hearts, watch out for:

  • Overwatering: Allow the soil to dry before watering again. Check for root rot.
  • Poor drainage: Prop up pots above trays filled with gravel for added drainage.
  • Low humidity: Increase humidity around the plant using the methods mentioned above.

By following these simple guidelines, you can grow million hearts plants that are lush, bountiful and have vibrant foliage!

million hearts, cardiovascular health, group of people in gym while exercising
Photo by Geert Pieters / Unsplash

Creative Ways to Use Million Hearts in Your Home

There are several creative ways to use the attractive million hearts plant to enhance the looks of your indoor spaces:

  • Hanging baskets: Million hearts looks great spilling from hanging baskets placed on ceiling hooks, walls or railings. Use large moss lined baskets for maximum effect.

  • Tabletop planters: Place small million hearts plants in decorative pots on side tables, desks and kitchen counters. The heart shaped foliage adds instant color to any room.

  • Corner shelves: Position tall million hearts plants in pots on corner shelves for an eye-catching vertical arrangement. They thrive in tight spaces.

  • Bookshelves: Put narrow million hearts plants in slender pots on bookshelves in your living room or home office. The humidity and indirect light is ideal.

  • Window frames: Place potted million hearts in window frames that receive adequate but diffused sunlight. Use plant stands for height and visual interest.

For maximum aesthetic appeal of your million hearts plants:

  • Use decorative pots in diverse shapes,textures and colors
  • Combine with other compact foliage plants for visual contrast
  • Arrange in symmetrical patterns to draw the eye to their beautiful heart shapes

Properly placed, million hearts can instantly add life, vivacity and a spa-like experience to any indoor space in your home.

million hearts, cardiovascular health, woman looking up to the sky while standing on white sand
Photo by averie woodard / Unsplash

Common Pests and Diseases of Million Hearts

Like other indoor plants, million hearts are also susceptible to common pests and diseases which if left untreated can damage their foliage and overall health. Here are some of the most common ones along with suitable management options:

Powdery mildew: Caused by a fungus, this disease results in a white, powdery growth on leaves.

•Control by increasing air circulation, pruning away infected areas and applying fungicide sprays containing sulfur.

Spider mites: These tiny arthropods feed on leaf cell fluids and reproduce rapidly.

•Control by spraying leaves with a forceful jet of water at 500 PSI to remove eggs and young mites. Also use insecticidal soap sprays for prevention.

Mealybugs: These white, waxy insects suck plant sap and secrete honeydew which promotes sooty mold growth.

• Control by spraying leaves, stems and undersides of leaves with _ neem oil, alcohol and insecticidal soap. Physical removal is also effective.

Other potential problems include:

  • Aphids:_ Control using homemade pesticide sprays and suitable predator insects.

  • Thrips:_ Isolate infected plants and use biological or chemical controls such as insecticidal soap.

Prevent diseases and pests on million hearts through regular inspection of leaves and stems. Take appropriate action as soon as you spot initial symptoms of infestation for best results. Also avoid overcrowding, stale air and excess moisture which promotes fungal diseases.

With proper care and management of its growing conditions along with the application of suitable organic or chemical remedies, you can grow healthy million hearts for years that remain free of major pests and diseases.

million hearts, heart disease, people in blue scrub suit sitting on chair
Photo by National Cancer Institute / Unsplash

More Helpful Guide

Frequently Asked Question

How is progress toward the Million Hearts 2022 goals being tracked?

Progress toward the Million Hearts 2022 goals is tracked through national surveys and surveillance systems monitoring key health indicators.

How is Million Hearts funded?

Million Hearts is funded through Congressional appropriations and contributions from CDC, CMS, and partner organizations.

How can I spread the word about Million Hearts in my community?

I can spread the word about Million Hearts by sharing social media posts, telling family and friends, and encouraging community organizations to get involved.

How can workplaces create a culture of health with Million Hearts?

Workplaces can create a culture of health with Million Hearts by offering insurance coverage for preventive services, implementing smoke-free policies, and providing opportunities for physical activity.

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