Filter Indoor Air With Plants

January 22nd, 2015

There are many gadgets on the market but the fact remains the best way to filter indoor air is with plants. Our homes and offices can be a benefit in a number of ways by growing a variety of house plants.

I have put together a list for you of my favorite and EASY houseplants that purify the air and eliminate some of the common toxins found in our homes from furniture, building materials and even cleaning products. I have also grown all of them at one time or another.

Janet Craig dracaenaDracaena
The first plant is the very versatile Dracaena.  This large group of houseplants comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. If you have a corner of your home that could accommodate a taller plant then Dracaena Janet Craig is by far one of the easiest to grow.

Care: Janet Craig likes low light but there is a dracaena for every light situation. These varieties do not like to be overwatered so it can tolerate a little tough love of the forgetful waterer.

Eliminates: formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, benzene, trichloroethylene

Peace LilyPeace Lily
In the 1980’s, NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America discovered that peace lilies absorb benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and more. White blooms are a bonus with this efficient plant.

Care: The peace lily thrives in both low and bright light. This plant likes to be kept moist and is happy in a low light situation but may not bloom without the light.

Eliminates: formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene, ammonia, and more

PothosPothos
Virtually indestructible, pothos consistently grows quickly and is considered one of the most effective indoor purifiers of the plant world. It is a leafy vine that looks great on top of shelves or kitchen cupboards with space for it to trail down. They come in a variety of foliage colours – variegated with white to tricolor.

Care: Pothos grows in any light situation except direct sunlight. Water it when the soil becomes dry to the touch. Feed monthly with an all-purpose liquid plant food and trim long tendrils when the plant becomes too large.

Eliminates: This popular office plant can filter indoor air from formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, benzene, carbon monoxide, and more

Rubber Tree PlantRubber Tree Plant
Rubber plants are evergreen trees from India. Tropical in appearance and certainly more ‘tree like’ in appearance.  I know personally this plant can take some neglect and it is a long living one as well. My mother gave me a Rubber Tree that came from her plant when I got married which is over 24 years ago. It resides in our rarely used dining room and is still doing fine. Its leaves are typically broad, deep green and shiny. Tests have shown that rubber plants are especially efficient at removing formaldehyde from the air.

Care: Grow in full or bright, filtered light, perfect in a window with sheer curtains. This plant requires more water in the summer season and less in the winter. Retain leaf shine by wiping with a damp cloth periodically.

Eliminates: carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and more

AloeAloe
No home should be without this great first aid plant. Its leaves are filled with a gel-like substance that can be applied to burns, cuts and scrapes.

Care: It is easy-to-grow but requires sun.

Eliminates: In addition to its healing of cuts and burns this succulent helps filter indoor air clear of formaldehyde and benzene which can be a byproduct of chemical-based cleaners, paints and more.

I hope you enjoyed reading about these 5 plants that will benefit your home and office by filtering your indoor air. If you do decide to try out one of these plants let me know which one and why. You can post it on Facebook.  Watch the blog for more of these plants coming soon!

Reference:
“15 Houseplants for Improving Indoor Air Quality.” MNN. Web. 7 Jan. 2015. <http://www.mnn.com/health/healthy-spaces/photos/15-houseplants-for-improving-indoor-air-quality>.
“Chinese Evergreens Indoors – Growing And Caring For Chinese Evergreen Plants.” Gardening Know How. 18 Feb. 2013. Web. 7 Jan. 2015. <http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/chinese-evergreen/chinese-evergreen-plants.htm>.
“5 Benefits of Houseplants | Bayer Advanced.” 5 Benefits of Houseplants | Bayer Advanced. Web. 7 Jan. 2015. <http://www.bayeradvanced.com/articles/5-benefits-of-houseplants>.

Additional Photos courtesy of:
http://www.bhg.com/gardening/plant-dictionary/houseplant/philodendron/
http://www.guide-to-houseplants.com
http://www.plantsrescue.com/

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