Gardening Vivian | 30 Jun 2011 06:00 pm

Houseplants That Clean the Air

Common airborne chemicals are found in nearly every home or office. The most common ones are carbon monoxide, benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene, and even in very low concentrations that can cause health problems for many. A live plant in your home or office is one way of combating these chemicals of indoor pollution.

Besides adding extra beauty to your home because of their variety of shapes and growing habits, plants also improve the air quality. The chemicals that are found in your home are in your everyday surroundings, such as the furniture, the carpet, permanent pressed clothing items, natural gas, kerosene and of course cigarette smoke.

The most effective plants for removing these chemical pollutants are the philodendron, spider plant and golden pothos. Since all plants use carbon in producing their growth these three varieties effectively remove low levels of carbon monoxide.

Other varieties of plants such as the Snake Plant (mother-in-law’s tongue), English Ivy, some types of Dracaena and Bamboo Palm also effectively remove harmful elements from the air. Plants produce oxygen and any plant that you choose in addition to these mentioned will increase the oxygen in their surroundings. Most houseplants are easy to grow in moderate lighting or in indirect sunlight, however try and avoid glass doors or direct sunlight. Many plants fair exceptionally well under florescent lights.

To prevent infestation of spider mites, mist philodendron, ivy, palm, spider plants and dracaena often because they are susceptible and avoid placing them in an area that will be hot and dry. Plants such as Golden Pothos, Chinese evergreen and the snake plant should not be misted and should be allowed to dry out before watering to help keep their roots healthy. Do not over-water or over-feed your houseplants.

Always follow the manufacturer’s directions when feeding and water them with slightly warm water. Water only when they need it when the soil feels dry. Adding houseplants to your indoor environment will not only add beauty to your surroundings but will help you to breathe a little better.

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