Saturday, June 13, 2009

Houseplants for Cleaner Air

Did you know that you can do your indoor air a great deal of good by having house plants? Even more than electric air purifiers, plants clean up our air. It is their natural function, after all. To exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen. In addition, they also also remove other harmful elements from the air we breathe.

According to a study initially done by NASA (pdf file), many common houseplants are very valuable to the indoor air in your home. Some of the most common indoor air pollutants are Benzene, Formaldehyde, and Trichloroethylene, which can be greatly reduced by plants. The recommendation is about 1 plant per 100 square feet of home space, or about 15-20 plants for the average home.

The following are some of the best houseplants for clean air, and each of them is linked to a photo (some with care information as well):
1. Philodendron scandens oxycardium, heartleaf philodendron: good for removing formaldehyde
2. Philodendron domesticum, spade leaf philodendron
3. Philodendron selloum, elephant ear philodendron
4. Dracaena fragrans Massangeana
5. Dracaena deremensis, Janet Craig dracaena: good for removing formaldehyde
6. Dracaena deremensis Warneckii: good for removing Benzene
7. Dracaena marginata,red-edged dracaena: good for removing formaldehyde
8. Hedera helix, English ivy: good for removing Benzene
9. Chlorophytum comosum, spider plant: good for removing formaldehyde
10. Spathiphyllum Mauna Loa, peace lily: beautiful, easy to grow, good for removing Benzene and good for removing formaldehyde
11. Epipiremnum aureum, golden pothos: good for removing formaldehyde (the link includes another good article on this topic, from which some of my information is obtained)
12. Ficus benjamina, weeping fig
13. Aglaonema modestum, Chinese evergreen
14. Chamaedorea sefritzii, bamboo palm: good for removing Benzene, good for removing formaldehyde
15. Sansevieria trifasciata, snake plant: good for removing Benzene, good for removing formaldehyde
16. Gerbera Daisies: good for removing Benzene
17. Chrysanthemum:
good for removing Benzene

Even if you do not have a "green thumb," many of these plants are so forgiving as to be very easy to grow. I have plenty of outdoor plants, but currently only have three indoor plants. None of those three are of any of the above varieties. I am going to have to green up my indoors as well as I have the outdoors! Don't waste the electricity to run an air purifier if you don't have to do so...just bring in some houseplants.


Deb G said...

This is a great list. I've always loved the idea of plants sucking up all that bad stuff....

LucyRavenscar said...

Good idea. I haven't had any houseplants for ages, partly because I kill them & partly because my little children knocked them over. My kids are bigger now, and I think I should give plants a try again. I do have a tiny spider plant in the bathroom that must live off condensation, because I hardly ever water it!

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Linda said...

I love my house plants...Got to keep my cat from eating the Palms.
Right now, they are all sitting out on the patio airing out.
I also talk to my plants!