3 Plants that Purify Indoor Air

There are many air purifying succulents that will efficiently cleanse the indoor air pollution in a home or office. In this video Professor DelPrince discusses a few plants that are perfect for air cleaning and that are easy to care for.  There is only one succulent mentioned in this entire video but there were many good overall suggestions for taking care of plants.  There were also some great points about plants that purify indoor air.  Be sure to also read our article about succulents that clean the air.

Hi and welcome to Gardening through the Seasons.  I’m Tim Del Prince, Professor of Floral Design at Mississippi State University.  Interior plants are hot in today’s marketplace but these are not necessarily the house plants of the 1970s the days of bell-bottoms and macramé.  Plants are the focus of popularity as evidenced in magazine and television coverage.  Smart interior designers are using them to create focal points throughout homes and businesses.

Plants that Purify Indoor Air

Did you know that plants are clean air machines?  Think about it.  On the planet Earth there are millions of clean air machines that are working 24/7.  Leaves take in carbon dioxide and give off pure clean oxygen.

Leaves are also interestingly important in balancing just the right levels of humidity in indoor air.  When interior humidity levels are high plants can aid in actually lowering humidity levels so that mold growth is hindered.  During the dry months of winter plants humidify interior air.  These natural humidifiers keep the air comfortable for nasal passages of humans and pets.  When nasal passages are dry and under stress people become more susceptible to infection and can catch colds easily.

The true site of air cleaning is actually going on in the root zone of the plant material.  For example in this Croton that I’m working with you can see a very healthy root system.  This is truly the area where volatile organic compounds are being taken in and being rendered harmless used up by the plant soil microbes.

Volatile organic compounds, otherwise known as VOCs, are released in the manufacture and use of many synthetic materials including computer screens, new carpet, pressed wood products such as furniture, paper products, household cleaning products and more.  VOCs can be harmful to people with chemical hypersensitivities.  These people who suffer from these sensitivities exhibit cold or flu-like symptoms like sneezing watery eyes are even fatigue.  Once the sources of these symptoms are removed they are fine but since the sources are all around us they can be difficult to avoid.

About three floor plants, or six tabletop plants, provide the clean air machinery needed for a room that is about 30 to 40 square feet by 10 feet and height which is equivalent to an average-sized household room or office.

I want to introduce you to three plants that are ideal air cleaning machines.  I selected these plants because they’re relatively hardy for the interior and you can find variations of these at florist shops, garden centers and mass-market stores throughout the region.

The first one is Philodendron Neon.  This is a really cool updated version of the same Philodendron that you’ve had and your grandparents had for many, many years.   Why, because it’s an indoor hardy plant, hardy meaning it’s hard to kill.  This type of plant is wonderful for the interior because of its cascading habit and we have some interesting variegation which give it a really updated look.

Another really hardy indoor plant is the Chinese Evergreen.  This plant material has been hybridized by many growers so we see many types of Chinese Evergreens out in the market now.  Pretty much the difference is the types of coloration, the patterns, the variation in the foliage. This plant tends to grow, instead of as a vine, as a more bushier subject so makes it ideal on its own or mixed with other plants.  One of the things that a lot of interior plantscapers like to do is to pinch out the new growth as this plant is brought indoors.  That keeps the older established leaves in place and keeps the new growth from being spindly from growing in lower light conditions.

My third suggestion for you is the Dracaena Lemon Light. This is an ideal house plant because it gives you a completely different form from our first two.  It is more of an upright as well as shrubby looking plant.  Its tropical foliage with a thick cuticle gives it that shiny appearance, but you can imagine what a beautiful plant this would be you in the interior adding that very fashionable chartreuse green.

All three of these plants are great for cleaning the air in your home as well as adding humidity.  They have ample space for foliage.  They also have fibrous root systems and that makes them the best air cleaning machines for the new millennium.  I’m Jim Dole Prince.  Thanks for watching.

This video is a clear, concise discussion of three hardy air cleaning plants.  Beautifully photographed and described.  It is time to get started to purify the air with plants. It is worth the effort to put plants in your home and office to help purify the air. Succulents are the perfect plants to use since they are so easy to grow and care for. You will breathe easier and see health benefits when you place succulents throughout your home.

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