This is a video chocked full of specifics about what toxins can be removed from the air. It points out the best plants that clean indoor air pollution and even how to maintain them. There are numerous succulents that clean indoor air pollution and this video discusses a few of them and why they are so beneficial.
Just as we saw in our last segment how plants can have therapeutic value for us there are also other health benefits to working with plants, especially indoors. For many years now there’s been a lot of research going on specifically by NASA and other researchers on how plants actually clean the air we breathe, especially indoors. Several years ago in 1984 NASA first came out with a plant that you’ve probably heard about the airplane plant. They have done research on this and how well it acted in removing toxic chemicals from the air.
Well in the years since then there has been much more research going on and they have found that there are a lot of plants out there that do a very good job at removing many of the toxic chemicals from the air we breathe. This is very important in our homes especially now that homes are being made where they’re sealed more. We don’t have as much air circulation because we want that energy efficiency. So if we can add plants to our homes it can help purify the air we breathe indoors. Now there are several chemicals in the air that can be harmful to us. These include benzene; you might get that from secondhand smoke. Also, trichloroethylene which is present in paints varnishes and oils also acetone alcohol and formaldehyde are all chemicals that are commonly found in our homes and our work environments. And today we’re going to look at some of those other plants that do very good jobs at removing those chemicals.
Plants that Clean Indoor Air Pollution
Now two of the plants that tested very high at basically removing chemical toxins from the air are the Areca Palm and also the Bamboo Palm. Now the palms are a wonderful plant. They make a very elegant addition to our home environment but they can be a little bit pickier to grow. The palms tend to attract spider mites and they like to have a place that has very bright filtered light, not direct sunlight, but that bright filtered light that you can get if you have a sheer curtain in front of the window. They also like a high humidity environment and that’s another benefit to having plants in the house. Especially in the wintertime, the humidity in our homes can get very low and this can also affect our health. So if we humidify the air, which we can do by adding a lot of plants, will actually help us to stay healthier as well as the plants removing the toxic chemicals from the air.
Now both the Areca Palm and the Bamboo Palm need to have fairly moist soil during the summertime. However, in the winter you can hold back on watering them. The Bamboo Palm tends to maybe have less of an insect problem than the Areca Palm. Now I’m talking about the insect problem. It’s not too bad if you go and spray your palm off ever so often you can get rid of the spider mites.
Now there are some other plants that do a very good job at removing these toxic chemicals from the air and one of these is English Ivy. It’s another plant that needs a higher light regime for it and you basically want to let the soil dry out in between watering. But an English Ivy is another one of the plants that we can grow that will remove some of these toxins.
Now if you’re looking for a plant that’s a lot easier to grow you might try the Peace Lily. This is a very good plant at removing both acetone and alcohol from our air. Again as I said it’s one of the easier plants to grow and if you don’t have that brightly lit place you might think about putting a Peace Lily in it.
Now as we’re talking about brightly lit places a lot of times some of our larger plants need that brighter light. However, the Rubber Tree is one of the larger plants that can actually take a little bit less light than the others. So if you’re looking for something to put in the corner it’s not totally dim however you’ve got lower light levels and in front of a window, a Rubber Plant is a very good candidate for that.
Now the Corn Plant is another plant that’s good at removing formaldehyde from the air and it’s an easy one to grow. It takes lower light levels and it’s one of the plants that you can ignore and it will still grow for you very well. Now a couple different plants that we have are the Snake Plant either the standard kind or the Bird’s Nest kind or shorter. Now the Snake Plant while they’re not as good at removing some of the toxins from the air they still do remove them from the air. The other thing about Snake Plants is that they actually transpire and produce oxygen at night where the other plants don’t. So this is a good plant to have in your mix inside the house. Now they would take a higher light level and you don’t want to water these very much at all only occasionally.
Now I’ve been talking about a lot of the foliage plants but also there are some flowering plants that do a very good job at removing these toxins from the air. These include the Gerbera Daisy also Florists Mums and, if you’re forcing tulips to bring indoors, they actually do a very good job at this. So you can add a little bit of color to your environment and get those benefits as well.
Finally, if you’re a person that really has trouble growing houseplants there’s one that’s very easy to grow and does a good job at removing the toxins from the air. That is the Golden Pothos. Again this takes low light levels and it is very forgiving of many instances of either over watering, under watering, or not giving it quite what it likes. It will hang in there for you. Now again don’t get discouraged if you’ve actually killed the Golden Pothos because I’ve ignored mine too long and killed them. But it is a good starter plant if you’re just thinking about adding plants to your home environment.
Now as we’re talking about adding plants to the home environment about three plants per 100 square feet is a good starting point to getting that air clean in your own home. If you’d like to find out more about using health plants to freshen the air in both your home and your office check out the book How to Grow Fresh Air by B. C. Wolverton.
This is one of the most enjoyable plant videos on the Internet. It is concise, informative and Brenda Sanders does a great job presenting the information. This should give you some ideas for plants that you can use to clean your indoor air.