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Air Cleaning Plants

Air Cleaning Plants

Few people take into consideration the benefits of air cleaning plants and instead opt for expensive humidifiers and air purifiers. Filter replacements, upkeep and the electricity to operate these machines can be costly. Cleaning these machines is time-consuming. Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, all plant life is known to provide the air required for breathing and to keep it clean. Why not take advantage of this natural air purifier and humidifier indoors?

Children in schools, families in their homes and employees in an office building can all benefit from air cleaning plants. If a lot of time is spent indoors, chemicals are inhaled constantly and a lot of people are completely unaware. Those suffering from chemical sensitivity may be unknowingly exposing themselves to multiple chemicals that may cause a variety of ailments. This is especially true for contractors and their employees handling insulation and building materials on a daily basis. Because of this, NASA paired up with the Associated Landscape Contractors of America to find out exactly how effective some common houseplants are at purifying the air indoors.

The findings of this two year research project prove that keeping plants indoors is just as beneficial, if not more so, than buying expensive air purifiers and humidifiers. Indoor air cleaning plants are fairly inexpensive and easily found at local nurseries and plant retailers. Many of these plants are extremely low-maintenance and need very little attention.

Just a few of the plants known to effectively filter pollutants out of the air when kept indoors are:

Peace Lilly (Spathiphyllum) – This makes an awesome houseplant because it does not require much sunlight and lets you know when it needs water. If the plants starts drooping, water it and it perks right back up. Keep it a few feet from a window but if the leaves start to yellow, move it to an area with less sunlight. These plants have pretty white blooms on them and will multiply in the pot they are in, so you can thin them out and re-pot some of the new shoots to have multiple plants at no cost to you.

Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria laurentii) – Also known as the Snake Plant, this plant is great for reducing toxins in the air, but it’s leaves are toxic if ingested. This plant also requires low lighting and very little water and is excellent for removing toxins from the air.

Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii) – This is another plant that can tolerate infrequent watering and lower lighting conditions. It is recommended that if the plant is in front of a window it is turned often so that the sunlight is evenly distributed. This plant also shows signs of over-watering or under-watering. Yellow or pale leaves mean too much water, brown leaves mean not enough water.

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) – In a hanging basket, these plants send out beautiful flowering shoots that make the plant resemble a spider. They require low to moderate sunlight, infrequent watering and are also easily reproduced at little or no cost.

Some indoor plants will attract pests like spider mites if they are not properly cared for and some are toxic when ingested. Make sure to consider the lighting and watering requirements when purchasing to avoid pests and do the research on toxic plants if you have animals or small children. Finally, sit back and breathe easy!