Monday, March 25, 2013

Houseplants for improving indoor air quality

In the late '80s, NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America studied houseplants as a way to purify the air in space facilities. They found several plants that filter out common volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Lucky for us the plants can also help clean indoor air on Earth, which is typically far more polluted than outdoor air. Other studies have since been published in the Journal of American Society of Horticultural Science further proving the science. 
Aloe (Aloe vera)

Aloe is a smart choice for a sunny kitchen window. Beyond its air-clearing abilities, the gel inside an aloe plant can help heal cuts and burns.There is promising preliminary support from laboratory, animal, and human studies that topical aloe gel has immunomodulatory properties that may improve wound healing and skin inflammation.

Spider plant-Chlorophytum comosum

Chlorophytum comosum, often called the spider plant, is a flowering perennial herb. It is native to tropical and southern Africa, but has become naturalized in other parts of the world, including western Australia and San Francisco, California.With lots of rich foliage and tiny white flowers, the spider plant battles benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene, a solvent used in the leather, rubber and printing industries

Gerber daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)

This bright, flowering plant is effective at removing trichloroethylene, which you may bring home with your dry cleaning. It’s also good for filtering out the benzene that comes with inks. Add one to your laundry room or bedroom — presuming you can give it lots of light.It was named in honour of the German botanist and naturalist Traugott Gerber who travelled extensively in Russia and was a friend of Carolus Linnaeus

Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii')

This plant is one of the best for filtering out formaldehyde, which is common in cleaning products, toilet paper, tissues and personal care products. Put one in your bathroom — it’ll thrive with low light and steamy humid conditions while helping filter out air pollutants.These plants are among the toughest of all houseplants—they can withstand virtually any conditions, from dark to bright. The only way to surely kill them is to overwater or never water at all.It is an evergreen perennial plant forming dense stands, spreading by way of its creeping rhizome, which is sometimes above ground, sometimes underground. Its stiff leaves grow vertically from a basal rosette. Mature leaves are dark green with light gray-green cross-banding and usually range between 70–90 cm (27–36 in) long and 5–6 cm (2–2.5 in) wide

Golden pothos 
(Scindapsus aures)

The golden pothos vine is one of the most popular and dependable houseplants available today. Formerly known as Scindapsus aureus, these plants grow to giant proportions in their native habitats. They can easily swallow 100-foot trees, and their mature leaves are as broad as basketballs. In home cultivation, they are exceptionally tough, both easy to propagate and maintain. See Growers Tips below for special planting ideas.Consider it for your garage since car exhaust is filled with formaldehyde. (Bonus: Golden pothos, also know as devil’s ivy, stays green even when kept in the dark.)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Air Cleaning House Plants

Houseplants can be very beneficial in our lives. They purify and renew our stale indoor air by filtering out toxins, pollutants and the carbon dioxide we exhale - replacing them with life sustaining oxygen!

Although it should be safe to presume that all plants are capable of removing toxins from our air, research by NASA showed that some house plants are more efficient in filtering out toxins than others. Philodendrons, Spider plants, and Pothos were found to be the most efficient in the removal of formaldehyde. Gerbera Daisies and Chrysanthemums were found to be effective in the removal of benzene, a known carcinogen.

As a rule of thumb, allow one houseplant per 100 square feet of living area. The more vigorous the plant, the more air it can filter. Keep in mind that plants will not do much to alleviate tobacco smoke or dust in the air.

Aglaonema sp. (Chinese Evergreen)
Aloe barbabensis (Aloe Vera, Burn plant)
Chlorophytum comosum (Spider Plants)
Chrysanthemum sp. (Mums )
Dieffenbachia sp. (Dumbcane )
Epipremnum sp. (Golden Pothos)
Ficus sp. (Ficus)
Gerbera sp. (Gerbera Daisy)
Hedera sp. (Common English Ivy)
Philodendron sp. (Heart leaf philodendron)
Spathiphyllum sp. (Mauna Loa)

Mauna Loa, Spath ,Peace Lily

Common names:
Mauna Loa Spath Peace Lily

Botanical name:
Spathiphyllum sp.

Mauna Loa's prefer partial shade and moist soil.
Minimum temperatures - 59F/15C

Prefers partial shade
Prefers Moist soil

Fragrant flowers are produced in a spadix surrounded by a large, oval, usually white spathe. This is a very hardy house plant that tolerates neglect well. It is often seen in public areas such as malls.

P. cordatum - Heart leaf philodendron,P. selloum Lace Tree Philodendron

Common names:
P. cordatum - Heart leaf philodendron (pictured) P. scandens - Heart leaf philodendron (Very similar in appearance to P. cordatum.) P. selloum Lace Tree Philodendron (pictured)

Prefers partial shade
Prefers well-drained soil

N.A.S.A. determined that Philodendrons were among the best house plants for removing formaldehyde
from the air, especially at higher concentrations. At lower concentrations it was found that Aloe Vera removed formaldehyde more efficiently.

Philodendrons are poisonous

English Ivy

Common names:
English Ivy

Botanical name:
Hedera helix

Prefers bright light. Non-variegated varieties tolerate more shade.

Prefers partial shade
Prefers well-drained soil

This plant is poisonous .