Clearing the air with houseplants

Mon. Dec. 28, 2015

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Clearing the air with houseplants

The aromas of holiday cooking still linger in our minds and perhaps in the drapes too if we’ve burned anything!  Not that I would know about that!  But in case I did, I know a way to “clear the air”.  Plants!  Between 1980 and 1984 NASA, yes THAT NASA, proved plants in sealed test chambers that were exposed to volatile organic chemicals could remove them from the air.  NASA top 50 air cleaning plants

Spider plant - NASA number 39 of 50
Spider plant – NASA number 39 of 50

Houseplants are a great, natural way to clear the air in our closed up homes during the winter.  They reduce unhealthy pollutants and airborne bacteria along with adding humidity to the air.  Plants leaves are able to absorb the icky air, send it down to it’s roots where it becomes food for microbes.

Snake plant - NASA number 27 of 50
Snake plant – NASA number 27 of 50

Top 5 air cleaning plants according to NASA:

  • Areca Palm – this one needs some light and definitely needs room.  Generally grown in office spaces

Areca Palm - NASA number one for air cleaning

  • Lady Palm (Rhapis excels) – this one handles lower light
  • Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii) –not really practical for a houseplant!
  • Rubber plants aka Ficus elastica – easy care and grows to fit any environment
Ficus Elastica
Ficus Elastica
  • Dracaena – Janet Craig – Janet Craig is one of the most popular Draceanas used indoors, likely due to it’s ability to grow in low light and tolerate considerable dryness.

Honestly, any houseplant is great!  Some certainly better than others but they all have air cleaning properties, so enjoy your favorites!  Including the Christmas Cactus!





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