Clearing the air

Tue. Dec. 29, 2020

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Clearing the air

We may not be traveling much but I know there a lot of folks who cooked up plenty of feasts to drop off to family and friends this year. So, the aromas of holiday cooking still linger in our minds and perhaps in the drapes too if we’ve burned anything! A good time to “clear the air” with plants. They’re not just pretty things, they have a serious job!

Decades ago NASA, yes THAT NASA, proved plants could remove volatile chemicals from the air Including formaldehyde which is found in, or used to produce, a multitude of everyday products, from fabrics and furniture to tobacco smoke and gas stoves.  Click on this link to a study that’s best to start reading at page 9…. it’s a little dry before that!  ?      Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement

Snake plant. This plant loves low light and absorbs formaldehyde, a common ingredient in cleaning products.

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

Top 5 air cleaning plants according to NASA:

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

  • 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 at KYMN studios
  • Dracaena – 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.
Dracaena ‘Janet Craig’ compact by Sherlmerdine

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!

Some of my favorites include Spider Plant, which is listed 39 of the top 50 plants identified by NASA.  I happen to love it!   Snake Plant, also known as Mother-in-law tongue, (sometimes speculation on the whys of a nickname are best left unspoken)  50 top air cleaning Houseplants