Why Have Indoor Plants?
Plants in the home, create a serene vibe, are aesthetically pleasing and most importantly are air purifying. Through photosynthesis, they have the ability to convert carbon dioxide that we exhale into oxygen while also removing toxins from the air we inhale, but that’s not all they do…
A NASA experiment from 1989 found that indoor plants can eliminate the air of cancer-causing volatile organic compounds such as formaldehyde and benzene. What is formaldehyde and why would it be found in your home? “Formaldehyde is a colorless, strong-smelling gas used in making building materials and many household products and personal care products like lotions, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and some fingernail polishes.
To learn more about chemicals in everyday products check out “Are You Using Toxic Products? Chemicals to Avoid”
Research also shows that, “Interaction with indoor plants may reduce psychological and physiological stress”.
A study done by HortScience revealed that, “Advancements in electronic devices have led to increases in mental stress…” and, “Our study results indicate that contact with plants may minimize mental stress.”
And an article by NBC stated, “Studies have also proven that indoor plants improve concentration and productivity (by up to 15 percent!), reduce stress levels and boost your mood — making them perfect for not just your home but your work space, too.”
It is well known that spending time in nature has a positive effect on a person’s mood so bringing a bit of the outdoors, indoors, is a no-brainer. Having indoor plants has many positive benefits, below are a few I have in my own home that are also known to purify the air.
The 8 Air Purifying Indoor Plants
1. Money Plant– Removes formaldehyde and other chemicals from the air. Ours started out very small and insignificant a few years ago, but today it stands about 5-6 feet tall! As an indoor plant, they thrive in full sunlight and can be watered whenever the top layer of soil is dried out.
2. Mother-In-Laws Tongue/Snake Plant- Known as a bedroom plant, it is recommended that this plant is placed in your room to help you breathe at night, according to Kamal Meattle, whose much-watched TED talk explains how he "grew" his own fresh air in the polluted New Delhi, India. He recommends, 6-8 waist high plant per person.
3. Areca Palm- This palm is recognized for converting C02 to oxygen and more. Researcher Kamal Meattle, recommends one shoulder-length Areca Palm per person in the house. Maintenance of this plant requires wiping any build-up on the leaves periodically.
4. Aloe Vera- Aloe vera is an extremely versatile plant that is known primarily for treating sunburns but it also has deep conditioning properties for the hair and scalp. In reference to air quality, it decreases formaldehyde. Not requiring a lot of maintenance, you may water the aloe vera plant every 3 weeks.
5. Bamboo- Aesthetically pleasing and air cleansing, the bamboo reduces benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde in the home. This plant does not require direct sunlight and needs to be watered regularly for the first few years until it is well rooted, about an inch a week.
6. Peace Lily- This beautiful plant with large leaves can remove traces of acetone, trichloroethylene, benzene AND formaldehyde from the air but be careful if you have pets, it can be poisonous to cats. Water when the top layer of soil is dry.
7. Golden Pothos- Removing carbon monoxide, benzene and formaldehyde from indoor air, the Golden Pothos is air purifying and can improve lung health. This plant likes dry soil in between waterings.
8. Spider Plant- Recognized for it’s long striped leaves, the spider plant removes carbon monoxide from the air. During initial growth, it requires occasional watering but once full developed, usually within a year, you may water it moderately.
Think you don’t have a green thumb? Start slow with one or two plants or just a succulent, they are low maintenance, very resilient and do not die easily (trust me, I would know). Plants are not only beautiful, they are air purifying, liven up any room, relaxing and worth having in the home. Invest in your own plant sanctuary, especially as winter comes around, it will elevate your mood to see some greenery at home and at work.