Bringing the Outside In for the Winter!

collage plants 2Someone once told me that 30 minutes of gardening per week gives you a healthier, happier and longer life. But now it’s wintertime… Oh NO!

Not to worry, bring your garden indoors! It is beautiful, fun and beneficial. Indoor air can be more polluted than the air outdoors from the off-gassing of building materials and paints, perfumes, cleaning agents etc. Plants not only increase the oxygen levels in your home, but they also remove airborne toxins! 

10 House Plants that clean the Air:

Aloe Vera

This easy-to-grow, sun-loving succulent helps clear formaldehyde and benzene which can be a byproduct of chemical-based cleaners, paints and more. Aloe is a smart choice for a sunny kitchen window. Beyond its air-clearing abilities, it’s one of the most notable air purifying plants for toxin cleaning.  Can also be used on skin irritations.  (Source: http://aloevera.com/air-purifying-plants/)  

Snake Plant

Also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, this sharp-leafed plant thrives in low light. At night it absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen (a reversal of the process most plants undergo). Pot a couple and put them in your bedroom for a slight oxygen boost while you sleep. In addition to helping lower carbon dioxide, the snake plant rids air of formaldehyde and benzene. (Source: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20452423_20892299,00.html)

Golden Pothos

Pothos is characterized by its golden heart-shaped leaves and is extremely popular in North America. It’s a hardy plant that can survive in lower light and colder temps and is great for offices and homes since it rids the air of carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. (Source: http://inhabitat.com/7-indoor-plants-that-purify-the-air-around-you-naturally/golden-pothos-plant/)

Ficus

In its natural habitat the small fruit of the Weeping Fig is the food of choice for many birds. In any indoor scenario, the Ficus benjamina will effectively filter indoor air toxins. It can handle a partial shade, but also really likes bright sunlight. The soil should be well drained. Moderate watering. The plant can be sensitive to changing conditions, so it doesn’t much like being moved. (Source : http://www.toptipspot.com/tips/health/howto/air-cleaning-plants.php)

collage plants 1Chinese Evergreen

An excellent air-purifier plant, Chinese evergreens filter out airborne toxins such as benzene and formaldehyde. Beautiful variegated leaves and a compact shape make this an attractive house plant. This is a great “starter plant” for those who lack green thumbs. A hearty and durable plant, it grows even better with less water and minimum light. (Source: http://wholehearter.blogspot.ca/2012/10/10-air-purifying-house-plants.html)

Spiderplant

Even if you tend to neglect houseplants, you’ll have a hard time killing one of the most resilient air purifying plants. 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. (Source: http://aloevera.com/air-purifying-plants/

Gerbera Daisy

If getting a good night’s rest is not on your agenda this evening, you may want to add some gerbera daisies on your night stand. While most plants release oxygen during the day, their respiratory cycle decreases in the evening hours. However, gerbera daisies continue releasing oxygen all through the night to help you breath and sleep better. Gerbera daisies are especially helpful for those suffering from sleep apnea or breathing disorders. These daisies will have you dozing off in no time!  (Source: http://www.doctoroz.com/blog/mao-shing-ni-lac-dom-phd/4-plants-clean-your-air-quality)

Peace Lily

Shade and weekly watering are all the peace lily needs to survive and produce blooms. It topped NASA’s list for removing all three of most common VOCs — formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene. It can also combat toluene and xylene. (Source: http://www.mnn.com/health/healthy-spaces/stories/15-houseplants-to-improve-indoor-air-quality)

English Ivy

Also known as Needlepoint Ivy, European Ivy, Ivy, Branching Ivy, Glacier Ivy, Sweetheart Ivy, California Ivy. English Ivy is a climbing houseplant that occupies a lot of space and requires trimming. On the upside, it grows well in low light conditions and it is an excellent air purifier plant that well known to eliminate airborne pollutants including Benzene, Trichloroethylene, and Formaldehyde from the air. Please note though English Ivy is poisonous to pets. (Source: http://airpurifierforhome.com/top-20-amazing-air-filtering-houseplants-that-can-act-as-an-air-purifier)

Dracaena

Dracaena Marginata is among the most practical indoor plant, it can tolerate infrequent watering and low light, with slow growth rate that need less re-potting. However if you like to make this plant grow best, then put the pot in a bright light position and keep the soil evenly moist.  The appropriate soil for Marginata is 1 part garden soil, 1 part moist peat (humus) and 1 part coarse sand. Marginata is known as an air purifier houseplant of: benzene, formaldehyde, toluene, xylene and trichloroethylene. (Source: http://1st-ecofriendlyplanet.com/01/air-purifier-indoor-plants/)

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