Plants are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they are also incredibly beneficial for the environment. One of the most significant benefits of plants is their ability to purify the air we breathe. Indoor air pollution is a big concern for many people, especially those who live in urban areas. By having plants in our homes and workplaces, we can improve the air quality and promote a healthier living environment.
Plants have been shown to be effective in purifying the air by removing harmful toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from the air. These toxins are commonly found in household products such as paint, cleaning products, and synthetic fibers, and can lead to health problems such as headaches, respiratory issues, and even cancer. By removing these toxins from the air, plants can help to reduce the risk of these health problems. Having indoor plants can also boost your brain productivity. When you brain is stimulated by peaceful surroundings, it will have a better chance of focusing on tasks at hand. The recommendation is to have at least two plants per 100 square feet to purify the air and provide other benefits.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
One of the most well-known plants for purifying the air is the spider plant. This plant is known for its ability to remove formaldehyde from the air, which is commonly found in household products such as adhesives and upholstery. The spider plant gets its name from its own characteristically long, spindly leaves that easily are easily propagated. Spider plants do well in humid, cool environments and require medium to bright light to fully flourish.
Medium light with partial sun (bright but indirect)
Keep soil lightly moist and well-draining
English Ivy (Hedera helix)
Removes: trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene
English Ivy has become a common choice when it comes to some of the best indoor plants that clean the air and are suitable for beginner-to-intermediate plant lovers. When it comes to growing requirements, this plant is a bit fussy. It grows best in a moist environment, and it’s better to mist it frequently.
Here’s the secret formula to keeping an English Ivy alive: water the soil and mist the leaves frequently, provide bright, indirect light, and protect it from wind and excessive heat.
Light Requirements: Bright, indirect light
Water Requirements: Keep the soil moist, but not wet
Toxicity: Toxic to Dogs and Cats
Peace Lilly (Spathiphyllum spp.)
Removes: trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, and ammonia
The peace lily is so easy to grow, it is sometimes referred to as a ‘closet plant’. Like most other indoor plants that clean the air and remove toxins, it enjoys medium to low light. This plant is known for its ability to remove benzene, which is commonly found in products such as gasoline, plastics, and detergents. The peace lily is also one of the easiest indoor plants to grow. With its little maintenance requirements and great indoor air purification abilities, this plant is an amazing addition to your home. Plus, its gorgeous flowers will liven any room, giving it a special touch of natural beauty, contrast, texture, and scent.
We kill more lilies by overwatering than under watering. As these plants are very drought tolerant, you can wait until the plant starts to droop before watering. This does no harm to the plant and will prevent you from overwatering it. Peace lilies are also excellent bedroom plants, helping you sleep more deeply.
Light Requirements: Bring, indirect light to low light
Water Requirements: Keep the soil moist, not soggy
Toxicity: Toxic to Dogs and Cats
Other plants that are effective in purifying the air include the snake plant (Sansevieria), which is known for its ability to remove toxins such as trichloroethylene, and the bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii), which is effective in removing formaldehyde and benzene from the air. These plants are easy to care for and can be grown in a variety of environments, making them an ideal addition to any home or workplace.
In addition to purifying the air, plants also have a calming effect on people. Studies have shown that having plants in the workplace can lead to a reduction in stress levels and an increase in productivity. This is likely due to the fact that plants help to create a more natural and calming environment, which can help people to feel more relaxed and focused.
Plants Have a Positive Impact On Your Health
Grow an Environment which Purifies the Air, Stimulates Your Senses, and Awakens Your Brain...
Working in an environment with live indoor plants has been shown to have a positive effect on the human stress response mediated by cardiovascular activities (heart rate variability and blood pressure).
Interaction with indoor plants may reduce psychological and physiological stress by suppressing autonomic nervous system activity. Research shows that there are stress-reducing effects of interaction with indoor foliage plants, as was measured by autonomic responses such as heart rate variability analysis. This showed by sympathetic activity was suppressed while the subject was working on a computer task. It also showed a decrease in fluxes of diastolic blood pressure (1).
NASA Recommends that Households Have Live Indoor Plants to Help Clean Toxicants From The Air
Research has shown that houseplants contribute to air filtration. In addition to the basic form of photosynthetic activity that removes carbon dioxide and returns oxygen to the air, plants can also remove toxicants from the air. They can metabolize toxic chemical vapors and release harmless byproducts. They are even capable of metabolizing toxic chemical waste by incorporating heavy metals into plant tissues, thus sequestering them (2).
In conclusion, plants are an excellent addition to any living or working environment. By purifying the air and promoting a healthier living environment, plants can help to reduce the risk of health problems and create a more pleasant and productive environment. So, why not add a few plants to your home or workplace today and start reaping the benefits?
By: Dr. Leila Doolittle
Published on March 30, 2020