Breathing easier with plants.

We have all read how plants help with cleaning indoor air.  For me, the biggest challenge of having plants in the home is soil and mold.  I have posted on how a person could be allergic to a bonsai tree in response to a search term that led someone to my blog and discussed the possibility of growing plants in water.  I also most recently posted on my new spider plant that I purchased and am growing in water along with my new pet in Meet Dorothy.

I received a link to a healthy living section of msn on plants that help you breathe.  The article listed six plants, which rooms would benefit the most from them, and what toxins they removed from the air.  In doing my research I also found another site listing 15 houseplants that clean the air.

Bedroom:  Gerbera Daisy because it reduces levels of benzene a solvent used in dry cleaning.  I don’t dry clean anything so I am probably ok with the daisy.  I have them planted all over outside in large pots and am not sure they would make a good plant in just water.

Bathroom:  Janet Craig lowers levels of trichlorethylene (TCE) often found in paints and can be released in hot showers if you have TCE-contaminated water.  My bathroom has zero voc paint and I use a water filter on my shower.  I had never heard of this plant before.  This plant does not need a lot of water so I don’t think I could use it either.

Kitchen:  English Ivy is good at removing formaldehyde which can be in pressed wood cabinet products and some dishwashing liquids and disinfectants.  Again I think I am pretty safe with my kitchen products and dishwashing liquids.  This is might be able to grow and survive in water. According to the second site I found it also reduces airborne fecal matter particles (guess this would be good in a bathroom or near a litter box)

Hallways:  Peace Lily (spathiphyllum) lowers levels of both TCE and benzene.  I am pretty sure this is not a water-loving plant.  I do love the look of the beautiful shiny green leaves and the white flowers.

Laundry Room:  Boston Fern is effective in reducing formaldehyde which may be present in some fabric softeners and carpet cleaners as well as wallpapers and paints.  I love Boston Ferns but again don’t think they are a plant that would do well in water.

Attached Garage:  Golden Pathos does well with removing ozone found in auto emissions.  This plant reminds me of a philodendron which I know can grow in water.  I read about it and the biggest difference between it and a philodendron is its light requirements.  It requires more light and in the dark can lose its yellow splotches.

ADDITIONAL PLANTS THAT FILTER THE AIR ARE –

Aloe removes formaldehyde and benzene.

Aloe (Aloe vera)

Heart Leaf Philodendron is a workhorse for removing all kinds of voc’s and is particularly good with formaldehyde.  Since this plant grows so well in water, I think it will be the next plant I buy.  My mother used to have them growing all over the place out of a mason jar and water.

Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron oxycardium, syn. Philodendron cordatum)

Chrysanthemum is good at filtering out benzene.

Chrysanthemum

Spider Plant filters benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene.  Looks like Dorothy has a great little plant in her bowl and I have a good filter.

Weeping Fig removes formaldehyde, benzene and TCE.

Weeping fig

Azalea removes formaldehyde.

Azalea (Rhododendron simsii)

Chinese Evergreen removes a variety of pollutants from the air.

Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema Crispum 'Deborah')

Bamboo Palm filters TCE, benzene and formaldehyde.

Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii)

Both sites I have listed above give more information on the plants and their requirements.

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7 responses to “Breathing easier with plants.

  1. Oooo! I have lots of bamboo. Great information!

  2. THANKS– FOR THE INFO KATHERN— I LOVE HOUSE PLANTS– I HAVE HUNDREDS OF THEM– & PART OF THEM GET MOVED OUT ON THE COVERED PATIO & DECKS & PORCHES IN MILD WEATHER–BUT GARY & I COMPOSE OUR SOIL– & WE USE NOTHING WITH CHEMICALS IN OUR COMPOSE– TO MAKE OUR OWN SOIL FOR MY PLANTS– I WONDER IF THAT IS ALSO ONE REASON I DON’T HAVE AS MUCH PROBLEMS AS MANY HAVE WITH HOUSE PLANTS!!

  3. Pingback: Breathing easier with plants. | allergictolifemybattle | sondasmcschatter

  4. Thanks for that informative article, Kathryn. Always glad when I get the chance to stop by. (O;

  5. Thank you for the info on house plants. I knew they took in carbon dioxide and put out oxygen, cleaned the air, and, even just green plants, added a fresh fragrance. I didn’t know they took care of so many pollutants.

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