Did you know plants clean the air we breathe? They absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the air, ridding the spaces around us of toxins and making the air smell nicer.
Best Plants for Increased Oxygen
All plants are air filters. They emit water vapor pulls contaminated air down around the plant roots where it is then converted into food for the plant. During this process they emit oxygen into the air. Plants release roughly 97 percent of the water they take in. Place several plants together, and you can increase the humidity of a room.
Snake Plant: Prodices unusually high amounts of oxygen during the day.
Areca Palm: highly effective in removing carbon dioxide during the day.
Peperomia, Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema) and Pothos all emit a high oxygen content.
Boston Fern: natural air humidifier.
Ficus: great overall air purifier.
A Breath of Fresh Air
This group of plants not only takes in carbon dioxide and releases oxygen but is known to make the air smell nicer.
- Geraniums: one of the most popular fragrant houseplants. They need a lot of sun and bright light to bloom but their leaves also emit a pleasant fragrance depending on the plant. Lemon, orange, peppermint, pineapple, pine, chocolate.
- Rosemary: great for releasing humidity and has a pleasant aroma.
- Lavender: the aroma relaxes the lungs and helps for a calmer night sleep.
- Basil: has a rich aroma that spreads thru the air if you move leaves a little.
- Mint: makes the air easier to breathe.
- Sprouts: give off a very earthy green smell.
You don’t have to grow the herbs in order to receive the benefits of their fragrance. Fresh herbs from the grocery store can be used. Place them in a vase, make potpourri, boil on the stove or add them to your fireplace to enjoy their fragrance.
Rid the Air of Toxins
Common houseplants provide a valuable weapon in the fight against rising levels of indoor toxins. Plants remove toxins from air – up to 87 percent of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) every 24 hours, according to NASA research. These toxins include benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene.
Benzene: is a commonly used solvent and is present in gas, inks, oils, paints, plastics, detergents and rubber. It is known to irritate the eyes and skin.
Formaldehyde: is found in foam insulation, particle or pressed board wood products, paper grocery bags, facial tissue and paper towels.
- c) Trichloroethylene: You can find trichloroethylene in degreasing products, and dry cleaning. It is also used in printing inks, paints, lacquers, varnishes and adhesives
- d) Xylene and Toluene: You can find these chemicals in spray and wall paints, paint thinner, nail polish, spot removers, rubber and leather.
NASA completed a 2 year study of plants and announced that since they are so efficient at absorbing contaminants in the air, some will be launched into space as part of the biological support system aboard future orbiting space stations.
Their study has shown that living, green and flowering plants can remove several toxic chemicals from the air in building interiors. The use of plants indoors helps people feel better, perform better and enjoy life more.
How to choose and care for your houseplant
- Choose one 10″-12″ plant or several smaller plants per 100 square feet of space for maximum benefits.
- Consider where you want to place the plants and how much light they require.
- Once you figure out the water requirements for your plants, keep a schedule for even watering.
- Periodically dust the leaves with a damp cloth to ensure proper absorption of air particles and toxins. A clean plant is a happy plant!
- Keep the soil replenished by occasionally adding organic fertilizer and changing soil when needed. Try not to use inorganic fertilizer because the chemicals from the fertilizer will be emitted by the plant.