NASA has worked on clean air studies that were published in the late 1980’s, which researched ways to clean air in space stations. As well as absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, as all plants do, the plants eliminated significant amounts of benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from indoor air. It was found that typically indoor air is far more polluted than outside air. According to an article by NASA they recommend using 15 to 18 good-sized houseplants in six- to eight-inch diameter containers in a 1,800 square-foot house. Indoor plants made a significant chemical reduction, especially when it came to benzene and formaldehyde. According to the study, “this suggests that the plant roots and their associated microorganisms are the major pathway for chemical removal” and “these results indicate that plants can play a major role in removal of organic chemicals from indoor air.”
It has been said that a person can go
3 weeks without food,
3 days, approximately without water and
3 minutes, roughly without air.
With these numbers, it seems that air quality should be an important consideration for our health, as we proportionately consume more air than any other substance and as chemicals can be easily absorbed through the lungs.
Why not take advantage of the holiday season and do some of your decorating with houseplants available for the holidays like cyclamen, Christmas cactus and some of the improved varieties of poinsettias? All plants contribute to cleaner air as they filter the air and exchange beneficial gases for noxious ones. In addition indoor plants contribute to a more pleasing atmosphere in the home and office environments.
Some additional plants that absorb these undesirable chemicals that are released from building materials, detergents, carpet, and air fresheners are rubber plants, ivy, Boston ferns, spider plant, philodendrons and peace lilies.
Once you have these plants around you indoors just stop and look how much warmer and comfortable the area looks. There is something about plants that make our surroundings a place that is more pleasing. Some people attribute this to taking us back to nature and away from the harshness of structures and building materials. When you have plants with green or variegated foliage and a few with seasonal flowers it will really make you feel like soaking up the environment.
One of the secrets of keeping your house plants happy is proper watering. This is, without a doubt, something that needs regular attention. A good soaking when the soil dries out and before the foliage begins to wilt is one of the secrets. Avoid keeping the soil in the pots of your plants too wet for too long. Extremely dry soil, that is when the soil shrinks away from the edge of the pot, is too dry. Feeding the plants with a balanced fertilizer once a month is adequate during the winter.
Relax with your plants and enjoy the holidays.
Meadow View Growers