Come winter and we urban residents are challenged by the dry, cold weather and of course – severely high levels of polluting smog. And as if the outdoors weren’t bad enough – not many of us know that our indoor air quality is also severely affected. Poor indoor air quality from indoor air pollutants have been ranked among the top five environmental risks to public health!
Given that we spend more than 90 % of our time indoors, air quality matters. Furnishings, upholstery, synthetic building materials, and cleaning products in homes and offices can emit a variety of toxic compounds. Indoor air pollution can also be caused by pollen, bacteria, and moulds. All of these are made worse in small or poorly-ventilated spaces.
However – there’s an easy and affordable way to combat indoor air pollution. There are specific varieties of plants that purify air; making them part of what NASA calls “nature’s life support system.”
As far back as in the year 1989, NASA researchers published a Clean Air Study based on the work they’d done trying to figure out the best way to purify air on space stations. This research was necessitated out of the knowledge that astronauts are locked up in a tiny space and breathing recycled air. In this situation – a solution was needed to remove toxic substances in the air like benzene and formaldehyde.
The highlights of their study and the NASA Guide to Air Filtering House Plants are presented in this super infographic alongside. Read on for practical, easy solutions to combat indoor air pollution with us!
Plants that Improve Air Quality in Homes!
How many of us know why a basil ( tulsi ) plant is always planted in the foreyard? It is due to its amazing air cleansing properties and the ability to fight insects and mosquitoes. Here are some interesting plants which can purify the air in your home !
1. Spider Plant
The air in our homes is filled with formaldehyde – making it polluted and unhealthy. In such cases, spider plants can be used to fight this element and purify the home air naturally.
2. Peace Lily
Also known as spathiphyllum, this amazing plant is a natural air purifier and is often found at entrances to hotels and homes due to its purifying capabilities and good looks,
3. Boston Fern
This cool indoor plant is a great option for offices and homes and can tackle dust, smoke, benzene and more!
4. Snake Plant
A snake plant not only looks thick, voluminous and stunning and also generates oxygen at nights.
Bamboo is a beautiful green plant which is used in Asian homes for air purification and for fresh air generation – especially in areas that receive bright sunlight.
6. Aloe Vera
This amazing herb has numerous benefits and applications. Aloe Vera gel is used for beauty, health and hair care and it also removes all toxic substances and chemicals from the atmosphere.
With its strong fragrance, the holy basil has air-purifying benefits. The basil plant releases oxygen – making the air around it better and breathable !
8. Neem Plant
An amazing plant – which can absorb 90% of the dust around it – this one is a keeper ! Planting a neem tree around one’s home or in the garden is a great idea !
9. Golden Pathos
Considered to be one of the most effective air purifying plants, Golden Pathos is a must have if you love gardening and planting beautiful trees and plants in your home.
10. Lady Palm
Plant Lady Palm beside your windows for natural and purified air to enter your home. This plant can tolerate high temperatures and still give you fresh purified air.
Caring for your Indoor Plants
By providing your plant with a good environment and the correct amount of water and nutrients, you can make sure that your indoor plant stays alive and thrives !
Keep potting soil moist, but not wet. If your soil is either too dry or over watered, it can damage the plant’s roots and prevent the plant from growing. There is no specific frequency that works for all indoor plants. Stick your finger in the soil to determine how wet it is below the surface. Use water that is at room temperature.
Select a pot that has good drainage. The amount of drainage in the pot you’re keeping your plant in is very important because over or under watering your plant can damage or kill it.
Select an area in your house that gets adequate sunlight. Plants require sunlight in order to undergo photosynthesis. The quality, duration, and intensity of light all affect a plant’s growth. Avoid putting the plant in direct sunlight. Instead, give them plenty of indirect light by putting them in a well-lit room. Fluorescent lights can work as an alternative to sunlight for some plants.
Don’t move your plants around a lot. Plants acclimate themselves to their surroundings fairly slowly, so it’s best that you don’t move them around a lot.
Fill your pot with a balanced fertilizer. Most houseplants thrive in balanced fertilizer. House plants need the nutrients from potting soils and fertilizers in order to survive. If you don’t repot the plant, or add new nutrients to the soil, the plant will eventually die.
Regularly prune your plant. Certain plants must have their roots pruned at different intervals, so it’s important to read up on how often you should be pruning your plant. A plant that isn’t pruned can grow out of control, and the roots from a plant can outgrow their pot or vase. Regularly prune your plant to keep it healthy, and to prevent yourself from having to replant.
And while you are picking up air purifying plants for your home – ensure a beautiful setting for them with pots and planters from our artistic partners !
Infographic courtesy www.lovethegarden.com