Surrounding your home with chemical-fighting houseplants is a wonderful thing to do for your family – not only does it rid the air of some major toxins (like I mentioned in my post), but it also makes the house much more attractive.
Just one large houseplant produces enough oxygen (through photosynthesis) to clean about 100 square feet of space, so depending on the size of your rooms, it is easy to work out how much you need. An average size home or apartment, for instance, will need just one large plant (like the easy-to-care for spider plant pictured above) in the main living area.
Here’s a quick guide to what plant does what:
Plants that remove Formaldehyde:
The philodendron, spider plant, and golden pothos
Flowering varieties that remove Benzene:
The gerbera daisy and chrysanthemum (mum)
Plants that remove Trichoroethylene:
The peace lily and the chrysanthemum are the most effective. Also useful are English ivy, Chinese evergreen, bamboo palm, snake plant (mother-in-law’s tongue), and several types of dracaena, including marginata, corn plant, and Janet Craig.
Tips On Caring:
– Most of these houseplants are relatively easy to grow in moderate to bright indirect sunlight or under florescent – Avoid windows or glass doors where sunlight shines directly on the plants, except for flowering mums and gerbera daisy, which thrive in sunlight. Ivy, palm, philodendron, spider plant, and dracaena are all susceptible to spider mites.
-To prevent infestations, mist often and avoid hot, dry air. The pots may be set in trays of pebbles in water to provide moisture around the plants.
– Make sure the bottoms of the pots are above the level of the water.
– Beware of overwatering any plant, the most common cause of houseplant deaths. Golden pothos, Chinese evergreen, and snake plant should not be misted and should be allowed to dry out between watering to keep the roots healthy.
To learn more about how houseplants can clean the air around you, a good book to read is How To Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants That Purify Your Home Or Office“>How To Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants That Purify Your Home or Office.