A healthy life with indoor plants in your home

Rita Deo Rita Deo
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Houseplants have the ability to purify air inside buildings as they filter out volatile compounds in the atmosphere that are generated by electronic equipment, cleaning materials and regular activities of people within. In homes pollution seeps in through doors and windows along with clothes and shoes that we bring in from outside. Several indoor plants like ferns, Aloe Vera, lilies, English ivy etc., not only clean air by trapping volatile organic compounds or VOC’s but also turn carbon dioxide to oxygen and act as mood enhancers.

Plants can be brought indoors in small pots and canisters to create natural balance within your surroundings and reduce stress with lush green leaves and colorful flowers in blue, pink and yellow. Air purifying plants with attractive flowers that also have soft fragrance which appeal to senses are ideal for bedrooms and living room. Houseplants also have the ability to reduce temperature and maintain tranquility within the area. 

Here are some of the best houseplants recommended by experts that allow you to maintain a healthy atmosphere at home.

Baby Rubber Plants

The baby rubber plant may look like ordinary houseplants without flowers but these have the amazing ability to purify air within the room by absorbing toxins and chemicals like formaldehyde and releasing oxygen.  It is a popular houseplant as it does not require dedicated care and can thrive in filtered sunlight with infrequent watering. It is a perennial species which usually grows from seeds every year within a greenhouse nursery and then transplanted to other parts of the garden. Some gardeners can propagate new rubber plants from large old ones through stem cutting technique.

Though baby rubber plants thrive in warm and moist tropical conditions they can easily grow in pots and trays if these are placed in sunshine each day and give plenty of water for growth. They will droop if kept outside when temperature is below 50°F or there is too much water around the roots.  Landscape artist Luiza Soares has hung these vines in attractive baskets from the slated wooden roof that allows sunlight to filter down to the plants below.

English Ivy

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English Ivy has the ability to reduce particles of fecal matter in the air and also absorb formaldehyde in cleaning products that are used at home. Though this plant has a tendency to grow wild and invasive if not pruned as a houseplant its healthy properties cannot be ignored. It can remove carcinogenic benzene found in pesticides and cigarette smoke from air which relieves weak lungs of people suffering from asthma and other breathing problems. 

Pretty lobed leaves and wiry stems help the plant to easily climb across trellis or balustrade in balconies and stay healthy by keeping the pot’s soil moist and cool. In this beautiful country style garden stool English ivy plantin the smaller pot has been placed in a corner of the living room inside stone pots that allow plant to breath and also retain natural moisture of the soil. The plants are close to a window and during daytime they can get sufficient sunlight by pulling the curtains away.

Garden Mum

This plant has multiple medicinal properties and has been used by Chinese since early 15th century in preparing food and medicines. According to NASA’s study, garden mum or chrysanthemums have the ability to remove suspended benzene from air that is commonly found in inks, detergents, dyes, pesticides and gasoline. While enjoying its ability to absorb chemicals from air inside the house you also have to be careful about keeping these plants exposed to sunlight during the day. Garden mums can grow from seeds or by dividing plants during early springs after their shoots appear.

The flowers of mums are very popular among florists as they have a thick colorful foliage and light aromatic scent that is preferred by bouquet buyers and for marriage decorations. This thick bunch of garden mums can grow lavishly in gardens and within indoor flower pots if they find right kind of rich and well-drained soil along with some amount of direct sunlight.

Golden Pothos

The bright green hued golden pothos plant is popular in commercial spaces like hospitals, offices, hotels and also shopping complexes as it has the ability to absorb formaldehyde. At home it should be placed in the driveway or around garage boundary wall as car exhaust emits formaldehyde that is can be reduced with these creepers. Golden pothos is among the top three houseplants recommended by NASA as it improves indoor air quality by reducing chemicals like benzene and trichloroethylene from the air.

It thrives well even in cold temperature with minimal sunlight and water but is poisonous for pets so should be kept away from their reach. Golden pothos can grow and thrive both indoors and outdoors under warm temperature with high humidity conditions and ventilation. Though pothos leaves grow large leaves in the garden they have smaller leaves inside the house and never reach their full potential unless they are given a strong totem pole to latch on for growth.

Bamboo Palm

Though traditional Chinese doctors have always spoken about importance of plants and their medicinal properties these were not taken seriously until NASA declared in 1980’s that some plants were actually capable of absorbing hazardous chemicals in the air. Dryness in the air can lead to problems in respiratory system and plants acts as humidifiers to help ease these issues and produce clean air. Bamboo palm is among one such plant that has the ability to absorb toxins like chloroform, benzene, carbon monoxide and also formaldehyde and also repel spider mite from air. 

The plants grow from 3 to 6 feet and provide moisture during dry winter months away from direct sunlight.This simple and inspiring garden wall designed in rustic style with floating wooden flower caskets is a creation that allows all the plants to grow well with required amount of water and shade. Slim and slender bamboo palm trees  planted at the ground level add style to this garden with their attractive foliage.

Spider Plants

This is the most common houseplant besides baby rubber plant and English ivy and is found around the world. According to a feature on houseplants that filter air by BBC Tomorrow’s World the spider plant is able to absorb gas from insulation material and also Radon gas that is released by few granite rocks near people’s home in Scotland. Like a typical perennial plant this is a hardy species which requires direct sunlight and soft loamy soil. They can grow easily in round and rectangular pots and produce white flowers when they are a year old.

Spider plants are prone to getting burnt at the tip if moisture content in soil reduces and also develop brown discs on their leaves. Though these are considered as perennials spider plants grow around the year as long as they have plenty of air, light and water. The pretty pot of spider plant on the headstand of the bed adds color to the stone walls and purifies air around the room.

Aloe Vera

This perennial succulent plant has been used for its medicinal and cooling effects for several centuries in Asian and African societies. Characterized by thick fleshy stems and stiff leaves the plants sometimes bear yellow flowers. Due to their hardy build these plants last throughout spring and summer till late winter and have dark and light green colored leaves with sharp edge on leaves. It is also popular for its anti-cancer properties along with anti bacterial properties on fruits and vegetables. These plants are usually grow well in strong sunlight and can also withstand cold weather till 25° F. These can be grown from small plants called pups that grow around the old mother plants and need dry soil to thrive and grow.

Gerber Daisy

The Gerber daisy not only looks beautiful but is also a good oxygen booster and is advised for the bedroom window to help owners to sleep better. This houseplant is advisable for homes as it has the ability to filter out chemicals like trichloroethylene and benzene that is normally present. But Gerber daisy requires plenty of sunshine and light so it should be kept near a window to carry out its natural cleansing activities. It belongs to the family of sunflowers and asters and is found around the world from Asia to Africa and South America.

These plants require good drainage and grow from good quality seeds every year that can be easily procured from reliable suppliers.  Gerber daisies are recommended for people with sleeping issues and breathing problems as these produce oxygen even during night. In this picture the bush of Gerber daisies have been planted under bedroom window to allow sufficient sunlight and also send it sweet scent into the house. 

For more information on growing houseplants that can improve health and well being of family members refer to this interesting ideabook.

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