Air Filtering Plants

While you are cleaning and tidying up your abode, how about using some help from our little green friends? This week we list down a few plants that will make your task all the more easier and comfortable.

Plants that purify the air:
Plants apart from absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen also eliminate significant amounts of benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene. These chemical compounds are commonly found in the air of every household as it is emitted by oils, paints, rubber, plastic, detergents & synthetic fibres, etc. A quick Google of these chemicals will show you a list of ailments that they can trigger and their sources in our homes.

As part of the NASA Clean Air Study, 35 plants make it to the list of highly effective ‘air cleaners’.

Do note that a house of 1800 sq ft should use 15 to 18 good-sized houseplants in six- to eight-inch diameter containers to effectively clean the air. To simplify it further, a potted plant should be used for every 100 sq ft area in your house, office, etc.

Snake Plant
Snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue is popular as a houseplant as it is tolerant of low light levels and irregular watering; during winter it needs minimal watering every few months. It will rot easily if overwatered. It is an evergreen herbaceous perennial plant forming dense stands whose mature leaves are dark green with light gray-green cross-banding and usually range between 70–90 cm in length and 5–6 cm in width. A pot of 6-8 inches in diameter is preferable to grow a Snake plant.

A study by NASA found that it is one of the best plants for improving indoor air quality by passively absorbing toxins such as nitrogen oxides and formaldehyde. They are also good bathroom and dark space plants but can be toxic to cats and dogs!

Pleomele/Song of India
Dracaena reflexa, commonly called Pleomele or the Song of India grows to a height of 4–5 m is slow-growing and upright in habit, tending to an oval shape with an open crown. It performs well as a houseplant, tolerating infrequent watering. It prefers bright, filtered light, without direct sun exposure and should be fertilized bi-weekly when actively growing. Although it can survive in relatively low light levels, the plant may grow spindly if given insufficient light. It is one of the plants used in the NASA Clean Air Study and has shown to help remove formaldehyde and is said to be among the best plants for removing xylene and trichloroethylene.

Chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemum, also known as Mums, are herbaceous perennial plants growing to 50–150 cm tall, with deeply lobed leaves with large flower heads that are generally white, yellow or pink in the wild. They grow best in well drained soil and at a distance of around 2 feet from one another. According to the study, Chrysanthemum has shown to remove benzene, formaldehyde, xylene and trichloroethylene.

In our next article on Air Filtering Plants, we will cover a few more plants that will help purify your air, plants that will deter flies and mosquitoes.

Author: Vaibhav Dugar
Me, I am a Green Warrior and yes you are either with me or against me! On paper I’m a telecommunication engineer but professionally, a farmer. Work takes me setting many-a-farms, tilling many-a-lands and playing with soil which I thoroughly enjoy. I love playing football (avidly), going cycling, watching Formula 1 and writing!

If you need company to watch Formula 1, pit stop at Vaibhav.Dugar [at] EkTitli.org

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Pooja Banwari is an Electronics and Communication Engineer with interests in reading, knitting and doing cross-stitch. At Ek Titli she assists in maintaining content on the portal. Want to create a patchwork design? You can reach her at Pooja.Banwari [at] EkTitli.org

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