Nature and wellness

Purify air quality inside homes with plants

Purify air quality inside homes with  plants
-Dr.Susan Sharma

There is so much talk about Delhi being the most polluted city in the world now.   While air quality outside is bad, quality of air inside our homes is also not good.  The common pollutants are  formaldehyde: in carpets, upholstery, glues, paint, and more; benzene: in plastics, synthetic fibers, lubricants, rubber, pesticides, and more); trichloroethylene: in paint removers, rug cleaning solution, adhesives, and more

There are many powerful air-cleaning plants that naturally remove pollutants from the air.
In a 2,000 square foot house, bring in 15 to 20 plants in 6-inch pots or larger. Rather than scattering single plants, create group displays in each room for a great look and maximum air quality.   Which are the plants you can consider?  Here are some common ones.

1.  Chrysanthemum
This plant can be noted for its popularity as an indoor houseplant in part because of its air cleaning qualities as per a study done by NASA, removing benzene, formaldehyde, and ammonia and other chemicals from the air.  It’s popular and inexpensive, plus chrysanthemums  can be planted outside too.

A graceful member of the chrysanthemum family

2. Spider Plant
Spider plants are incredibly easy to grow, so if you’re a beginner, this is a great one to start with. It  sends out shoots with flowers on them that will eventually grow into baby spider plants that you can propagate yourself.  Before too long, you’ll have more spider plants than you’ll know what to do with.   They are known to remove formaldehyde, xylene and toluene from the air around.  

Spider plant

3. Dracaena
There are over 40 kinds of dracaena plants, which makes it easy to find the right one for you. They remove benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene from the air. They are toxic to cats and dogs though, so if you have pets, you might want to think twice about this one.


4. Ficus
Ficus trees are capable of growing quite large depending on the type of pot you have them in. They typically stand between 2 and 10 feet tall and have some serious air cleaning abilities. You can also keep it outside in the spring and summer. The ficus removes benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde from indoor air.

Tray garden with ficus as the main tree

5. Snake Plant/Mother-in-law’s Tongue
You see this one all over the place in offices and restaurants – and for good reason. They’re pretty much impossible to kill. They need water only occasionally and prefer drier conditions. They don’t need much direct sunlight either. They remove benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and xylene from indoor air.

Motherinlaw plant inside a house

Will come back with more in our next issue!

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