Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Clean Your Indoor Air This Winter with Plants

A single leaf of Philodendron gloriosum, one of many plants that purify inside air.

Indoor plants make great air purifiers in the way of absorbing the carbon dioxide in the air and giving off oxygen in the photosynthesis process. Especially this time of year, when many of us are stuck inside with dry indoor heat and the snow outside has buried any semblance of green vegetation.

Philodendron erubescens 'Pink Princess', another large leafed plant that adds to indoor air quality.

Other chemicals that plants absorb are the benzenes, formaldehydes and trichloroethylenes given off typically from new carpet, plastic anything, synthetic building materials, etc. All plants are not created equal(ie: the more surface area the better air purification). Although after researching this topic, most plants are beneficial.

Philodendron 'Prince of Orange'

According to a study at the University of Minnesota Extension, plants that were the most effective were the tropical and subtropical plants. A recent article in Better Homes and Gardens also talks about the benefits of clean air in your home. At Logee's, we grow many plants that can help cleanse the air.

Of course, the bigger and more vigorous they grow the better the air quality but Nasa's study has said that a dozen small plants in 6-8 inch pots can effectively clean an 1800 sq foot home.

Here's our Logee's List of the Best Plants for Clean Air.

We have a ready made category for the air purifiers. We call them our Indestructibles, which simply means they are easy to care for and can withstand dry conditions and take partial sun. Plants such as sansevierias, philodendrons, aloes, agaves, polyscias, and aeschynanthus.

Sanseviera trifasciata 'Twist' is an attractive addition to any home's interior.

Byron says Begonias are the way to go for attractive air cleansers. Plus, they are good for the inattentive gardener or the gardener who has a dry household. Begonias like to be kept dry between watering and do not need full sun.

Begonia 'Palomar Prince' is a rhizomatous begonia that fills out into a large leafed specimen. This is a 4-inch pot that we are ready to ship out.

Begonia 'Tea Rose' also in a 4-inch pot, has large green leaves with fragrant pink flowers.

Other plants that are easy to grow and are excellent to clean indoor air are below.
Anthurium 'Misty Rose' is in a six inch pot, loves the shade and is an everbloomer.

Anthurium 'Red' is also called the "Hawaiin Volcano Plant" and grows on a volcanic rock.

Calathea lancilota "Rattle Snake Plant" is one of my favorites for its maroon markings on its long sword-like leaves.

In the main greenhouse is this Maidenhair Fern that not only adds greenery but is lovely in its shape and form. Ferns are more difficult to grow. They need lots of humidity and water.

In the foreground is a stray branch from our Ficus Pumila plant that covers the inside ceiling of our retail store. We have a built in air cleaner with this plant.

Finally, think lots of leaf surface. The Alocasia sp. Zebrina gets relatively large leaves and has an attractive striping on the stem.

But we are talking BIG with this next variety.

This large elephant ear known as colocasias esculenta 'Thailand Giant Strain' is extraordinary in its leaf size and structure. Let's just say one plant this large would take care of your entire household clean air needs. Notice our son, Elijah when he was 12 years old, amongst the leaves. This was grown outside for one season but can easily grow inside in a pot if you have the space and full sun exposure.

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