Decorate Your New Home With These Great Air-Cleaning PlantsPosted on 10.7.2019
You don’t have to be outdoors to be exposed to harmful air pollution. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), between the time we spend sleeping, working from home or an office setting, watching tv, etc. we actually spend 90% of our time indoors. Our indoor environments have three to five times more pollutants than the outdoors, according to the EPA.
If you are looking to improve the air quality in your new home, you don’t have to jump straight to expensive air purifiers. By utilizing some great air-cleaning houseplants, you can eliminate many of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that contaminate the air. Even better, you’ll be doing it in a natural and mood-lifting way.
In 1989, NASA started the Clean Air Study to find safe and effective ways to clean the air within the space station. NASA scientists discovered that the use of certain houseplants had a significant effect on improving air-quality of indoor environments. These air-purifying plants reduce levels of CO2 and increase relative humidity. This helps get rid of musty stale air, acts as a natural humidifier, and helps to reduce the levels of VOCs in the air.
Plants have also been proven to lift a person’s mood and provide a calming effect. By utilizing air-cleaning plants (as well as other air-purifiers) you can:
- Reduce the amount of irritation to your eyes, ears, nose, and throat
- Ease coughing and congestion (especially for those suffering from Asthma)
- Increase positive emotional states and lower stress
- Help to boost your concentration
Toxins In The Air
Items and materials within your home or office from the furniture you sit on to the office supplies you use release all different kinds of VOCs.
The three most common pollutants are formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. These, along with several other types of VOCs, often come from soft furnishings in the home like fabrics and upholsteries or things like paint and varnish, as well as cleaning supplies. Your office environment (think commercial ceiling tiles), photocopiers, or printers are other big sources.
As you can see, it can be extremely beneficial to work health-improving plants into your home interior design. Let’s take a look at some of the top air-cleaning plants.
The Top Air-Cleaning Plants
If you don’t have a green thumb or are new to houseplants, the Spider Plant is the perfect plant for you. This hardy plant, which also requires minimal maintenance, provides one of the highest removal rates of the commonly found VOC formaldehyde. It is also great at removing carbon monoxide from the air. If you have pets, the Spider Plant is also perfect because it is non-toxic to our furry friends.
Variegated Snake Plant
Another easy to maintain air-purifying powerhouse is the Snake Plant. Sometimes called Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, this easy to find succulent prefers drier conditions and only needs to be watered occasionally. However, be careful not to overwater it. The Snake Plant is perfect for the bathroom to remove the formaldehyde frequently found in cleaning products and toilet paper. It also works very well in the bedroom as it releases fresh oxygen at night.
This common groundcover plant also serves as a great indoor plant that can remove several different types of indoor VOCs. It also helps to combat mold. This long-lasting plant, often living several years, will grow in full shade or full sun and can easily be shaped to fit the space. English Ivy is naturally a climbing plant so it can be worked into some great DIY home decor items.
If you have an area with a high ceiling, the Red-Edged Dracaena, or Dragon Tree, would be a perfect fit. Though slow-growing, this plant can grow to heights around 8 feet tall. This spiky red-trimmed air-purifying plant does wonders fighting against the VOCs trichloroethylene and xylene. The Dragon Tree does require a good amount of sunlight, so a spacious area near a window is the best environment for it.
Another air-purifying member of the Dracaena family is the Cornstalk Dracaena. The name of this plant comes from its similarity to the look of a cornstalk growing out of a pot. This air-cleaning plant greatly reduces the levels of formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene in the air. It is also extremely easy to care for because it can easily handle low light and can occasionally miss a watering.
The Bamboo Palm is a great looking indoor plant that can bring a lot of green to your space. This palm often grows four to twelve feet tall and prefers a nice amount of light with some shade. It does grow slowly so you won’t have to move the palm to a larger pot for several years. The Bamboo Palm is great at removing both benzene and formaldehyde from the air.
Care For Your Plants
Each kind of plant will, of course, require care methods that are specific to that species of plant, but there are some general tips to help easily care for your air-purifying plants.
In general, you always want to be conscious of under or overwatering. Keep an eye on the leaves. If the tips of the leaves turn crispy brown they are being under-watered. If they are turning yellow they are getting too much water. Also, make sure the pot has adequate drainage so the roots don’t begin to rot.
Just as important as water levels, it’s important to consider the type of soil the plants are in. It is a general rule to use organic potting soil and not local natural soil. The ideal soil should contain soil conditioners that help provide valuable nutrients and proper aeration through peat or coconut fiber. It is also a good idea to fertilize the plants with organic fertilizer regularly. Houseplants do not have a continuous feed of essential nutrients so they need the nitrate, phosphate, and potassium found in fertilizers.
Always make sure to familiarize yourself with the specific care guidelines (often found on the cardboard information stick in the original pot) for each specific type of plant.
Utilize Air-Cleaning Plants In Your Home Design
Utilizing attractive looking air-cleaning plants in your home serves to not only improve the quality of the indoor air you breathe but also provides a great mood booster. They also create great-looking decor pieces that create a more natural feel inside.
Now you know some of the best types of air-cleaning houseplants, you may be wondering how many plants you need to clean the air within your home. According to the NASA study, at a minimum, you should be using one plant per 100 feet of living space. This volume will efficiently help reduce the amount of indoor air pollution and allow you to breathe easier.
The new home designs from SEDA New Homes provide the perfect spaces to utilize these air-cleaning plants in your home interior design. Contact our licensed agents online or stop by one of our communities today for more information!