GROW Fresh Air

Written by Peg Castorani. Posted in Family Health.

grow fresh air in your homeEven NASA agrees that the stuffy air in your home and office can be detrimental to your health. They have done the research to provide us with a list of the most air cleansing plants for you, your family and even your pets. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air is often more than 10 times more polluted than outdoor air. Most of us are in our offices or homes most hours of the day, hopefully with good insulation from the winter’s chill. Unfortunately, building materials, paints, finishes, furnishings and carpets release harmful chemicals into our insulated space. Other toxic chemicals are emitted from cleaning products, pesticides, and hazardous household supplies. Do you really know what the cleaning company uses?

There may be mold growing on moist materials and surfaces. Carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide gases can be released from gas-fueled combustion appliances (but I love my gas stove!). Houseplants are one answer to challenge of interior pollution. 

NASA researched the effect of houseplants on sealed interior spaces in the 80s as they began to think about humans traveling to inhospitable environments and living in these spaces for lengthy periods of time. As you know all plants purify the air, so you do not have to get too obsessed with the plant list provided by NASA.  Select plants that suit your environment. Consider how much sun each room gets and how cool they are in temperature. Besides, plants make us smile. Choose the ones that you love just looking at them.

As for maintenance, I simply water my houseplants once a week thoroughly. Let them get thoroughly moist, not swampy, then let them dry to the touch on top. Fertilize according to the plant needs with an organic fertilizer. I love Compost Tea Bags.   If you buy plants at your local flower shop or garden center, you will get healthy plants with good advice for keeping them that way. 

*Here is NASA’s list of the top 10 plants for a healthy space: 

Common name followed by their botanical name. Keep in mind, plants go in and out of fashion, so several may not be available.  At the end of the list, I have listed some of my favorite easy to grow houseplants that will enhance your daily life.

Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)

Lady Palm (Rhapis excels)

Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)

Rubber Plant (Ficus robusta)

Dracaena “Janet Craig” (Dracaena dermensis)

English Ivy ( Hedera helix)

Dwarf  Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii)

Ficus “Alii” (Ficus macleilandii)

Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Others plants that are available are the  ZZ Plant , Schefflera, Weeping Fig, Snake Plant, Norfolk Island Pine, Prayer Plant, Kalanchoe,  Pothos, & Aloe Vera. 

*If you have a pet that has been known to get into your house plants, before purchasing plants on this list and any other house plants be sure that they are not poisonous.

peg-picPeg Castorani is the owner of Gateway Garden Center in Hockessin, Delaware. Peg and her friendly, knowledgable staff will provide you with expert horticultural advice to help you fill your life with the beauty of plants. For questions or more information 302-239-2727
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