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Air-Purifying Houseplants

While spring cleaning, don’t forget about what you can’t see—your air. Since many of us spend most of time indoors, it’s important to offset the junk we breathe in. By placing certain houseplants in your home or office, you’ll be taking in better air in no time.

Double Duty House Plants

“Oxygen bombs” are houseplants that help remove toxic air pollutants from industrial chemicals used to manufacture building materials and houseplantsnumerous household cleaners that may contain formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia, acetone and ethyl acetate. The plant leaves actually absorb these pollutants and convert them to harmless substances. As a bonus, they do double duty by beautifying your space.

Some of my favorite houseplants are:

  • Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii) – bright filtered or indirect light, water sparingly in winter, neutral to acidic soil, minimum temperature of 61 degrees F
  • Dragon Tree (Dracaena draco) – full light with shade from hot sun, water sparingly in winter, moderate humidity, minimum temperature 55 degrees F
  • Elephant Ear (Philodendron esculenta)- bright filtered light, mist daily in summer, water sparingly in winter, support stems with moss pole, minimum temperature 59 degrees F
  • English Ivy (Hedera helix) – bright indirect to low light, keep moist, grow as a topiary or in a hanging basket, hardy zones 5 through 10
  • Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) – requires bright light, excellent drainage, plant crown 1/2 inch above surface of soil, keep the old leaves picked off, minimum temperature 60 degrees F
  • Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum ‘Mauna Loa’) – indirect to bright light, high humidity, minimum temperature 59 degrees F

In 80 square meters of space, you’ll need 3 to 4 plants. Make sure there’s one in your bedroom since you spend plenty of time in there sleeping.