Homage to the Humble Houseplant to Celebrate NATIONAL INDOOR PLANT WEEK
Ok honestly when was the last time you sincerely thanked you interior plants for all the hard work they are performing on your behalf 24 hours a day. Never? Well let me give you good reason to think again before dismissing the thought that others will think you are crazy for talking to your plants.
Are you aware the interior air you are breathing daily is 2-5 times more polluted than the air you are breathing outside? This statistic comes from the Environmental Protection Agency. Since the majority of us spend more time inside than outside that is not doing your body any good. Ok I can hear you already saying really, where are all of the toxins coming from?
Indoor-air pollutantscome in two primary forms: particle pollution, such as dust, pollen, animal dander and smoke, and gaseous pollutants such as VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) that are emitted from sources such as building materials, dry-cleaned clothing and aerosol sprays. You are constantly breathing in common toxins such as formaldehyde, ammonia and benzene. Associated health problems range from headaches and asthma to respiratory diseases and cancer.
So how does a humble little houseplant conquer such a daunting task of removing these toxins from the environment? Well it’s through a process called phytoremediation which is the process of decontaminating soil or water by using plants and trees to absorb or break down pollutants.
Houseplants clean the air, researchers say, primarily by absorbing pollution through small leaf pores called stomata, and via microorganisms living in the potting soil or medium that metabolize contaminants. Scientists believe plants can begin removing pollution the moment they’re placed in a room and can be particularly useful in spaces where there’s little outside ventilation. There are numerous studies that support this and can be found on the website for Green Plants for Green Building greenplantsforgreenbuildings.org
Dr Bill Wolverton, a former NASA scientist who pioneered and conducted 25 years of research on indoor plants and their ability to purify air in enclosed environments, wrote the book How to Grow Fresh Air (Penguin, 1997) which describes 50 plants that clean office air. These plants include:
- • Palms (Areca, Lady, Bamboo, Kentia, Pigmy)
- • Pothos (Golden, Jade and, Neon and Marble Queen)
- • Dracaena (Dragon Tree , Massangeana, Craigii and Peomele)
- • Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum there are several varieties)
- • Ficus (Rubber tree, Weeping, Alii, Fiddle Leaf) plant (Ficus elastica)
- • Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
- • Sword or Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
- • Philodendrens (Imperial Green or Red, Split Leaf and Heartleaf)
- • Snake Plants
- • Hawaiian Schefflera
We post pictures of almost all of these plants on our website, so feel free to take a look
So this week during the National Indoor Plant Week, show a little appreciation for your hard working humble houseplants that are constantly making your world a cleaner place to breath. Give them some water, a nice little shower to dust them off, (with tepid water of course, and no direct sun) and maybe a few vitamins like superthive to give them a boost after all their hard work. If you don’t have a plant, go get one. And if you need a little help or advice and you live in the Orange County Area, call us and we can assiste you with Indoor Plant Care for your home or office. For a small investment you can do more for your indoor environment than an expensive air purifier could do, and they are prettier!