In the heat of the summer we close up all our windows, we turn down the shades and we turn the air conditioning on. In the deep cold of the winter we close our windows tight and turn the heat on. These are great energy saving methods when using your heat and air conditioning, however without the flow of fresh air, the indoor air quality of your home begins to diminish.
Some of you may have known this, but for those how don’t, there are some great plants that you can put in the home to help clean your indoor air. These plants are pretty low maintenance, they arn’t flowering, and they also add some life to your decor. All the plants in my house have matching pots or ones that work with the room that they are in. It’s a decorators thing.
Lets take a look at some examples individually. I have collected 10 example for you so you can have a variety to choose form. You don’t have to choose just one either. Each plant has different needs and different looks, so you can choose the one that is best suited in the space for its look and for its function.
Aloe Vera; We have all heard of the Aloe Vera plant. Aloe very is in so many things we use, its in beverages, skin lotions, cosmetics, ointments. Its truly one of natures magic plants. I’m sure at some point almost all of us have used it to help sooth a sun burn. Did you know, the active ingredient that helps with the sunburn is the plants aromatic volatile compound, otherwise known as essential oil. The plant creates this essential oil to protect itself from the harshness of the sun and dry grounds in the tropical areas where this plant is naturally grown. So when we use it on our sunburns it does exactly what nature intended it to do, hydrate and protect the skin from the effects of the sun…
Like most plants the Aloe Vera plant does require sunlight. Placing this plant near a window where it will get some sun is ideal. When potting an Alor Vera plant make sure the pot has drainage so that water doesn’t sit in the soil for too long, so you may want to have a plate under it to catch any draining water. Water the plant when you see the soil start to dry out a bit.
Areca Palm; This is one of the most popular indoor plants on the market, it is native to tropical climates, outside it will grow significantly taller then it would inside. Areca Palms are a bit more expensive then some of the other indoor plants you can buy, however they do grow larger then most and have a wonderful tropical look to them.
To care for this palm properly you will want to keep it in a well lite space, away from direct sunlight, the direct sunlight will burn the leaves. Again it is important that the pot you choose allows for water drainage, if the water sits at the bottom of the pot with no where to go it can and will cause root rot over time. You will want to water this plant when you start to see the top of the soil dry out. You may notice that they wilt a bit when they are in need of water, but as soon as they get some they perk right back up.
As for your air quality, there have been many studies that show that this plant does pull out some of the chemicals that can build in your indoor air..
Baby Rubber; This plant is native to warmer climates, it is also a very common indoor plant, in the summer months it does like some outdoor time in a shaded area if you would like to use it on a terrace or patio. Baby Rubber plants emit a high oxygen content into the air, this really helps support cleaner breathing air, the plant is also able to remove some of the common indoor air toxins.
As with most tropical plants, only water it once the soil starts to dry out. Don’t let it dry out completely, or it will drop its leaves, watering to often and soaking the soil may cause root rot. Again choose a pot that will allow excess water to seep away from the soil.
Don’t forget to feed the plant with a good fertilizer, almost all plants benefit from monthly fertilizers during the summer months, it helps them grow and stay healthy. If you don’t know what fertilizer to use, you can alway check with your local garden centre for advise.
Bamboo Palm; This particular plant is an exception to the rule of needing a bright space to grow. The Bamboo Palm can grow in a low lite area, but will grow better in a well lite room. The size of this plant varies on the space it is given to grow and the conditions it is growing in. It can get anywhere between 4-12 high and 3-5 feet wide. When you bring this plant home from the garden centre it is recommended that you replant it right away in a planter that allows proper draining and is approximately 2″ wider around then the pot your purchased it in. When re-potting make sure you are using a high quality potting soil as well so that the plant gets lots of nutrients to start growing.
When buying this plant you want to make sure you are getting one that is in a healthy condition, stay away from plants that have wilted foliage and brown spots on it.
You can use this plant as an outdoor patio plant, or for the indoors year around to help keep your indoor air clean by adding humidity into the air, clearing it of toxins, and making your home feeling alive.
Boston Fern; These popular house plants can act as a humidifier in the home, they help to restore moisture in the air which helps people who suffer from dry skin and other seasonal cold weather problems.
The Boston Fern likes to live in a cool space with indirect sunlight. A tip to make this plant happy indoors is to place the pot on a plate of small rocks. When you are potting your plant you will need no make sure it can drain, have the water drain into the plate of small rocks, when the rocks dry up then you know it is about time to water the plant again, Its a win win for your potted plant and for you.
The Boston Fern is one pf the easiest plants to keep if you are someone that struggles with a green thumb.
Chinese Evergreen; This plant emits high oxygen amounts into your air and it also removes many of the indoor toxins.
This plant is another great one for those of you who are concerned with your plant growing abilities. Its a hardy tropical plant that can grow and tolerate dry low lite spaces.
Again as with most plants, make sure you start off on the right foot. When you bring this plant home, repot it in a potter that allows for drainage, and use good high quality potting soil. To make sure this plant does what you need it to do for your indoor air, make sure you give it a little love by using a fertilizer twice a year, and watch your watering so you don’t over saturate the soil causing root rot.
If you have never grown plants indoors before, this is a great first plant to try out and learn from.
Mass Cane; This is a slow growing plant that requires little maintenance to grow. Like many of the plants we have talked about so far, it is a great indoor plant that helps take the toxins out of the air.
A great trick for indoor plants is to take a bucket of water and let it sit out in room temperate before you water your plants with it. Tap water contains fluoride, and that is bad for the plants. By leaving it out the fluoride evaporates making it safer to use.
Again as with any plant, make sure you repot it when you get home using good potting soil and pot that is approx. 2″ larger around then the one you bought the plant it. Because this is a slow growing plant, it wont need to be moved around once you have found the perfect spot for it in your home. Another good care technique for this plant is to fertilize it every three to four months to make sure it gets the nutrients it needs to do the job you need the plant to do.
The Mass Cane grows best in a well lite area, keep this in mind when you are planning where you want it to go.
Pygmy Date Palm; There are more toxins in the air then we realize sometimes, this is another great plant to help us with this. Indoor air quality is very important.
To care for this plant you will want to make sure it is in a well lite area in the home. When potting it make sure it can have proper drainage. Watering this plant regularly but not much is important, if you over water, the palms will start to turn brown. You will also want to fertilize this plant once in the spring and once in the summer.
This is a tough slow growing plant, so if you have concerns about your green thumb you can relax.
Ficus Gerbera Daisy; This little plant packs a punch when it comes to indoor benefits. NASA says this plant has the ability to remove benzene from the air, benzene is a known cancer causing chemical. This little plant also is know to absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen at night which is great for improving your sleep.
This is a flowering plant and as such needs some sunlight. When thinking about where you would like to place this plant in your home, consider a window sill or a well lite area in the home.
The best time to water this plant is when the first inch of the soil feels dry to the touch. Before placing it back on the drip tray make sure most of the access water from watering has drained out, this will help you avoid root rot. During the spring and summer months this plant does well with monthly feedings of fertilizers to help keep the blooms.
Repot this plant when you bring it home if it is not already potted when you buy it. You will know it is time to repot this plant when it starts to look crowded in the pot it is in. These Awesome little plants are so popular you can get them everywhere, even your local grocery store. So next time you there check them out, they are a great little addition to your home…
Who knew plants could do so much for us. There are many more plants that can do many more things for your indoor air quality. We really just scratched the surface. The point today was to really get your mind going and consider adding some great plants into your home.
I have been integrating plants into my decor plans for some time now and they really do make a big difference. Not only do they add some character and life to the space, but they have some great health benefits for you and your family as well.
I would really like to hear about the pants you have in your home, if you are considering trying out some of these plants we talked about here I would like to hear about that too.. please drop a comment below and lets talk about it 🙂