|Snake Plant thrives in most light conditions and provides
a great vertical accent. Try it in a pot on the floor.
As temperatures start to cool off, windows close, and the amount of time spent indoors increases, it seems like a good time to think about indoor air quality. This topic presented itself recently while I was working on a large scale indoor planting design and installation project for a company that was building out new office space in Maine.
In researching plants for this project, there were the typical characteristics I could evaluate: size and shape of the plant, color, ornamental value, light requirement and maintenance needs; but there was an additional characteristic that became particularly interesting, the plant’s air purification ability.
I learned through my research that NASA had conducted a study in 1989 to evaluate the effectiveness of indoor plants on improving air quality. At that time, requirements for energy efficiency in building design were resulting in a reduction of fresh air circulation, and a resulting decrease in indoor air quality. People were suffering from symptoms related to airborne toxins, and a pattern known as “sick building syndrome” was identified.
|Red-edged Dracaena provides a great pop
of color in any room.
The culprits were volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chemicals such as formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene, which are emitted from every day materials such as paint, carpeting, furniture, cleaning products, adhesives and other building materials. These VOCs have been shown to cause a variety of problems such as nausea, headaches, asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
NASA tested 12 different indoor plants and found that they did, in fact, have a significant effect in the removal of these airborne toxins. More plants have since been evaluated and have shown the same beneficial effects on indoor air quality.
As colder weather approaches, and we spend more time inside, think about adding some indoor plants to your space. They’ll not only bring some greenery indoors, but they’ll help you breathe easier this winter. These are a few of my favorites, all of which can easily be found at your local nursery.
|Peace Lily has broad, shiny leaves and will bloom
twice a year. A great plant for low light, try it
in a pot on a low table.
|Spider Plant is easy to grow in low light.
Place on a bookshelf where it can spill over the edge.
For more ideas on air purifying plants check out http://www.mnn.com/health/healthy-spaces/stories/15-houseplants-to-improve-indoor-air-quality