Houseplants that clear the air

“Plant trees. They give us two of the most crucial elements for our survival: oxygen and books.” ~ Alan Whitney Brown, writer and SNL comedian

In Sunday’s Mail Tribune column (Sept. 10, 2017), I wrote about how our garden plants are affected by the smoke we’ve been having recently. We want our outdoor plants and trees to stay healthy; after all, they consume carbon dioxide from the air and produce the oxygen humans depend on for life. According to the NY Times, one acre of trees annually consumes the amount of carbon dioxide equivalent to that produced by driving an average car for 26,000 miles. That same acre of trees also produces enough oxygen for 18 people to breathe for a year.

Similarly, our indoor plants absorb household chemicals from the air that come from carpet, glue, our oven, cleaning products and synthetic materials such as plastic and Chrysanthemumsrubber. In fact, NASA recommends having two or three houseplants every 100 feet in the home to help clear the air of harmful toxins. NASA conducted a study in 1989 that identified several common houseplants that are dynamos when it comes to purifying indoor air. These include: spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum), Dracenas (all species), golden pothos (Epipremnum aureum) and chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum morifolium).

Take a quiz to find out which houseplants are right for you at healthline.com.

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  • About the Author

    Rhonda Nowak

    Rhonda Nowak is a Rogue Valley gardener, writer and teacher. With more than 25 years of gardening experience and a Ph.D. in literature and language arts education, she combines a love for plants, poetry, and prose in her Literary Gardener blog. ... Full Profile
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