Breath Of Life – How Houseplants Improve Health

air filtering plantsI’ve always loved gerberas – you know, those great big gorgeous daisy-like flowers with seemingly a zillion petals – now I have even more reason for filling my home with their glorious color (not to mention an excellent excuse for my husband when he looks at my exhorbitant nursery expenditure).

We know that the quality of the food we eat is vital to our wellbeing – just as we know that the quality of the air we breathe can have a significant impact on our health.

While we can easily make dietary modifications, what can we do to improve the purity of what we breathe? The answer is air-filtering houseplants.

Not just any houseplants, however. In its Clean Air Study, NASA identified a number of plants which can produce significant oxygen level improvements. With these plants in your home, you can increase blood oxygen levels by 1% in 10 hours – not bad. They have the ability to reduce headaches, eye irritation, asthma and assorted respiratory problems.

A few of the friendly houseplants include:

  • Snake plant – otherwise known as mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’). This converts CO2 into oxygen at night.
  • Areca Palm – (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens). This removes CO2 and converts it into oxygen during the day.
  • Devil’s Ivy – aka Golden Pothos -(Scindapsus aures or Epipremnum aureum). This removes formaldehyde and other chemicals from your air.

Other air-friendly plants include English Ivy and Red-Edged Dracena (help remove xylene and toluene).

Pot Mum (Florist’s Chrysanthemum), the Peace Lily and my favorite – the Gerbera daisy – all help remove benzene, formaldehyde and trichlorethylene.

So, how many do you need? NASA recommends 15-18 good-sized houseplants in 20cm pots (exposed surface soil is also important) in a 170 sq metre home.

Hmmm … that’s a lot of gerberas … I love it!

Click here if you would like to read more about air filtering plants.

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4 Responses to Breath Of Life – How Houseplants Improve Health

  1. Mimi says:

    Hello Janet,
    I think I just found a kindred spirit.
    I love gerberas, too – I grow more than 50 different colors and varieties – I guess that makes me a gerberaphile. Wanna start a club?
    Reading your blog is wonderful, I feel like I know you even though I don’t, and your advice is very helpful and easy to read.
    God bless you, from Mimi.

    • Janet says:

      Thanks Mimi for your kind words.
      I’m sooo jealous of your gerbera collection. I noticed you’re in Sydney, too – that club sounds like a great idea!

  2. jane says:

    Hi Janet,
    I share your love of these flowers too. I didn’t know they are good for your health, or snake plants either. I’m enjoying reading your blog very much.

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