Thursday, May 14, 2009

Plant Filters



I have always loved plants. Taking tours of your beautiful gardens has been a treat. But did you know that houseplants are actually healthy? NASA found over 300 compounds being released into the air on one of their flights and began testing houseplants for their power to absorb pollutants. Not only do house plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, but many are super air "scrubbers". For instance, Philodendrons, Spider Plants and Pathos are expert at filtering formaldehyde from the air released through "off gassing." This compound is found in paints, cushions, fabrics, even shampoos. Many construction materials contain formaldehyde. The toxic FEMA trailers come to mind.

Gerber Daisies and Chrysanthemums are experts at absorbing benzene, a known carcinogen, found in plastics, synthetic rubber and dyes. For more information about plants and their ability to help clean our air, and the ones to avoid if you have animals or small children, go here.

They also will live a long time with a little love and tenderness. I have african violets that were given me when my children were born - as long as 26 years ago! They are still blooming.

So do yourself and favor and surround yourself with as many plants as possible. Not only are they aesthetic, but healthy too.

35 comments:

Jeff D'Antonio said...

Sadly, indoor plants don't live very long under my care. I've even killed plastic ones.

So I do my planting outdoors and then let nature take care of them for me. They seem to do much better that way.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Interesting. I have been say for four years that this old building is trying to kill me. I don't have as many houseplants as I have had in the past....due to limited space. I had some huge african violets that were so healthy and they have died off one by one. Something in the air, maybe the same thing that is causing my respiratory problems. I am off to the nursery for lots of house plants......I will stack them if I have to!!

Merisi said...

Thank you for putting all this information together, very interesting!

Love the picture,
those window shutter are out of this world!

Rain said...

Bringing greenery into the home is crucial for me! Because I've been moving around so often lately, I gave my plants away to the concierge of the apartment building where I lived in Montreal a few years ago. I'm lucky that my current landlords are plant lovers! I tend to 12 of their plants and 6 of my own, not to mention the beautiful garden blooming!

Thanks for that info, I knew about the chemical transformation to oxygen, but not the others!

On a separate note, when you finish The Instinct Diet, would you write a review? That book really sounds interesting.

MrsSchlereth said...

Ohh, I really like this. Thank you for giving us a link to find what these plants filter!! That's so cool! PS> I had no idea that African Violets lived so long! I'm going to buy some and see how long I can keep them going!

TheChicGeek said...

Yes, plants bring life into our homes and not only give off good-for-us stuff but make us feel happy when we are surrounded by beauty :)
I love the picture you posted too...the red doors, so cute :)
Have a Happy Day!

critterlover said...

Good info! I love my houseplants, I have many. Mostly I have a 'jungle room' because that's the only room that really gets enough natural light, but they're everywhere!

scarlethue said...

That's interesting stuff! I have... 7 houseplants. I had 8 but killed the pink peace lily somehow.

As for your comment-- so strange that the kitty would bite him there! And yeah, I might have thrown her as well. Our kitty got away with no consequences. Disciplining a cat is like banging your head on a wall. And yeah, the birds are acting crazy lately. This one flew right into my windshield as I swerved to miss him.

Valerie said...

What a pretty picture! Thanks for this information. I realise now I should get more plants but I ran out of shelf space in my tiny bungalow and did a foolish thing... got rid of the plants.

ellen abbott said...

My old house and my new both have deep eaves and trees close by so we don't get enough light for plants in the house.

Besides cleaning our air for us, they are 'aware' of their environment. I read of an experiment once where they hooked electrodes to plants to measure electrical activity. Then a different person came into the room and trashed one of the plants and left. When that person came back in the room, the other plants went nuts, the electrical activity was astounding. This was in the book The Secret Life Of Plants, but it is out of print now.

After reading this, I have always told plants if I was getting ready to prune or otherwise disturb them before I actually do it. Also, I always thank them for the gift when I pick a flower.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

I love surrounding myself with houseplants....thanks for the detailed information on the air scrubber quality of houseplants....I knew they were good for our health but didn't know the info about filtering formaldehyde and I don't know about pathos (as I that plant's name doesn't ring a bell) but for the other two plants they are extremely forgiving plants and do well even if periodically neglected....

I love african violets, I inherited some and I wish I knew how old they are, I expect quite old!!

Anna said...

Oh so true. I love having the outdoors inside myself.

Star said...

I loved this post. I think the idea of a spider plant getting rid of excessive gas is a definite plus. LOL Must try that one.
Keep em coming.
Blessings Star

lolit said...

oh thanks for this informations, surely i can share this to my friends too.great help!

Rose said...

I'm a fan of orchards. And, I always have to have fresh herbs.

This was very interesting.

Thank you.

Hugs, Rose

CrazyCris said...

I'm afraid I have to opposite of a green thumb... for some reason the plants around here object to my forgetting to water them on a regular basis! I just don't get it... ;o)

Joanne said...

Great info, love the way nature works. I just planted my outdoor deck pots, geraniums and petunias and such, and have never had many indoor plants. I've tried African Violets, but they don't seem to thrive. Looks like it's time for another try.

Lisa said...

i did not know that about house plants- may just go buy a fern x

Marguerite said...

I have always loved plants, too and have lots of them. They seem to have a relaxing effect on the mind, too. Thanks so much for this informative post and for the link. Adorable pic.

eag said...

Good stuff, the greener our world the healthier the people! What about the CO2 plants use up, funny how people are worrying about the levels and that coincides with the continuing loss of rain forests and vegetation.Keep planting!

Kathy G said...

Love the picture!

I used to kill just about any house plant, but I think the secret for me is to have them in the house only for the winter, then put them back outside :-)

I have two spider plants in hanging baskets, a dwarf schefflera (that's actually getting quite big), a philodendron, and Christmas cactus plants.

I'm afraid to try African violets; I think the cats would eat them.

Verily I go. said...

I have bamboo. I think that tells the whole story of my plant powers. Time to rethink and dedicate. You keep me thinking.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

I'm on the run...but when I spotted your gorgeous photo on my dashboard, I was drawn irresistibly to your blog! Super post! I ADORE a beautiful garden!!!!! Catch you later!! ~Janine XO

nikina said...

the picture is beautfiful !!! i couldn't life without plants and flowers around me...the time i can spend in the garden is the best time of the year. right now i can't have many plants inside since i have a room in the basement...but that will change someday and then it is gonna be all green :)

susan said...

My mother grew fine african violets but I was hopeless with them until the day many years ago when I felt sorry for three nearly dead ones at the grocery store. I felt I couldn't do worse than had already been done and was right. They thrived and ever since, even with moving great distances, I've always carried a leaf of each to be the next mother plant.

I even have a streptocarpus (african primrose) with 18" long leaves and beautiful blue flowers. The original cutting came from a plant an uncle in England had grown. Everything meaningful to us does have its own story.

nurturingwisdom said...

I love plants, particularly my houseplants. I have one that is about 45 years old, a snake plant. It's traveled with me from state to state, every move. It's gotten so big through the years that I've shared it with friends several times.

My spider plants have homes in all my former kindergarten students houses as Mother's Day gifts. They're such wonderful air filters.

It's amazing how God has prepared our environment for us before we ever came on the scene. We've been provided with food, clean are, oxygen, and beauty through plants(Genesis 1:11,12). And God said it was good.

nurturingwisdom said...

Oops, sorry for the mistakes in my comment. It should have said,"students' houses" and "clean air".

Lover of Life thank you for a wonderful post.

Beatriz Kim said...

I love plants but I tend to get distracted and kill them off. So recently I was determined to keep them alive because I knew about their benefits.

I am finally able to keep plants alive! I have set an alarm to remind me to water and check on them and it works wonders!

Oh...they are so wonderful! They Bay Area has so many botanical gardens and natural gardens...which are available all year...since we have mild weather. I'm so happy to live here!

Thank you for the post! It helped me to be grateful and that always makes me feel better. You are really wonderful!

mo'ikeha said...

After yesterdays clouds, such colourful plants - owe you a very big thank you for providing such colours and the ability to sigh and being happily alive.

Mark said...

This is a good reminder! Thanks for sharing the power of plants to make our world better.

Deboshree said...

Hey there dear friend.
Thanks for sharing this piece of information with us.
I will try to have house plants.When mom was alive,we had loads of them, but with time they caused too much seepage so dad discarded them..can you suggest any way to avoid seepage?

Love
Deboshree

Lover of Life said...

Jeff - My girls have the same problem, unfortunately.

Rain - Happy to do a review of the book, but have to warn you - books a taking a long time to read - I'm just very distracted all the time.

Ellen - You should do a post about that.

Susan - What a wonderful idea.

nuturingwisdom - Couldn't agree more.

Deboshree - A good liner under the pot? One that has been glazed so water can't penetrate.

Okay - I'm off to try and visit all of you! Thanks for all your comments, and plant stories!

Reya Mellicker said...

I knew it energetically but not physically. Very cool! Thanks!

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