Twila E. Palmer's Blog
House plants can significantly improve the dynamic of a room. While some are purely decorative, there are others that can have a dramatic effect on air and indoor pollution levels. If you are planning on making a few botanical additions to your home, then why not get the added benefit of choosing plants that will work for you, as well as providing an aesthetic benefit? Here are a few to get you started. Golden Pothos - This vine-like plant is very easy to grow, requiring very little light, and can survive quite comfortably if you happen to forget to water it on a regular basis. With regular fertilizing, this plant becomes a fast-growing vine that looks fantastic in any room. Clippings can be taken, put in water, and will develop root structures in as little as a few days. Because this is a submersible plant, it is also popular with aquarium enthusiasts. In addition, this plant is a heavy oxygen producer, and can also remove benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene from your air. Peace Lilies - Interestingly enough, these houseplants are not true lilies. These attractive members of the Araceae family need only a little light and water in order to survive, and produce brilliant flowers. Rubber Tree - While used as houseplants in North America, these plants have an interesting use in India; the roots are guided over chasms in order to create what is commonly referred to as living bridges. These plants prefer bright sunlight, and while they can withstand infrequent watering quite well, they will thrive if given enough moisture. Weeping Fig - This is the official tree of Bangkok, Thailand. In a study by NASA, this plant was shown to effectively remove airborne toxins from its environment. This plant thrives in warm, sunny conditions, but can also tolerate low-light conditions fairly well. If it is moved to a new room, it will shed a large number of its leaves, and replace them with new leaves in response to the change in light conditions. While it is adaptive to changes in light, care should be taken not to place it in an area where it will be subjected to strong, cold drafts. This plant is also popular among bonsai enthusiasts for its aesthetic properties. Snake Plant - Also known as "mother-in-law's tongue", this plant has been recognized in the same NASA study as one of the best plants to remove indoor air pollution. Like other pollution-reducing plants, this one can survive quite well with low light levels and irregular watering. Care should be taken not to over water this species, as the root structure is fairly sensitive. For further reading, you can pick up the book How To Grow Fresh Air, by B.C. Wolverton.