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Air Purifying Plants- What’s all the fuss about?

Of late there’s been a lot of buzz about ‘air-purifying’ plants. But aren’t all plants good for the air as they produce oxygen? Why this new-found tag of air-purifying? So let’s clear the air around air-purifying plants with some more facts. As part of photosynthesis, all plants consume carbon dioxide, and produce oxygen in the day-time. So having any plants in your surroundings will improve the oxygen content in that area. This is why the air suddenly feels so much fresher and cooler when we move into a spot with more greenery and trees.

Air purifying plants

Air-purifying plants, in particular, do more than just producing oxygen and reducing carbon dioxide levels. We usually associate air-pollution with smoke, fumes and dust in the outside air. However, pollution is not restricted to just the air outdoors. There are many sources of indoor pollution such as gases & compounds released from wall paint, printers, packaging materials, new linen, detergents & human bio-effluents. The result is that the air indoors is often more contaminated than that outside- a problem made worse by recirculation of air in closed spaces. And given that most of us spend majority of our times indoors, the quality of the indoor air really matters.

This is where air-purifying plants can play a crucial role in helping us combat this problem. These plants are known to purify the air by absorbing and breaking down harmful compounds such as benzene & formaldehyde. These compounds are commonly present in varying amounts in most indoor spaces such as homes, offices, closed retail spaces etc. Having air-purifying plants in the house is like having a full-time air-purifier machine that continuously works on eliminating these toxins from the air. These plants also help in reducing allergens present in the air, which trigger Asthma and other respiratory problems.

The benefits of these plants have been proven by NASA, which conducted an in-depth research on them as a means of detoxifying the air for astronauts travelling into space. Air-purifying plants are now being finding many applications in cities like Delhi, which is battling the problem of poor air quality. Many architects and interior planners are incorporating them in the interior planning of offices and homes, as a form of sustainable living.

The good news is that most of these plants are low-maintenance, and can be easily kept in indoor spaces, with the minimum amount of care. Here’s a list of some air-purifier plants which are easy to maintain and work well indoors.

Air purifying plan peperomia

Peperomia- Peperomias have low water requirements, are fairly fast-growing and thrive well even in low-light conditions.

Golden Pothos (Money Plant)- Money plants are a popular choice for indoor plants, given their ease of maintenance and the belief that they bring good luck and prosperity in the house.

Air purifying plan Sansevieria

Sansevieria- Also known as Snake Plant or Mother-in-law’s tongue, this hardy plant is a great choice as a bedroom plant. Apart from breaking down toxins, it also releases oxygen at night, giving you better quality sleep.

Aloe Vera- We all know the cosmetic benefits of aloe vera, but this fast-growing plant is also capable of ridding the air of compounds like benzene and formaldehyde. Just make sure you keep it in a brighter spot, closer to a window, and watch this plant flourish.

Chlorophytum Comosum/ Spider Plant- These plants like brighter spots in the house, and with the right care, will produce several small spiderettes on shoots, which can be used to propagate the plant.

Syngonium- Syngoniums are bright, foliage plants that come in many colours and are great for adding some greens to your indoor spaces.

Air purifying plan Zamia

Zamia/ ZZ Plant- One of the hardiest plants, and best suited for indoor spaces is the graceful zamia. This air-purifying plant can live for years, with its glossy green leaves staying intact for a long time.

Aglaonema- Also known as Chinese evergreens, these leafy plants don’t require much care, and do well even in spots with lesser sun-light. The patterned foliage lends a tropical touch to the décor.

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