Monday, January 2, 2012

Air Cleaners = Plants, Simple

NASA has done some pretty cool stuff that we encounter daily whether it be innovations like water purification designs or actual inventions like LEDs and memory foam.  NASA in the 80’s did a study with the ALCA (American Landscape Contractors of America) on air cleaning plants.
Everyone knows that plants Photosynthesize which means plants use Carbon dioxide (which we produce upon exhaling among other sources) and the suns energy light source to produce energy (sugars) for the plant to grow.  This action makes the plants produce  a byproduct called oxygen.  Which we breathe.  Thank goodness for Rainforests, Nurseries, Greenhouse and Christmas Tree Farms. 

Now NASA and all their really smart scientists wondered if plants did other things beside create oxygen.  In this Study they found out those bad toxins from the air like Benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene were scrubbed from the air through the plants  leaves,  stems, stalks and roots systems.  They also discovered that certain plants create symbiotic relationships with microorganisms in the soil that also remove toxins out of the air.  Now some plants are better at this than other plants and because there are millions of plants to choose from the following list are the plants that were included in the study. 
Aloe Vera - Aloe Pictured right 
Bamboo or Reed Palm – Chamaedorea sefritzii
Banana Tree – Musa oriana
Chinese Evergreen  – Aglaonema modestum
Corn Plant – Dracaena fragrans ‘Massangeana’
Elephant ear philodendron or Spade leaf Philodendron – Philodendron domesticum
English Ivy Topiary
English Ivy – Hedera Helix 
Gerber Daisy – Gerbera jamesonii (blooming plant)
Janet Craig dracaena – Dracaena deremensis ‘Janet Craig’
Lacy Tree Philodendron – Philodendron selloum
Peace Lily – Spathiphyllum ‘Mauna Loa’ (blooming plant)
Philodendron heartleaf – Philodendron scandens ‘oxycardium’
Pot Mum or Florist Mum – Chrysanthemum morifolium (blooming plant)
Pothos golden or Devil’s Ivy – Epipiremnum aureum
Red Edge Dracaena or Dragon Tree – Dracaena marginata
Snake plant
Snake Plant or Mother in Law’s tongue – Sansevieria  trifasciata 
Spider Plant – Chlorophytum comosum
Warneck Dracaena – Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckii’
Weeping fig – Ficus benjamina

Other notable plants that I would also consider great air cleaners

Arrowhead vine – Syngonium
Begonia  - Several varieties (blooming plant)
Boston Fern - Nephrolepis exaltata cv. Bostoniensis
Dumb Cane - Dieffenbachia
Ficus Ali or Saber Ficus - Ficus binnendijkii 'Alii'
Kimberly Queen Fern - Nephrolepis obliterata
King of hearts or Silver thread - Homalomena wallisii
Lady Jane, Painter’s Palette or Flamingo Flower – Anthurium (blooming plant)
Macho fern or giant Sword Fern - Nephrolepis biserrata
Moth Orchid – Phalaenopsis orchid (blooming plant)  Pictured right
Peacock plant - Calathea makoyana
Philodendron – several more varieties
Philodendron ‘Rojo Congo’
Prayer Plant - Marantaceae
Rubber Tree Plant - Ficus elastica
Umbrella tree - Schefflera arboricola 
English Ivy Growing on the wall

Not only do plants help keep toxins out of our lives they also enlighten our mood.  So make yourself feel good on the inside bring a plant home today.

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