Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > February 2017 > IN THE GARDEN with DOUG - FEBRUARY IS HOUSEPLANT MONTH AT THE GREAT BIG GREENHOUSE

IN THE GARDEN with DOUG - FEBRUARY IS HOUSEPLANT MONTH AT THE GREAT BIG GREENHOUSE

Houseplants are correctly being labeled as CLEAN AIR MACHINES.
                Have you ever considered going indoors to “get a breath of fresh air?”  It’s not as crazy as it sounds, considering the level of air pollution we experience daily from automobile engines, factories, asphalt plants, and pesticide use.  A few well-place house plants can make your indoor air safer to breathe. 
                House plants, or tropical foliage plants, are more than just decorative accents.  NASA research has shown that foliage plants “scrub” the air, removing toxins commonly found in homes and office buildings.  Volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) known to cause allergic reactions, and even cancer or other serious health problems, have been found by EPA inside newer energy-efficient buildings.  New building methods and products have led to what is called “sick building syndrome”, where vapors from toxic chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene are trapped inside causing some people to experience headaches, asthma, and other allergy symptoms.  Studies are still being made to determine if long-term exposure to these VOC’s can contribute to increased incidences of cancer.  In addition to these chemicals, carbon monoxide and “bioeffluents” (gases produced during human respiration) are also sources of indoor pollution.
                HOW DO PLANTS “CLEAN THE AIR?”  Plants naturally “breathe in” carbon dioxide during the process of photosynthesis.  As a result of this process, oxygen is released by the plants’ leaves.  Plants also breathe in pollution in the air around them through microscopic openings in the leaves, and the toxins then move through the plant to the root zone.  Room air is also drawn into the soil of a potted plant as the plant begins to dry.  Microorganisms living around the roots “eat” any of these air-borne pollutants with which they come into contact, breaking down their chemical structures into molecules that can be taken up by the plant as nutrients or that remain harmless in the soil
                As a general rule of thumb, the larger the leaves, the more efficient the plant is at cleaning the air, but most plants are doing some good.  Tests have shown that, while one plant is better at eliminating one chemical or another, an assortment of plants placed throughout an indoor space should make our homes and offices healthier.  Potted plants are air purifiers that don’t require batteries or a filter change.
                                                                                HAPPY “INDOOR” GARDENING
Posted: 2/9/2017 by Doug Hensel | with 0 comment(s)
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