Did You Know Houseplants Improve the Air Quality in Your Home?

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Interior plants do not only belong in offices and public spaces for their health benefits, they also belong in your home.  Houseplants do more than bring natural beauty to your home. As natural air purifiers, plants take in carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. They also can absorb airborne chemicals that are common in most homes. Called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, these household pollutants come from some paints, varnishes, dry-cleaning fluids, tobacco smoke, and other sources. Add two or three air-cleaning plants to your living areas to help keep your home atmosphere healthier.

However, in most cases , plants in offices or public places are designed and maintained by professional plantscape companies who not only know what plants to use for specific light conditions but also know what their specific plant care needs are.  You, on the other hand, do not necessarily know what plants will do well in your home or the care they need to thrive. When positioning each plant, consider necessary light requirements, and follow plant-care instructions for a happy houseplant.

Below is a gallery to help you find plants that suit your space and style. Each plant description has its light requirements, water needs and soil requirements.  This will allow you to have plant displays in your home that will rival those you see in offices and lobbies.


Air Cleaning House Plants (plants, pictured left to right)

Maidenhair fern (Adiantum)

-Light Requirements: Place in low indirect light.

-Water Needs: Water regularly to keep the soil evenly moist; do not allow soil to dry completely. Avoid overwatering, which can cause yellowing of fronds and root rot.

-Soil Requirements: Plant in soil that is rich in organic matter.


Madagascar dragon tree (Dracaena marginata ‘Magenta’)

-Light Requirements: Place the Madagascar dragon tree in bright indirect light.

-Water Needs: Water moderately when the top 1/2 to 1 inch of soil is dry.

-Soil Requirements: Plant in a container with loamy potting soil. Loamy soil contains relatively equal amounts of sand, silt, and clay. It holds moisture but drains well.

Golden pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

-Light Requirements: The Golden pothos will thrive in ample northern light, and planters should be turned occasionally to give the whole plant access to light.

-Water Needs: Moderate watering is necessary when the soil surface feels dry.

-Soil Requirements: Plant in well-drained potting soil. (This plant may require re-potting when the roots begin pushing the plant out of the container.)


Air Cleaning House Plants

Flamingo flower (Anthurium)

-Light Requirements: Place away from direct sun and drafts. Plants placed by a window with good light may produce the best blooms.

-Water Needs: Water regularly, and provide a source of humidity.  For best results, keep containers on trays of moist gravel, or spray leaves daily. This plant’s humidity needs make it a great choice for a bathroom.

-Soil Requirements: Plant in a coarse, porous mix of leaf mold (composted leaves) and sandy soil.


Air Cleaning House Plants (plants, pictured left to right)

Umbrella tree (Schefflera)

-Light Requirements: Place the Queensland umbrella tree in full, bright indirect sun; plants can tolerate light afternoon shade.

-Water Needs: Water regularly, allowing potting mix to dry between waterings.

Soil Requirements: Plant in standard potting mix.

Areca palm (Chrysalidocarpus)

-Light Requirements: Allow for ample indirect sun.

-Water Needs: Maintain moist soil. Especially in summer, water as soon as soil feels dry.

-Soil Requirements: Plant in well-drained potting soil in a container that drains easily to avoid root rot.


Air Cleaning House Plants

ZZ plant (Zamioculcas)

-Light Requirements: Place in bright indirect light or morning sun with afternoon shade.

-Water Needs: Water regularly, allowing soil to dry between applications.

-Soil Requirements: Plant in a soil mixture that drains easily. Avoid moisture-retention soils.

Air Cleaning House Plants

Peace lily (Spathiphyllum)

-Light Requirements: Place in good light but not full sun.

-Water Needs: Water frequently and thoroughly. Keep soil evenly moist to the touch, but do not let the plant sit in water.

-Soil Requirements: Plant in loose, fibrous potting mix.












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Growing Expectations, Inc. PO Box 268 Princeton, NJ 08542 Telephone – (609) 924 – 9782 FAX (609) 737 – 2344