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3 Plants to Fight Indoor Pollution

Did you know as a human being you breathe in 10,000 to 20,000 litres of air every day? And the indoor air pollutants can be 10 times more harmful than outdoor pollutants? As per statistics, in developing countries like India, impact of indoor air pollutants on health is far greater than outdoor pollution. This is because within a confined space, the pollutants grow more than in open spaces. It is essential for us now to ‘go green’ not just outside our houses but inside as well. And only 3 plants can make the air around us clean. According to Kamal Meattle, an environmental activist, with these three plants, “You could be in a bottle with a cap on top, and you would not die at all, and you would not need any fresh air.” The three plants are –Mother in Law’s Tongue, Areca Palm and Money Plant. During their natural process of photosynthesis, these plants absorb and remove chemicals around us and increase the amount of fresh oxygen in the air. Experiments concluded that these three plants reduce incidences of headache, respiratory problems and eye irritation. It also significantly helps to increase human productivity by 20%. Here’s some basic information about the three magical plants -

Mother in Law’s Tongue

Mother in Laws’s Tongue Mother in Law’s tongue is often referred to as the ‘Snake Plant’. It is one of the most tough and adaptive indoor plants that can grow up to 40 inches in height. The plant is heavily used in offices and buildings to fight indoor pollution and also due to its architectural beauty. Number of Plants Needed - Eight to six waist-height plants per person. Scientific Name - Sansevieria trifasciata Pollutants Removed – Formaldehyde, Benzene, Trichloroethylene, Xylene and Toluene. Light Requirement – Indirect sunlight or a bright room is enough. Direct sunlight is tolerable but not for long time. Water Requirement – Dry and draining soil is preferred by the plant. Watering once in a month is sufficient. Temperature – It prefers warm temperature. Any temperature ranging from 15°C to 38°C is good for the plant. Nativity – Western Africa. From the east of Nigeria to Congo. NOTE – It is toxic for pets. It reduces carbon-dioxide by converting it into oxygen during night time.  

Areca Palm

Areca Palm is also known as ‘Butterfly Palm’ due to its arc like leaves that takes the shape of butterflies. Areca Palm can be as small as a 1 feet plant or grow as big as a plant of 8 to 10 feet in a pot. As an easy to handle and less demanding plant, it is one of the most recommended indoor plants to reduce air pollution. Being a tropical plant, it responds very well to Indian climates with high humidity. Number of Plants Needed - Four shoulder-height plants per person. Scientific Name - Dypsis lutescens / Chrysalidocarpus lutescens Pollutants Removed – Formaldehyde, Xylene and Toluene. Light Requirement – Indirect sunlight or a bright room. Water Requirement – Waterlogging can cause the roots to rot. Well draining acidic soil is best for Arica Palm. Temperature – It blooms in an average room temperature between 15°C to 25°C. Temperature should not fall below 10°C. Nativity – Southern India and Madagascar Islands. NOTE – It’s absolutely non-toxic for pets. It reduces carbon-dioxide by converting it into oxygen during daytime.  

Money Plant

Money PlantMoney plant is also known as Golden Pothos and Devil’s Ivy. The climbing species has arrow shaped green leaves with blotches of yellow on it. It looks beautiful and grows under minimal care. As per feng shui beliefs, money plants bring prosperity and good luck. Scientific Name - Epipremnum aureum Pollutants Removed – Benzene, Formaldehyde, Xylene and Toulene. Light Requirement – Money plant thrives in both direct and indirect sunlight conditions. But a bright and shady environment is ideal for it. Water Requirement – It prefers soil that is slightly moist with good drainage capability. In summer, watering it after a gap of 7 to 10 days should be enough. During winter, a gap of 2 to 3 weeks is sufficient. Temperature – Indoor temperature upto 30°C is good for the plant. But below 10°C is not ideal. Nativity – Mo'orea or the York Island in French Polynesia. It’s also found in Australia, West Indies and South East Asia. NOTE – It is toxic for pets. It gives out oxygen at night and helps in removing volatile organic compounds from the air.

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