How many indoor plants would be overkill when trying to achieve indoor air quality as good as that of the surrounding outdoors?



  1. 0 Votes

    While indoor air quality can be improved by indoor plants it also depends on other factors like ventilation and circulation, the type of plants, and the materials that off gas. Synthetic building materials and cleaning products have been found to produce potentially harmful pollutants that remain trapped in unventilated buildings. These pollutants include: Formaldehyde, Benzene, and Trichloroethylene among others. NASA and ALCA conducted a study and came up with a list of the most effective plants for treating indoor air pollution for these sources. For an average home of under 2,000 square feet, it is recommended using at least fifteen plants of a good variety of the following houseplants:

    1. Philodendron scandens `oxycardium’, heartleaf philodendron
    2. Philodendron domesticum, elephant ear philodendron
    3. Dracaena fragrans `Massangeana’, cornstalk dracaena
    4. Hedera helix, English ivy
    5. Chlorophytum comosum, spider plant
    6. Dracaena deremensis `Janet Craig’, Janet Craig dracaena
    7. Dracaena deremensis `Warneckii’, Warneck dracaena
    8. Ficus benjamina, weeping fig
    9. Epipiremnum aureum, golden pothos
    10. Spathiphyllum `Mauna Loa’, peace lily
    11. Philodendron selloum, selloum philodendron
    12. Aglaonema modestum, Chinese evergreen
    13. Chamaedorea sefritzii, bamboo or reed palm
    14. Sansevieria trifasciata, snake plant
    15. Dracaena marginata , red-edged dracaena

  2. 0 Votes

    richardfisher is right – air flow is just as important as the number of oxygen-producing things (i.e., plants) in your home.

    However, if air flow isn’t a problem, then humidity might be. The more plants you have, the more water and sunlight you’ll need to keep them happy. That is a recipe for humidity, as any greenhouse will clearly show you.

    The ‘almost good’ news is that there are plants that can help reduce humidity, like tillandsia, which absorbs moisture through its surface tissue (see link below). Tillandsias won’t even take up any more room in your planter, because they don’t have a root system to uptake water and nutrients. Still, it’s a double-edged sword: they will remove some moisture from your home, but they need a humid environment in order to survive.

    Some other plants (reed palm, English Ivy, e.g.) also help reduce humidity in the home, but will need their fair share of soil.

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