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House Plants for a Healthier Home
a guest article from Modernize.com
Aloe Vera is really easy to grow and cheap to purchase at your local garden store. You can even ask a neighbor for a shoot off of their plant and replant it in your own pot. It’s that hardy. Aloe Vera is a succulent that needs lots of sun and helps clear formaldehyde and benzene from the air in your home. These chemicals are a byproduct of chemical-based cleaners, paints and other household products. Place an aloe plant in a sunny window and enjoy its air-clearing abilities. In addition (and perhaps even more useful if you have children), the gel inside an aloe plant can help heal cuts and burns, including sunburns. Just break off a leave and squeeze to get some of the soothing gel out.
Also known as mother-in-law’s tongue (my mom isn’t a fan of that term), is one of the best houseplants for filtering out formaldehyde, which is found in cleaning products, toilet paper, tissues and personal hygiene products. Experts suggest that you place one in your bathroom because it does well in low light and enjoys the steam produced from the shower. It will filter out any nasty chemicals (and smells) in your bathroom and it also absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen during the night (which most plants do during the day).
Some of you may be thinking, “sure this all sounds well and good but I don’t have a green thumb at all.” Luckily, the Spider Plant is perfect for people who have a tendency to neglect houseplants. Spider Plants have lots of rich foliage and tiny white flowers which are really pretty and will add to your home decor. At the same time, this plant battles benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene, a solvent used in the leather, rubber and printing industries. This plant is also a safe houseplant if you have pets (like my cats that like to gnaw on my plants).
Rubber trees are another easy plant to grow and maintain. They can thrive in just about any conditions including dim lighting and cold air which is why so many office buildings use these. They are also good for cleaning the air and eliminating toxins. I’ve noticed a resurgence in the prevalence of this plant as they have a likeness to succulents which are wildly popular these days.
Air purifying plants are great but what if you want to add a plant that emits a nice smell as well? While not typically seen as a houseplant, eucalyptus is an easy-growing tree that can thrive indoors as long as it is receiving plenty of sunlight and is protected from any major air drafts. The blue-gray leaves put off a distinct aroma when you rub them and has been found to provide calming sensations for humans. Who knows, if you are lucky you may even attract a koala!
For more ideas and inspiration, head to Modernize.com.
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