Introduction to house plants

Introduction to house plants

A quick guide to extending your green thumb indoors.

By Jipson Jerodson, 
 Chief Designer, My Green Dubai

Published: Fri 23 Aug 2019, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 23 Aug 2019, 11:21 AM

One often wonders why we should have plants around us. Others argue that they lack a green thumb, hence don't have any plants.
Plants not only add to the beauty of the surroundings, but come with a lot of benefits. It has been scientifically proven that when you look at a plant, it reduces stress as it lowers the heart rate; it lowers your blood pressure and also reduces muscle stress. Most importantly, they help clean the air we breathe by removing toxins and producing oxygen, improving quality of sleep, thus resulting in better lifestyle.
On a daily basis, we are exposed to certain toxins, which are generated with the use of basic items found in our houses, workplaces, etc. To name a few, read on...
Formaldehyde: Smoking, heating, cooking, candle and incense burning, cosmetics, paints and wallpapers release this particular toxin.
Benzene: A major source of benzene is automobiles from attached garages, heating and cooking systems and solvents. We may consider paints, glues, detergents and furniture wax harmless, but these items also raise the benzene levels in the air.
Trichloroethylene: This toxin is found in household products, such as cleaning wipes, aerosol cleaning products, tool cleaners, paint removers, spray adhesives, carpet cleaners, etc.
Carbon Monoxide: If you have clogged chimneys or blocked vents, or use gas heaters or burn wood fires, carbon monoxide levels will rise.
Xylene: Some examples of xylene are adhesives, gasoline, nail paint or varnishes.
These toxins can be removed with plants. Here, we discuss the top five indoor houseplants, which have proven to be most beneficial and are also easy to maintain in this part of the world.
1) Peace Lily clears out the toxins from the air. It is not only beautiful to look at but is popularly known for purifying the air and de-stressing by removing benzene and formaldehyde. This easy-to-maintain plant needs low-light conditions to flower but can also be kept in high light. We recommend this plant be kept next to your bed as the oxygen generated during the night will help you sleep well.
2) Sansevieria trifasciata, or snake plant, removes most of the toxins found in the air and purifies it by producing oxygen. An experiment conducted by NASA in 1989 suggested that plants with bigger leaf surface area are better air purifiers. These plants need low light or indirect sunlight and irregular watering.
3) Pothos, or money plant, doesn't grow money but a very important reason to have it at home is that it increases humidity in the air. Apart from cleaning pollutant air, this plant fights the allergens. Humid air produced by this plant combats colds and influenzas as these viruses cannot transmit easily in moist air. It also keeps your skin hydrated due to the humidity it generates. ?Indirect sunlight and irregular watering are required to maintain this plant. If the air is exceptionally dry, additional watering can increase humidity in the air. ?
4) Rubber Plant? is a known solution to mould issues. With its anti-bacterial properties, this plant not only kills air-borne bacteria, but is known for reducing the chances of having mould by 50 to 60 per cent. Rubber plant purifies the air by converting exhaled carbon dioxide into breathable oxygen. ?This plant thrives in indirect sunlight, but make sure it's not too hot. Water enough so the soil is moist, over-watering will turn the leaves yellow and, eventually, kill the plant.
5) Chinese Evergreen filters air pollutants and toxins from the air. Chinese Evergreen demands low-to-medium indirect light and moderate watering.

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