3 Air Purifying Plants|Space Gardening

This YOUTUBE image shows images from a Kamal Meattle video, showing plants he uses to clean the air, Areca Palm (L) Sansevierias, commonly known as mother-in-law's tongue or snake plant (centre) and Money Plant. Meattle is an Indian environmental activist and CEO of Paharpur Business centre & Software Technology Incubator Park based in New Delhi, India. Meattle held a talk at TED 2009 entitled How to Grow Your Own Fresh Air.  16JAN15  [25JANUARYY2015 FEATURE POST MAGAZINE]

In today’s growing world, clean and fresh air is getting harder to come by. Due to booming populations and rapidly advancing technologies there is a plethora of products on the market to help make fresh air. However, these products have repeatedly been found to contain chemicals linked to adverse health effects. Here are three plants that you can add in your house to produce clean fresh air the whole day.

The Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus Lutescens)

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This plant takes carbon dioxide and turns it back into oxygen. In addition to producing oxygen and lowering carbon dioxide levels, it also removescertain pollutants from the air helping to produce clean indoor fresh air. Meattle suggests that for one person four shoulder high plants are sufficient. The Areca palm grows well in filtered light and likes to be watered often. For more information on how to take care of the Areca Palm visit SFGate’s page on special care.

Mother-In-Law Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata)

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This is a very common household plant in America. Meattle calls it “The Bedroom Plant,” because it produces oxygen at night. It’s also known as the Snake Plant. It was discovered by NASA to remove Benzene from the air and works in great combination with the other two plants mentioned in Meattle’s TED talk. The Snake plant can sit in full sun light but also does well in dim light. It doesn’t need to be watered very often since it is part of the succulent family.

This is a good plant for the first time plant owner because of its heartiness. Meattle suggests that for one person, six to eight waist high plants are sufficient. OF course just one would help if you don’t want that many. Check out Amazon for a nice selection of starter plants.

Money Plant (Epipremnum aureum)

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While many plants colloquially claim the name “money plant,” this one is a native to the Eastern Hemisphere. If you plan on purchasing one of these make sure to check the scientific name to be sure you’re getting the correct one. This plant has been shown by NASA (along with many others) to remove chemicals and other pollutants from the air. In the trio suggested by Meattle in his TED talk, this one does most of the pollutant removal. This plant enjoys medium, indirect sun light and regular watering. For more information about care check Princeton’s care page. This plant can be propagated from cuttings, so check with friends to see if anyone has one; but of course there’s always Amazon.

WARNING: This plant has also been declared toxic to cats, dogs and children by the ASPCA, so if you have animals or children that like to eat your indoor plants, please do be careful and place this plant away from them, or find an alternative plant to help make fresh air.

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