8 Healthiest Plants to have in your house
During the pandemic, so many people stayed in their homes. Even now, venturing out is restricted compared to earlier. Homes are supposed to be cleaner than outside. But did you know that your home may be having more harmful pollutants than outside? These pollutants are called VOCs or Volatile Organic Compounds. Things like air fresheners, craft supplies, household cleaners, paints, or mosquito repellent sprays could be the sources of harmful VOCs in your house. India's top cities are also among the most polluted, with PM 2.5 levels reaching the "toxic" category. So even if the homes are cleaner than outside, they are much more polluted than what is good for human health. With the right plants, one can elevate the air quality around him. Plants can clean the air, boost your mood, have health benefits, and are the best companions for emotional and physical well-being.
Here is a list of 8 plants that you should have in your house :
a) Spider Plants: This is one of the easiest plants to find and take care. They are also pretty cheap given their easy availability. They grow fast, and one plant can be the progenitor of many spider plants. Even if you end up killing a lot of plants, these are hard to kill. What they need is the proper humidity around them and the right amount of water. This plant is cool-looking and requires lots of bright indirect sunlight. They are native to Southern and Tropical Africa. They are NASA-recommended air purifier plants that remove Formaldehyde, Xylene, and Toluene from the air. It can be a great addition to your work or study table as it also releases carbon monoxide from the air. It's a great plant if you have pets at home as it is one of the few nontoxic air purifiers.
Care for Spider Plant: They love humidity, give water every day in summers and every 2-3 days in winters. Use well-drained soil mix comprising garden soil, river sand, compost, and manure. Give organic fertilizer once every two months. Place them a little away from sunlight or in the shade of other plants. Propagate them by planting pups, plantlets in water and once the roots grow, plant them in potting mix.
b) Snake Plants: They are native to Tropical West Africa. Snake plant is another really easy plant to take care of and is better for areas with less humidity. It can take a wide range of light levels, so it should be ok for most living spaces. It is right for the bedroom, right for the entrance, and even right for the washroom. It looks really neat and is said to release oxygen and remove carbon dioxide, Benzene, Formaldehyde, and Xylene from the air.
Care for Snake Plant: Water should be given every 2-3 days in summers and every 3-5 days in winters. Use well-drained soil mix Coco-peat, perlite, and VermiCompost. Give NPK fertilizer with more Nitrogen % once every year. Propagate by planting a leaf in a well-drained potting mix. Right placement is a North or East facing window but even survives in low light indoors.
c) Chrysanthemums: Chrysanthemums are also called "mums" and come in many colors, including pink, red, yellow, and blue. Pet owners beware; this one is harmful to both cats and dogs. Chrysanthemums are at the top of the list when it comes to air purification. They are said to remove common toxins like Formaldehyde, Xylene, Ammonia, and Benzene. However, they are only working when the flowers are in bloom.
Care for Chrysanthemums: While inside, keep these plants damp and get them some sunlight. When the weather is slightly warm, you can plant them outside too. This plant is toxic to cats and dogs and therefore has to be kept away from them.
d) Ficus or Weeping Fig: According to NASA clean air study, the Weeping Fig is one of the top contenders for cleansing air-borne toxins like Formaldehyde, Xylene, and Toluene. These can build up from Carpet cleaners, stain removers, air conditioners, etc. The positive point is they are very easy to care for; keep them out of direct sunlight.
Care for Weepy Figs: They are very easy to care for plants. Keep them away from sunlight and any air drafts. They can get to be quite big as well.
e) Dracaena: This plant is perfect for those of you who want something which is a little different in your home. This is another plant, which is toxic for pets. There are over 40 different types of Dracaenas. These plants are credited with removing toxins like Trichloroethylene which can come from household paint strippers, varnish removers, and even adhesives.
Care for Dracaena: This plant needs a medium amount of sunlight, so make sure that it gets a few solid hours. They can also grow anywhere from 8-10 ft, so make sure that you have got space for this one.
f) English Ivy: It's a really easy one to take care of, and one can also keep it in the washroom of all places. It's a great plant to keep in the washroom if one uses hair dye regularly, which typically contain ammonia. It removes Trichloroethylene, Benzene, Formaldehyde, Ammonia, and Xylene from the air. All these VOCs are found in a lot of salon products. It can remove molds too. Unfortunately, even English ivy is harmful to cats and dogs. Hence it should be kept out of reach of pets if you have pets.
Care for English Ivy: Give it a generous amount of water and at least a few hours of direct sunlight daily. It also works with a lower level of lights, and that's what makes this plant so easy to take care.
g) Peace Lily: It is so relaxing even to hear the name of this plant. They are beautiful plants that offer stunning white flowers when in bloom. The flowers are actually spathes, i.e., a bunch of leaves surrounded by a white covering, and they bloom in winters. They are native to America and Southeast Asia. This plant is known for having a high transpiration rate. This means that when you water it, the water actually works overtime and helps bring moisture back into the room. This reduces dust in the room and brings calm to the eyes, nose, and mouth. One study shows that these plants can remove dust by 20%. Peace lilies are also toxic for pets. They also remove Trichloroethylene, Benzene, and Formaldehyde from the air.
Care for Peace Lily: They need morning sunlight, so they should be kept in east-facing windows. Mist the leaves and keep the soil nice and damp—water every two days in summers and every week in winters. The ideal mix is garden soil, perlite, and sand. Give fertilizers once every six weeks in winters and once during summers.
h) Areca Palm: They are native to Madagascar and Andaman islands. Their lush green color adds a tropical feel to the homes. It can grow into a multiple plant system which is very dense.
Care for Areca Palm: Keep the soil moist by watering twice a day in summer and 3-4 days in winters. The ideal soil mix is 50% cocopeat, 25% soil, and the rest perlite and vermicompost. Bright, indirect sunlight is best for the plant, hence the best place to keep it indoors near any window. Fertilizer should be given during spring. Fertilizer should contain micronutrients with extra Potassium and Manganese.