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Healthy Plants Growing in Your Home

February 29, 2012

By Sophia Petenakis

It’s not just the gas fumes and dirty air of the outdoors that can do your body damage. An array of activities inside the home like spraying bugs with insecticide, frying food on the stove, plugging in an air freshener, or deep-cleaning the carpet with detergent all release different chemicals that swirl around the house.

Researchers on indoor air pollution around the nation caution home-dwellers that toxin levels in homes can be much higher than the outdoors even in big cities with high pollution rates.

To get into technical terms, according to a study done by NASA, the indoor pollutants that affect health are “formaldehyde, Volatile Organic Compounds (benzene and trichloroethylene or TCE), airborne biological pollutants, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, pesticides and disinfectants (phenols), and radon.”

Don’t fret too much…a big, chemical monster isn’t going to come bite you during a night’s sleep. But! It is something to consider and be cautious about. That is why KOMU’s 8 Goes Green Team made this list of three of the best, reasonably priced, in-home plants that will help kill indoor toxins.

The Boston Fern: This little scruffy looking plant can grow up to 4 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Boston Ferns hate humidity so it is important to keep the soil frequently moist and spray it daily with warm water. It loves direct sunlight so keep it near a window or under a lamp. Boston Ferns are pretty reasonably priced at around $18 to $30, and they will last for years if taken care of properly.

Peace Lily: A low-maintenance plant, the Peace Lily requires only a little bit of sunlight. It should be placed within 5-10 feet of a window. It requires heavy watering but the soil must dry out in-between watering periods. Peace Lilies also appreciate high humidity, so this $50 plant likes an occasional mist here and there.


Philodendron: It has a tricky name but it’s a pretty low-key plant. Philodendron’s require less sunlight than most…they thrive in a light shade. A frequent watering of the soil is required to keep this pretty plant healthy and an occasional mist never hurts. Philodendron’s are a bit pricier–listed around $90–but are known to be one of the best indoor plants for healthy air.

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