"To My Curator:
I Am Your Plant and I Love You
When you breathe, I will convert carbon dioxide to oxygen so you can keep breathing. I will not stop there. I will filter pollutants out of your air so you can breathe better.
When you are sick, I will give you my leaves and flowers for your medicine. You may lay me upon your eyes, rub me on your wounds, or swallow me into your body. I can heal you.
When you are hungry, I will be your food. You may eat me and drink my juices. You will not go hungry.
When you are stressed, I will please your eyes with my beauty and color. My bright reds flowers will inspire and excite you and my dark greens leaves will soothe and calm you. Relax!
I love you,
Dr. Bill Wolverton, formerly a senior research scientist at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center, Bay St. Louis, Miss., has researched into the use of biological processes as a means of solving environmental problems.
The research on indoor plants found that plants are very effective in absorbing air borne contaminants.
According to Wolverton, common indoor landscaping plants can remove some pollutants from the rooms.
The experiments were done by placing different plant type in sealed, Plexiglas chambers. Pollutant related chemicals were then put into the chambers.
"Philodendron, spider plant and the golden pothos were labeled the most effective in removing formaldehyde molecules. Flowering plants such as gerbera daisy and chrysanthemums were rated superior in removing benzene from the chamber atmosphere. Other good performers are Dracaena Massangeana, Spathiphyllum, and Golden Pothos. "Plants take substances out of the air through the tiny openings in their leaves," Wolverton said. "But research in our laboratories has determined that plant leaves, roots and soil bacteria are all important in removing trace levels of toxic vapors". (1)
Some Causes of Indoor Pollutants
Newer buildings are built with a large amount of man-made building materials. They are usually furnished with synthetic carpeting, fabrics, laminated counters, and plastic coated wallpaper.
The newer buildings are insulated better and sealed more tightly than older buildings. The money saved by conserving heat and air-conditioning comes with a different price tag; pollutants can only circulate in indoors. Constantly circulating and building up pollutants indoors can be extremely difficult for people with respiratory illnesses or asthma problems.
The "sick building syndrome," (a phrase often used to describe the retardation of the new structures, can be dramatically improved naturally. Add some plants.
NASA scientists studied nineteen different plant species for two years. Most of the plants tested are houseplants that are normally kept indoors year-round. Of the specimens studied, only two were primarily flowering plants; chrysanthemums and gerbera daisies. They are normally used to add a brightness and color to a room during holidays and significant events; but they are not kept indoors throughout the year.
Aloe Vera (now renamed Aloe barbadensis and commonly referred to as Medicine Plant) extracted juices can help soothe and heal burns, bites, and also skin irritations. The extracts from this plant are also used in some body lotions.
The leaf part of a plant is where photosynthesis takes place to process gasses from the air. Often overlooked in the process is the importance of the soil. The soil and roots have a big part in removing air-borne pollutants. Micro-organisms in the soil become more adept at using trace amounts of polluting materials as a food source over a period of time. (2)
Debrah Dupre adds great information about the care of some popular plants in the article "Plants to Help Indoor Air Pollution" at eHow.com.
This is a short list of just four beautiful plants.
Spider Plant: Chlorophytum comosum
- Also called the airplane plant. Easy to grow. It reproduces readily but dramatic changes in sun exposure can harm the plants.
Snake Plant: Sansevieria trifasciata
- Also known as "Mother-in-Law's Tongue," can survive successfully for months without minimum sun light. This plant also reproduces readily.
Lacy Tree: Philodendron selloum
- The houseplant is popular from the plushest office to the average home and is easy to re root. Cut about five inches from the top, place the cutting in water in a window and replant it into a small pot after the roots grow.
Elephant Ear Philodendron: Philodendron domesticum
- This is a large plant and gives a room an exotic look and is easy to maintain.
The NASA study suggests that 15 to 18 good-sized houseplants in 6 to 8-inch diameter containers should be used to enhance air quality in a normal 1,800 square foot house.
These plants effectively remove Formaldehyde, Benzene, and Carbon Monoxide from the air are:
- Bamboo Palm or Reed Palm - Chamaedorea Seifritzii
- Chinese Evergreen - Aglaonema Modestum
- English Ivy - Hedera Helix
- Gerbera Daisy - Gerbera Jamesonii
- Janet Craig - Dracaena deremensis
- Marginata - Dracaena Marginata
- Mass Cane/Corn Plant - Dracaena Massangeana
- Mother-in-Law's Tongue - Sansevieria Laurentii
- Pot Mum - Chrysantheium morifolium
- Peace Lily - Spathiphyllum `Mauna Loa'
- Warneckii - Dracaena "Warneckii" "
These plants are also very good for improving air quality:
- Spider Plant - Chlorophytum comosum
- Golden Pothos - Epipiremnum aureum
- Snake Plant - Sansevieria trifasciata
- Heartleaf - Philodendron scandens `oxycardium'
- Elephant Ear - Philodendron domesticum
- Red-Edge - Dracaena marginata
- Weeping Fig - Ficus benjamina
In conclusion, plants clean the air so we can breath; provide medicine to keep us from being ill; provide food to keep us from starving; and also provide beautiful colors to help with our mental calmness when you create your personal greenhouse "My plant loves me and I love my plant."