The outdoor gardening season is coming to an end in many parts of the country, but that doesn't mean we can't take the fun indoors! Not to mention, houseplants are not just for decorating the home. Did you know that many houseplants can help to clean the air inside your home or office of benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene? These three toxins can be found in all types of common household products, including bathmats, plywood, solvents, glues, paints and cleansers. Benzene can induce drowsiness, headaches and dizziness. Trichloroethylene can cause difficulty in breathing and headaches and may damage internal organs. Formaldehyde can cause allergies, asthma and headaches. All of these chemicals may cause cancer. Plant physiologists already knew that plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen as part of the photosynthetic process. Now researchers have found many common house plants absorb other toxins as well, literally acting as an air purifier. Houseplants do this by absorbing air pollution through microscopic openings in the plant leaves called stomata. As pollutants move through the plant toward its roots, they are broken down by the natural biological process of the plant.
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) researchers, you need to use one potted plant per every 100 square feet for the plants to be proactive in cleaning the air in the home. Although there is a long list of air filtering plants to consider, here are two of my favorite flowering plants that grow well indoors: