It’s National Houseplant Day!
Thank you, humble houseplant, for helping us breathe easy!
Posted: January 10, 2018 by Honor Rudd
Even the subtlest verdant touch can make a room come alive. It is a common practice in home staging to include a little something green here and there, and many of us deck out our offices with houseplants to balance those fluorescent lights with something fresh and vibrant. We learned in grade school that plants turn the carbon dioxide that we exhale into the oxygen our bodies need, but did you know that both houseplants, and the microorganisms that live in their soil, help to remove much more than carbon dioxide from our indoor environment? A NASA study
has proven that houseplants can remove a number of volatile compounds from the air we breathe.
Today, homes and office buildings are designed to be more energy-efficient than those of eras past. According to NASA, “Two of the design changes that improved energy efficiency included superinsulation and reduced fresh air exchange.” Changes in our homes and offices have also included the use of more synthetic materials in the building process, modern synthetic furnishings, and high-tech equipment, all of which have been known to “off-gas” compounds which can cause health problems in humans and their pets.
Enter the humble houseplant! NASA concluded that ALL of the plants they tested could play a part in “a promising, economical solution to indoor air pollution,” noting that these plants “destroy the pathogenic viruses, bacteria, and the organic chemicals, eventually converting all of these air pollutants into new plant tissue.”
Plants used in the study:
- Aloe Vera
- Bamboo Palm
- Chinese Evergreen
- English Ivy
- Gerbera Daisy
- Golden Pothos
- Green Spider Plant
- Janet Craig
- Mass Cane/Corn Cane
- Mother-in-law’s Tongue
- Peace Lily
- Pot Mum
Is your thumb not so green? We have more good news for you--many of the plants tested in the NASA Study are some of the most notably difficult to kill. They require only low light and a little water from time to time, basically benign neglect. Even the nursery neophytes among us can benefit by choosing an aloe, golden pothos, philodendron, or spider plant!
So, head to your local garden center, pick up a little something green, and breathe easy!
Our Agents Suggest:
Irena Kohler, Heather Shargo and Ashley Wilson recommend Pender Pines Garden Center.
Jodi Crumpler recommends Pender Pines Garden Center too, but also notes “for succulents and other indoor items, Southern Emporium and Crabby Chic.”
Kelly Sloop suggests The Plant Place, and Irena Kohler agrees, saying “it looks small from outside, but it’s huge.”
Melanie Cameron likes Carolina Girl Gardens.
Jody Roney’s go to is Old River Farms.
Melissa Dunn is a fan of Lou’s Flower World and Vintage Market. “The staff are very knowledgeable & their plants are high quality. I’ve redone several beds at my house myself & took photos of the different areas. They helped me choose plants that work for my yard (trees vs sun etc) & told me exactly how to plant them. Everything turned out great & has lasted several years so far. They’re my go to!”
Rushell Bongiorno notes that we shouldn’t forget about Lowes, which “has an amazing warranty if you don’t have the green thumb you thought you did.” Peggy Groneman seconded Lowes, she likes the one in Southport.
Catherine Lea and Susan Jarman like The Transplanted Garden. Catherine notes, “they have these wonderful little fairy people.”