Did you know?
According to scientists, just one houseplant in a room has the ability to purify the air every bit as well as the best commercial filter. Dr. William Wolverton, a specialist in environmental sciences at NASA, has been studying the phenomenon for over 20 years.

In fact, many of the houseplants we enjoy having in our homes for their beauty also absorb the molecules in the air that may affect our health, such as volatile organic compounds (VOC) in suspension, carbon monoxide and cigarette smoke. Some of the plants that do this, in varying degrees, are dracaenas, fig trees, rubber tree plants, philodendra, aloe vera, mother-in-law’s tongues, spider plants and common ivy.

How it works
Green plants clean the air through photosynthesis. Under their leaves are stomata, tiny pores through which plants exchange gases and transpire. When exposed to light, carbon dioxide enters the leaf through the stomata, while oxygen and water vapour is expelled. And since we breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, the result is a healthy symbiosis between humans and plants.

The state of the plant
The larger the plant, the more pure air it manufactures. And the better the health of a plant, the better it does its job. It absorbs more carbon dioxide than it emits, and it expels more oxygen. So the next time you water your plants, do it with love – they’ll return it tenfold! And dust the leaves regularly to keep their stomata clear in order to produce the photosynthesis they need.

Don’t sleep with more than one plant in your bedroom, especially if you keep the door closed. Without light, plants expel more carbon dioxide than they absorb, which could mean less oxygen in the room.

By Jacqueline Simoneau