Think of houseplants as winter indoor air cleaners

From The Anchorage Daily News, Wednesday, October 13, 2010:

Alaskans have always had a different view of things, and that includes houseplants. There are many of us who still have cuttings from grandmother’s plants (or some other Outside relative) that we grow, because they have become our connection to family left behind. Others grow houseplants given to them by departing friends or purchased because they are a reminder of “home” — Outside.

We grow houseplants, too, because we need them during the long winter. Not only do they mentally help us through the long winter, they also clean the air indoors. Those studies NASA did in the ’80s that showed certain houseplants removed toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde and ammonia from the air, apply even more now that conservation has resulted in airtight homes that don’t refresh the indoor air like our old, leaky ones did.

According to NASA, 15 to 18 houseplants in containers 6 to 8 inches in diameter can really improve the air you breathe. Best of all, there are lots of familiar plants on the list of recommendations from NASA. As you would expect, all have good leaf area. What you might not suspect is all are extremely easy to grow.

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