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HousePlants with Benefits

Updated on March 1, 2011
 

Growing and caring for indoor plants gives many a sense of pleasure, tranquility and peace. It connects us to mother nature in a desperate attempt to escape the chaos that we call life, but not only do plants calm our souls, they also bring us good health. This article will focus on specific plants that will enhance your home's environment while improving the quality of your life. Enjoy!

You're probably wondering why plants should be a part of a healthy lifestyle. The number one reason plants are good for the home is simple, they improve the quality of the air you breath.

The air we breath dictates the quality of life. It's just like the food we consume, if all you eat is junk food, it will reflect on your health with conditions such as obesity and heart disease. If the air you're breathing is full of junk, you will suffer the consequences in the form of asthma, allergies, and bronchitis to name a few. According to EPA, indoor air is often more polluted than outdoor air.

For the most part, it's not your fault. Today's homes are built to be more efficient, which means better insulation, better windows, better everything. We've created a tight little capsule that has no leaks. This is good in terms of saving energy and doing your part in the green movement, but it has no health value if you're not green on the inside. Ok, I've rambled enough, let's learn our plants!

Spider Plant
Spider Plant

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

The spider plant is a popular, common household plant native to South Africa. It's distinctive growing pattern will amuse the young and old alike and is a perfect addition to any home. It is very easy to grow and maintain. The health benefits associated with the spider plant, is it's ability to absorb carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless toxic gas. Although helpful in moderation in the earth's atmosphere, it can be lethal to humans. Being exposed to carbon monoxide leads to a variety of symptoms that include headache, nausea, weakness, exhaustion, dizziness, confusion and angina.

The accumulation of Carbon monoxide in the air you breath is usually caused by poor ventilation, lack of maintenance and improper installation of appliances serviced with gas, oil, coal and wood such as:

 
  • Oil and Gas furnaces
  • Gas water heaters
  • Gas ranges and ovens
  • Gas dryers
  • Gas or Kerosene space heaters
  • Fireplaces
  • Woodstoves
 

To avoid becoming sick from carbon monoxide poisoning, make sure your appliances are well maintained, buy a carbon detector and grace your home with fun loving spider plant.

 

Boston Fern
Boston Fern

Boston Fern

 

This humidity lover is a native to the rainy forests of the West Indies. Back in the good old days, ferns adorned just about every house on the block until it's decline, but recent shifts in trends, (particularly the eco trend) has reintroduced this variety into the home and with good reason. That reason is formaldehyde.

The Oversight Committee holds a hearing, "FEMA's Response to Reports of Toxic Trailers."

Formaldehyde is a chemical compound used to embalm and is released form various furnishings found in the home such as:

 
  • synthetic carpets
  • Particle board
  • Foam insulation
  • Upholstery
  • Curtains
  • Air fresheners
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Grocery bags
  • Waxed paper
  • Adhesives

 

When formaldehyde is present in the home, it can cause a variety of symptoms like burning sensations in the eyes, nose and throat, nausea, coughing and skin rashes.

Having a Boston Fern in your home is a healthy start to eliminating formaldehyde from the air you breath. Equally important, buying furnishings made from natural sources such as bamboo, hemp and organic cotton will also help clean the air.

Areca Palm
Areca Palm

Areca Palm

I had one of these in my home just a few years back, but it was synthetic. Big mistake. The only thing this plant ever brought me was dust and allergies. However, if you get the real deal, you'll be blessed with a light, feathery friend that will brighten any room and clear the way to fresh air. This plant absorbs Xylene.

 

Xylene refers to a group of benzene derivatives which is used in a myriad of ways and is probably lurking in your home's atmosphere as you read this. It is commonly found in the following:

 
  • Solvents
  • Printing Industries
  • Rubber Industries
  • Leather Industries
  • Cleaning agent for steel
  • Silicone wafers and chips
  • Pesticides
  • Paint thinner
  • Paints
  • Varnishes
  • Airplane fuel
  • Gas
  • Certain types of pens, writing and drawing equipment
  • Bingo dabbers
  • Art supplies

Xylene can have ill effects on the brain causing headaches, lack of muscle coordination, dizziness, and confusion. At higher levels it can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, difficulty in breathing, lung problems, delayed reaction time, memory difficulty and stomach discomforts. At very high levels it can cause unconsciousness and even death.

What a list, isn't that crazy! No, that's downright scary. All I can say to that is get your Areca Palm today.

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    • profile image

      cecil 2 years ago

      I have bacularis plant in our house, after 3 days there's a white dots watery on the leaf, is it poisonous?

    • profile image

      Ahmad Zaki Aldy 4 years ago

      Although ferns never bear flowers, they are welcome, evergreen guests in the home, where they thrive best in the shade. Ferns belong to the spore bearing plants. Lacking flowers, they cannot multiply themselves from seed but do this by giving off spores, which develop on the undersides of the leaves, particularly an older leaves. That is why during the ripening period we can find brown powder on our plants, windowsill and table. Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible to propagate ferns from the spores. Ferns with fibrous rooted leaves can be propagated from stems to which a small section of the rootstock (rhizome) must be attached.

      The species we cultivate in the home are closely related to our indigenous forest ferns but originate in the tropics. In their native tropical rain forest they grow under a dense mantle of trees, as ground cover or as ‘epiphytes‘, living on the branches and trunks of trees, rooted in the remains of rotted wood and foliage. They like shadow and need a moist bed and atmosphere. Because of their tropical origin, ferns are happiest in moist warmth; the most favorable temperature, however, varies according to the species.

      More info please visit our blog on http://houseplantsdecor.com/2012/10/fern/fern-spec...

    • beauley profile image

      beauley 5 years ago from New Hampshire, U.S.A.

      Beautiful and we love this plant. It's easy to grow and propagate along with cleaning the air in your home. Thanks.

    • leeroper profile image

      leeroper 6 years ago from UK

      I never have knew my Spider Plant was so helpful until i read this. Thanks

    • LaurieK profile image

      LaurieK 6 years ago from Minneapolis, MN, USA

      I wish I could keep plants alive! But I live in a north-facing apartment (windows only on the north) plus I have 4 cats, so I'd be afraid they'd get into them. It might be an idea to add research to your article on whether the plants you suggest are toxic to cats or other small animals... but I really enjoyed reading this!

    • profile image

      Mini Greenhouse 6 years ago

      I remember reading something last year about a trial therapy for treating people with depression by increasing the number of large green plants in their homes and in hospitals, the results were really positive and i can fully believe it. I love having plants in my home and really enjoyed this hub. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Mini Greenhouse 6 years ago

      I remember reading something last year about a trial therapy for treating people with depression by increasing the number of large green plants in their homes and in hospitals, the results were really positive and i can fully believe it. I love having plants in my home and really enjoyed this hub. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Carm BP 6 years ago

      I enjoyed all your comments and advice on this page.I am a plant lover myself. However all my efforts keeping plants indoors have failed. My spider plants look very even though I give them plenty of light and moisture. Could be the soil?

    • profile image

      Seb 7 years ago

      I love tropical plants too, especially palms. We manage to grow a few in the house, it's touch and go in the winter sometimes. It's nice to have them around at that time of year though, especially when there is a couple of feet of snow outside. The only problem is when we go away. They are a bit like kids or pets except you can't take them with you or put them in pet boarding.

    • stranded07 profile image

      stranded07 7 years ago from Quezon City, Philippines

      i love houseplants! and another way to be relaxed is to put a portable fountain beside them. small battery operated water fountains can be easily placced on any part of your house and the sound of moving water just blends well with the oxygen and serenity that the indoor plants bring. they're just a perfect combination for me.

    • stranded07 profile image

      stranded07 7 years ago from Quezon City, Philippines

      i love houseplants! and another way to be relaxed is to put a portable fountain beside them. Small battery operated water fountains can be easily placcd on any part of your house and the sound of moving water just blends well with the oxygen and serenity that the indoor plants bring. Plus they are readily available on the home section of the department store. They're just a perfect combination for me.

    • profile image

      brittanyc1416 8 years ago

      I love house plants! They are excellent for the air, not to mention they look nice. Plus they give me an easy hobby!

      I have 2 heart leaf philodendrons (my favorite) 1 jade plant, 2 peace lilys, and an african violet. I also had english ivy but i killed it :(

    • profile image

      Organic Nutrients 8 years ago

      Hello,

      Good job on your very informative hub. Keep it up! :)

    • jim10 profile image

      jim10 8 years ago from ma

      Great info on plants. I would like to get one for my house.

    • profile image

      Marlene Affeld 8 years ago

      Enjoy following your blog - my Christmas cactus is a full bloom -

      Does anyone have any advice on holding geraniums over the winter?

    • dayzeebee profile image

      dayzeebee 9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      I love plants but never knew specific ones absorb specific gases. Thank you for the great information. Will check on those I have, Godbless:)

    • chantelg4 profile image
      Author

      chantelg4 9 years ago from Northern Ontario

      Thanks for the great info, I will check it out for sure!

    • profile image

      Katrin 9 years ago

      Great information for quick research without my books at hand. Good to see that there is so much general interest. For a more detailed list of plants that are good for your house get the book "How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify your Home and Office" by B.C. Wolverton. Enjoy.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 9 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Thanks for a very informative hub.

      Spider plants are my favorite indoor plants. I have nurtured descendents of a single plant given to me 35 years ago by a friend. Every time I cut the babies and root them for someone else, I remember her fondly.

      I also like your hemp-guide site. Nope...I take that back. I LOVE your hemp-guide site. I never gave hemp much of a thought until I started reading your great articles. Good luck with your site and your business!

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 9 years ago from USA

      wonderful info....spider plant and boston fern will be purchased this weekend... GREAT info. I LOVE plants and will refer to your info frequently....Marisue

    • Rhym O'Reison profile image

      Rhym O'Reison 9 years ago from Crowley, Tx

      Very nice hub. Thanks for the extra info on the plants.

    • Blogger Mom profile image

      Blogger Mom 9 years ago from Northeast, US

      Great hub! I'd love to start getting more plants in the house - I kind of let them go since I started having kids - but I had forgotten how much I loved having them in my house.

    • Virtu Creative profile image

      Virtu Creative 9 years ago from Tulsa, OK

      Last time I tried a spider plant my cats ate all the leaves off, thought it was great fun! I am going to get another one and hang it this time - thanks for inspiring me

    • Kenny Wordsmith profile image

      Ashok Rajagopalan 9 years ago from Chennai

      Yes, you have shown us how these plants can be great friends to have around. And these green things are good things to look at when one is feeling blue. :D

    • profile image

      SpringCurl 9 years ago

      Wow - awesome little hub. I used to have a spider plant, but not anymore. Guess I am off to the plant nursery! ;)

    • chantelg4 profile image
      Author

      chantelg4 9 years ago from Northern Ontario

      Thanks, the shall be be remembered!

    • compu-smart profile image

      Tony 9 years ago from London UK

      Great hub and excellent information all taken on board..

      I will have to buy me a Areca Palm not just for the aesthetic reasons but the reasons you mentioned and i shall have to call the plant Chantel;)

      Thanks;)

    • Froggy213 profile image

      Greg Boudonck 9 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico

      Yea,I think I need a bunch of spider plants too,I kill everything else. Good hub!!

    • caspar profile image

      caspar 9 years ago from UK

      The spider plant seems to be the only plant I can keep without killing off. It's very hardy.

    • Blueassea profile image

      Blueassea 9 years ago from Ontario Canada

      love boston ferns but my hubby was bbqing one day and smoked my boston fern and was no more lol. love spider plants going to get some for me house for every room. and it is good to talk to your plants also tells them you love them grows good and healthy.its good that someone knows about your health and how plants help your house hold. Think your site is awsome chantelg4

    • aussietater profile image

      aussietater 9 years ago

      you bet they are good for you, not to mention, the oxygen enough of them can put off. I have about 50 in my house and I just keep growing them. LOVE THEM. They always put me in a good mood. It is so interesting to watch them grow. Kind of like kids.