Houseplants & Indoor Air Quality

spider-plant-home-28mar2006-lah-123rI’ve been down with a nasty stomach virus for the past week, more interested in the distance to the bathroom than in gardening. As a result, I’ve been perusing articles instead of writing them (it takes far less effort!). I’ve also spent considerable time reading bogus gardening advice on Pintrest—it’s an amazingly rich repository of horticultural mythology. One afternoon I focused on the idea that houseplants purify the air in our homes. We’ve all seen the articles…

Well, if NASA says so, it must be true!

houseplants-blackforestco-2008aug02-lah-130My first indication that there might be a problem was noticing that the lists disagree. If these are truly the best, you would expect everyone to recommend them. Still, there are millions of plants, and we grow hundreds of them indoors, so maybe different ones were studied at different times.

Then I came across this article by Robert Pavlis on his much-appreciated blog Garden Myths:

Air Purifying Plants – Do They Work?

Pavlis deals with this question head on, looking at the research (including that NASA study), then analyzing the results with logic and writing about it in a clear and interesting manner. Do yourself a favor and read his excellent article.

Meanwhile, I’m going back to bed.

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