As we enter the autumn season, many shoppers are making plans for houseplants that can help to remove toxins from their indoor air. Much research has been done on the many toxins that are part of our indoor air. As these build up they can contribute to “sick building syndrome.” NASA has done research on which plants are most effective at removing these toxins and suggest at least one plant per 100 sq. feet of home or office space for the most efficient cleaning. Some of these plants will likely thrive in our Indiana winter lighting conditions and some will not (such as the numerous palms they recommend). Here are some to explore:
- Rubber plants prefer moderate light and allow them to dry a bit between waterings. It is a reasonably fast grower.
‘Janet Craig’ dracaena plants prefer moderate light but will tolerate lower light. Allow them to dry a bit between waterings. They are generally slower growers.
English ivy prefers higher light and must dry a bit between waterings. They are quick growers.
Philodendron plants prefer moderate but will tolerate lower light. Allow them to dry a bit between waterings. They are generally fast growers and some can get quite large.
Ficus alii plants have the longer leaves and prefer high light. Allow them to dry a bit between waterings. They are moderate speed growers and need very consistent conditions (not near drafts, heat vents, or moved in location a lot).
Peace lily plants prefer high light to thrive and need to dry a bit between waterings. They are moderate to fast growers.
Snake plants are succulents that will tolerate lower light and need to dry quite a bit between waterings. They are generally slow growers.
Chinese evergreen plants will tolerate lower light and need to dry between waterings. They are slower growers.
Keep in mind the general rules of thumb for any of these indoor plants:
- Indirect lighting is always the best choice.
When you water, always water thoroughly until the water comes through the drainage holes, but do not allow the plant to sit in drained water. Use water that is free of chemicals.
Fertilize regularly during the active growing months (mid-March to mid-September) but reduce your amount of fertilizer or stop fertilizing during the non-active growth months.
Your local independent garden centers will be happy to help you!
This article is sponsored by McNamara at Sand Point, which has 2 acres of production greenhouses, retail florist and gift shop, as well as retail garden center and wholesale plant business. Contact McNamara by calling 260-747-4131 or visit 4322 DeForest Ave, Ft. Wayne, IN 46809.
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