May 10, 2016
A Breath of Fresh Air
When it’s springtime and the air outside is crisp and invigorating, everything feels full of promise. Time to open the window, inhale deeply, pause, and smile.
Unless you have allergies. If you have allergies springtime can be a respiratory purgatory, casting you into hermetically sealed exile behind the windows you’ve longed to open all winter.
Fortunately, you can use houseplants to help transform the air in your home into a state of springlike viridity without the allergenic repercussions! They will also help mitigate the toxins that have accrued in your home over months of minimal ventilation.
Did you know that the air in your home can be up to five times more polluted than the air outside? The air in your home contains chemicals from many sources, from the cleaning products and air fresheners we use day to day, to the compounds in our carpets and walls. These pollutants contribute to what is known as ‘sick building syndrome’, which manifests in allergies, headaches, and fatigue. According to NASA research, house plants can remove up to 87% of volatile organic compounds every 24 hours! They help to purify the trapped air in your home by pulling the contaminants into the soil, where the roots convert those toxins into food for the plant.
Of course, to grow the most effective of air-scrubbing shrubs you will need a soil of the finest quality. Any one of our premium potting mixes will provide an ideal foundation for your indoor garden! While there are dozens of plant choices that will help clear toxins from your domestic environment, we’ve listed just a few of our favorites below:
This easy-to-grow succulent helps clear formaldehyde and benzene from the air and even can help heal cuts and burns when applied to the skin. Aloe is a great choice for a sunny kitchen window. Opus Grows Mix #3 is the perfect soil for it, because it comes closest to the soil found in the desert - the natural habitat of Aloe Vera - with its high content of pumice and perlite and its natural draining properties.
2. Gerbera Daisy
This flowering plant will not only brighten up your home, but effectively remove trichloroethylene. They will also give off oxygen at night, so try to find a place in your bedroom for maximum impact. Plenty of sunlight and a twice-weekly misting will keep these beautiful buds improving your air quality for weeks. Gerbera daisies prefer medium to rich soil with good drainage, so pick Opus Grows Mix #1 to achieve rich colors and deep-green foliage.
3. Golden Pothos
According to the EPA, formaldehyde is used in the manufacture of a surprsing number of domestic products. Golden Pothos is a fast-growing vine and is great for helping to mitigate the effects of this toxin in your home. Hang this plant in bright, indirect light and use Opus Grows Mix #2 to help it achieve its full potential. Although it is one of the most popular houseplants, the leaves of the Golden Pothos could be mildly poisonous to ingest, so better keep it away from small children and pets
The flowers of this vibrant plant can filter out benzene, a common toxin found in glues, plastics, inks, and ammonia. Sunlight encourages the buds to open, but avoid direct sunlight for long periods of time. Choose a floral Chrysanthemum instead of a garden variety to achieve the best blooms indoors. Make its potting soil Opus Grows Mix #2 for its gentle water-retention and high drainage qualities.
Use a number of these plants and their benefits with accumulate to give you the fresh air of springtime all year long without the allergies!