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A Touch of Green

Through the years of living together under the same roof with my wife, I have witnessed how our house slowly turned into a home. In our almost five years together, our home has gone through two major renovations. Throughout that span of time, we have decorated and redecorated, let go of old furniture and acquired new ones, basically personalizing every nook and cranny with our own touch. It was in those moments that I realized and eventually appreciated what difference a plant or two makes inside the home.

Indoor plants not only brighten and spruce up a home but also purifies the air in it, thus creating a more restful and relaxing ambience. In fact, some studies support the notion that the more time you spend in nature, the lower your stress levels become. Notice how some hospitals place house plants inside their patients’ rooms?

In her article at the Huffington Post, Carolyn Gregoire suggests ten plants perfect for the home. While all of them purifies the air, not all require the same amount of water and sunlight. Some, too, are more effective in absorbing particular air pollutants than others. Moreover, a number even have the bragging rights to be NASA-approved.

These two indoor plants grow best in sufficient sunlight. The first is the red-edged dracaena, which can grow up to fifteen feet high (so be sure to find enough head room for it in your home). This plant is excellent in absorbing the harmful chemicals xylene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde. The second plant is the aloe. It, too, clears the air of pollutants found in chemical cleaning products. What’s amazing about it is how its leaves act as natural litmus tests for the air you breathe. You know when excessive amounts of harmful chemicals are in the air when its leaves display brown spots.


The next plant is the bamboo palm. Though you can put it in the shade or indirect sunlight, it needs much water to thrive indoors. It is perfect for cleaning out benzene and trichloroethylene. And the best thing about it is, it is NASA-approved!

The following three plants are best placed in moderate temperatures with moderate water and sunlight. Te English ivy absorbs formaldehyde and, like the bamboo palm, is NASA-approved. It can either be a hanging or floor plant. The spider plant is another one of the plants approved by NASA. It absorbs benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and xylene. Lastly, the philodendron absorbs xylene and has heart-shaped leaves, making it easy to love.


The remaining four plants are the easiest to care for because they don’t need much water, and they thrive in cool climates and dim lighting. The rubber tree, peace lily, golden pothos, and snake plant all are powerful toxin eliminators and air purifiers. Among them, only the golden pothos, which is best against formaldehyde, has the NASA’s seal of approval. (It is also best as a hanging plant.) But my personal favorite is the snake plant. Because while most plants are active, that is, they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, during the day, the snake plant is most active at night. This makes it the perfect bedside buddy.


You don’t have to be a green thumb or an interior designer to see how keeping these potted pals in your home is best for your household. Most of them are easy to take care of, and they bring only benefits to you and your family’s health. There’s a reason why God fashioned nature in that shade, so go ahead and add a touch of green in the corners of your home.




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