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How We Improved Our Indoor Air

January 4, 2013

Let’s face it:  we live and work in sealed boxes!  You can’t even open the windows in some office buildings.  And many folks don’t even open the windows of their homes from one season to the next.  The downside is a silent form of air pollution.  Many items in our homes release toxic fumes.  The paneling and carpeting in our home, and even our clothing, release formaldehyde and other chemicals.  Cooking odors and byproducts, cleaning products, along with the carbon dioxide we breathe out are all contributors.

The good news is that we can make our homes easier to breathe in simply by bringing the outdoors indoors.  Many common plants absorb dangerous chemicals into their leaves, turn it into new growth and put oxygen back into the air.  For example:  Philodendron and Ficus leaves remove the nicotine from tobacco smoke, and either store it in the leaves, or break it down into harmless compounds.  Just about all plants take in the carbon dioxide we breathe out.

My wife Rita has a knack for taking care of house plants (as you can tell from these pictures).  She buys them small, pots them in Miracle-Gro Potting Mix and feeds them with Osmocote.  She likes to repot into the next larger pot each spring.  She suggests that if you are buying house plants this time of year, pick a warmer day and protect them as much as possible from extreme cold when transporting them home.  Place them in a location with good light that does not receive blowing hot, dry air from a heating vent.  Allow the soil to dry in between watering.

Rita grew this fern from a tiny plant in two years.

Rita grew this fern from a tiny plant in two years.

Rita selected this Philodendron for its unusual foliage

Rita selected this Philodendron for its unusual foliage

Rita grew this Variegated Ficus from a 10 inch plant to one that is now over 6 feet tall.  It survived our move from Ohio to Georgia three years ago.

Rita grew this Variegated Ficus from a 10 inch plant to one that is now over 6 feet tall. It survived our move from Ohio to Georgia three years ago.

This Dracaena has been a very fast grower.  In two years it has grown from 1 foot tall to 4 feet now.

This Dracaena has been a very fast grower. In two years it has grown from 1 foot tall to 4 feet now.

Hope we have inspired you to improve your indoor air quality with plants.  The stores have a great selection of both plants and pots this time of year.

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