Indoor Plants and COVID-19

Indoor plants offer us a wonderfully efficient cleaning system for our environment to clear the air from biological and non-biological contaminants. They are a cost-effective and natural solution to improve air quality from pollutants and filter the air naturally.

Peace Lily

A well-know process that plants perform is photosynthesis and respiration, whereby they clean the air through taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Central to the identity of nearly all land plants are pores called stomata. These tiny, microscopic pores take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen and are the absorption and filtration mechanisms and critical to photosynthesis. Thousands of them dot the surface of the plants.

Plants absorb airborne molecules, restore the ecological balance in the air and purify the air from pollutants. These include carbon dioxide, volatile organic components (VOC), carbonyl, particulate matter, organic compounds, nitrates, sulfates, ammonia, calcium, ozone, and carbonate. Indoor plants reduce the levels of indoor pollutants and minimize human exposure to many harmful compounds.

Boston Fern

An important component causing interactions between humans, viruses and plants is indoor humidity. Plants are capable of absorbing tiny airborne water vapour particles and display the ability to improve indoor humidity.

Experiments were performed that showed a reduction by 50% of airborne micro-organisms that have the potential to cause disease, which are called pathogens by plants. Microbes that cause disease are called pathogens.

In this recent study the role of indoor plants in air purification and human health in the context of the COVID19 pandemic was conducted. Plants are a cost-effective way of purifying the air by removing air pollutants and habituated airborne microbes. It also adds aesthetic value that impacts human health.

 

Bamboo Palm

It was proposed that the use of indoor plants as an eco-friendly tool for indoor air purification and for reducing the spread of COVID-19 in confined places. Practices such as good air ventilation, avoidance of air re-circulation, minimization of the number of people in indoor areas and air filtration techniques have been proven to aid in the reduction of the virus spread.

For over 30 years, B.C. “Bill” Wolverton, a retired civilian scientist for NASA, investigated the use of plants as air and water-purifying systems for enclosed environments in space missions. Through his research based on the air-cleaning capacity if household plants he assessed 50 house plants of which the ten plants listed below were the highest in cleaning the air.

Top 10 Household Air Cleaners:

  1. Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)
  2. Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa)
  3. Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea erumpns)
  4. Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)
  5. Dracaena (Dracaena decremensis ‘Janet Craig’)
  6. English Ivy (Hedera helix)
  7. Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii)
  8. Ficus (Ficus macleilandii ‘Alli’)
  9. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Bostoniensis’)
  10. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii)

English Ivy

You’ll find these creative, beautiful, wild plants grace your indoor spaces, add beauty, clear the air from biological and non-biological contaminants and support your health and the environment naturally.

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