Plants Heal Places too

Plants Heal Places too

Now that it’s winter I find myself daydreaming more and more about adding indoor plants to our home. Living in the Pacific Northwest though makes it hard to always pick plants that will survive with little sunlight.

We are lucky that we have a wall of big windows in our living room but the angle of the sun in the wintertime makes it nearly impossible to get direct light for long in the house, and that is when there is actual sun to be seen. Most winter days here are 8CAC41BA-B986-461E-BAC1-B87B5309F6AA[1]overcast or rainy or both.  We’ve managed to keep alive a few little plant-babies in the house but I want some bigger ones to really fill the space. I saw this article on New Hope Network’s website and it made me more determined than ever to  get myself to a plant store. The thing that struck me the most, other than the fact I have our aloe in the wrong place (kitchen, not bedroom) was that specific plants clean certain toxins. I mean everyone knows that plants are good for the air quality, but they have their specialties like proper healers do. That makes perfect sense but it just never occurred to me to look into which plants are best for what needs to be cleansed. Below is the article from New Hope Network, including the pics. The ones above are my own.

Article by Jenny Ivy: The winter months are upon us, and it’s time to focus on how to stay healthy as we spend most of our time indoors. Ever since it released its Clean Air study in 1989, NASA has touted the air-filtering benefits of plants, which help cleanse our indoor environments of pollutants and common toxic chemicals such as benzene and ammonia.

Here are seven indoor plants to stock around the house this winter. 

Aloe vera


The aloe vera plant releases oxygen throughout the night, making it ideal for bedroom spaces. It also helps clear the air of benzene, a chemical found in detergents and plastics, and formaldehyde, which can be present in varnishes and floor finishes.

Toxic to pets? Yes

Peace lily


The peace lily cleanses benzene, formaldehyde, ammonia and trichloroethylene, a chemical commonly found in paints, varnishes, lacquers and adhesives. This is a great plant to have in your home if you love buying flowers but don’t want to buy bouquets that will die after a few days.

Toxic to pets? Yes

Bamboo palm


Bamboo palm is the third most powerful plant at removing formaldehyde in the air, according to NASA. It also helps filter out xylene, a chemical found in rubber and tobacco smoke. Give this plant plenty of room to grow, as mature height varies between 4 and 12 feet with a span of 3 to 5 feet.

Toxic to pets? No

Boston fern

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A common indoor plant, the Boston fern ranks ninth on NASA’s list of 50 air-purifying plants. It also is the most effective plant at removing formaldehyde. Additional research found this fern can eliminate heavy metals, such as mercury and arsenic from soil.

Toxic to pets? No

Areca palm


The Areca Palm is considered the most efficient air-purifying plant, according to NASA. It also makes for an excellent air humidifier, transpiring 1 liter of water per 24 hours—this is the process by which moisture is carried through plants from roots to small pores on the underside of leaves, where it changes to vapor and is released into the air. This tropical plant from Madagascar eliminates benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and other toxins from the air.

Toxic to pets? No

Weeping fig


According to NASA’s Clean Air Study, Ficus benjamina was effective at cleansing airborne formaldehyde, xylene and toluene, which is the solvent in some types of paint thinner. The weeping fig grows best in bright, indirect light.

Toxic to pets? Yes

English ivy


English ivy is helpful to treat inflammation problems in the body—issues such as arthritis, gout or rheumatism. You can either consume it in the form of tea or apply the leaves directly to the spot of inflammation, according to English ivy can also help reduce the amount of mold in the air in your home, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Toxic to pets? Yes

(Me again) I hope you are inspired to add more botanical beauty to your life too! I am definitely making it a priority this month to find some hearty, shade-loving, toxin-busting plants for our home. Thanks for reading and best health to you and yours.









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