Keep your indoor plants in tip-top shape this winter

These days, we spend huge amounts on humidifiers or machines to help purify the indoor air that is often polluted by anything from paints and synthetic materials to dust. The end result is allergies such as asthma and sinusitis.

But nature has its own way of doing this – plants!

Although we have the benefit of good country air at Granny Mouse, we are all too aware that closing doors and windows to keep warm during winter can result in poor air circulation. To improve indoor air quality and add a dab of bright colour, we bring in fresh cut flowers and indoor plants.

Lush green leaves add a splash of freshness when it’s drab outside, while lovely winter bulbs such as daffodils, dahlias and cyclamens or exotic orchids can add a dash of bright colour. At the same time, they help purify the air.

The following are some indoor plants (rated according to ease of maintenance and effectiveness at purifying the air) from NASA’s studies. For more information, see B.C. Wolverton’s “EcoFriendly Houseplants.”


If you use low quality and toxic detergents and cleaners in your home, this plant can help filter the air in your kitchen.

English Ivy

This plant is useful in eliminating airborne fecal-matter particles. It is also great in a smokers’ environment as it is able to soak up carcinogens from second-hand smoke.

Peace Lily

Perfect for any laundry or bathroom, the Peace Lily specializes in the removal of mold spores. The plant itself does not require large amounts of water or sunlight to survive. In addition to mold, it is also known to remove formaldehyde and trichloroethylene. (Warning: Keep your kitty away from your Peace Lily as this plant is known to be extremely toxic to cats if they consume it.)

Bamboo Palm

The Bamboo Palm is recognized as one of the best at filtering out benzene and trichloroethylene. The bamboo palm is also great next to pieces of furniture that may be prone to off-gassing formaldehyde, another toxin it can naturally handle well.

Chinese Evergreen

What truly makes the Chinese Evergreen cool is the development of its effectiveness. The more time the plant spends in a space, the more effective it becomes at removing the air pollutants and toxins in the area.

Aloe Vera

The Aloe Vera plant is incredibly easy to grow and maintain and, like many of its counterparts, is wonderful for filtering out air pollutants and toxins.


This beautiful flower cleans the air, removes unwanted odours, kills bacteria and also helps to keep moths away.

Spider Plant (Hen-en-Kuikens)

The Spider Plant requires natural light but shouldn’t be exposed directly to the sun. They sequester carbon monoxide so a kitchen is a great place for them.

Rubber Plant

This plant scores very highly in removing toxins and pollutants from the inside of homes. It is especially tough on formaldehyde.

Snake Plant

The Snake Plant does its work at night. It sucks in carbon dioxide and releases oxygen during the night, helping people sleep better. Many choose to keep it in their bedroom or carpeted living room. It can even prevent the formaldehyde that leaks from carpets and wood furniture from hanging around in the air.

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