How long has this being going?

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So in a couple of posts we mentioned this plant absorbs formaldehyde and hence purify air. But hey, why would we need to remove formaldehyde? 99% of our houses are homes and not a chemical manufacturing haven….or is it??

The obvious generators of formaldehyde are combustion and emissions from construction materials. But check out these not so in your face, silent formaldehyde producers

  • Tobacco Smoke: Ok so you decided to inhale it directly, but shouldn’t we spare our family.
  • Fireplace/Wood burning stove: Yes that nicely lit fireplace is also a source
  • Consumer Products: Nail Polish,Paint, wall paper (never thought of this huh?)
  • Permanent Press Fabrics: clothing, linens, draperies

Concentrations of formaldehyde are typically several times greater indoors than outdoors because a large amount of formaldehyde-emitting material is contained within a confined space.

So what’s in it for me????

Inhaling formaldehyde in the air can cause both short-term irritant effects and long-term health effects, such as cancer. Sounds like a warning on the back of a medicine bottle huh, nowadays all roads seem to lead to one destination

What can you do??

Hmm, there are many ways to reduce this. You can check it out at this link -> http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/indoor/formaldgl08-04.pdf

Or maybe you can be lazy like me and just buy a couple of houseplants and let it take in all the formaldehyde.

 

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Meet the ‘D’ Family

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The Dracaena family are an important group of plants used to decorate, clean the air and make “green” homes, offices, malls, apartments and the landscape around the world. Few popular varieties are

  • Dracaena fragrans ‘Massangeana’ ,more commonly known as the Corn Plant. It does well in low light conditions and its wide leaves are long and arc gracefully from the stalk.
  • Dracaena marginata, commonly called Red-edge Dracaena or Madagascar dragon tree, and can grow to 15 feet in height, supported by a long, slender truck or “cane”
  • Dracaena Janet Craig is one of the most popular Draceanas used indoors, due to it’s ability to grow in low light and tolerate considerable dryness
  • Dracaena Warneckii also called Striped dracaena, has some similarity to “Janet Craig” as it is a medium sized shrub. Its foliage is  however narrower than “Janet Craig” and comes to a sharper point, with distinctive white stripes running lengthwise in the leafs center

Dracaenas are one of the plants used in the NASA Clean Air Study and has shown to help remove Formaldehyde. (So if you live in a house/office that manufactures formaldehyde, rush and get a Dracena ;)).

Photo Credit:

http://www.flowercouncil.co.uk/retail/Imagebank

Travelers plant : Dracaena Compacta

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Dracena Compacta has compact, dark green leaves . This makes it an attractive plant in any setting. A favorite in homes and offices because they’re reliable growers in minimal light. poor humidity, and wide ranging temperatures.The biggest problem caring for these plants is over doing it. Growing in soil, that usally means too much water.

If you travel frequently this plant is apt for you, as it does not require watering everyday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: http://www.flowercouncil.co.uk/retail/Imagebank

What’s in a name? (Dumb Cane)

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Dieffenbachia or Dumb Cane has a bad reputation. It will kill your kids, it will commit murder most foul and its even been known to burn down houses! All true stories if you believe those annoying email chains / Facebook shares.

The reputation isn’t completely wrong, (no smoke without a fire ), but its undeserved and you most certainly have no need to go Bates on your Dumb Canes (a.k a. you gather all your Dieffenbachia plants together and burn them as quick as possible!).

The truth is that Dumb Canes are poisonous, however it rarely kills human or animal. All parts of the plant have lots of microscope needle-shaped calcium oxalate crystals and when some unfortunate animal (or person) chows down they end up with a painful and swollen mouth. In some cases the swelling is so bad it causes the victim to go silent for inability to talk, this is where the common name of Dumb Cane came from. Although not a killer, it does cause some very unpleasant side effects and a hefty amount of pain to go with it. Avoid coming into contact with the sap.

If you can see past this weakness you are in for a treat because Dieffenbachias have some of the most beautiful mix of green / white / yellow foliage you will ever find on an indoor plant. It’s also quite versatile and will take some neglect and poor treatment.The last big plus point is that it’s also fantastic at regenerating if you mess up too much and have to start over

Photo Credit: http://www.flowercouncil.co.uk/retail/Imagebank

Autumn Plant

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The Codiaeum plant is a low maintenance houseplant with shiny colorful leaves. In warm southern climates it may be grown outdoors as a shrub. Commonly known as a Croton plant, its scientific name is Codiaeum variegatum. The plant’s long, pointed leaves turn reddish as they age, bringing a splash of vibrant color indoors. Codiaeum may be grown in patio containers during warmer months and brought indoors during the winter.

Do not over water—Codiaeum variegatum is susceptible to root rot if the soil becomes waterlogged.

Photo Credit: http://www.flowercouncil.co.uk/retail/Imagebank

 

Butterfly Plant: Endangered to Popular

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Areca Palm, once believed to be an endangered species is now almost everywhere you look. (if you are a keen observer of plants that is ;)).They are not, however, the best palms to grow as houseplants. Main because they need fairly bright light and partly because they are  sensitive to the build-up of fertilizer salts. Nevertheless, because of their sheer popularity and relatively low price, they’re still a good short-lived palm for indoor growth.

“Did you know that the indoor environment may be 5 to 7 times more polluted than the exterior?

NASA ranks Areca Palm #1 among the plants for cleaner and fresher air.It is tolerant of the indoor environment, releases copious amounts of moisture into the air, removes chemical toxins, and is also beautiful to look at. The areca is consistently rated among the best houseplants for removing all indoor air toxins tested.

 

Photo Credit: http://www.flowercouncil.co.uk/retail/Imagebank

 

Shhhh its an Elephants Ear

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Alocasia are distinctly exotic and tropical plants that are increasingly becoming popular as houseplants.

These are tropical plants of the Arum family that are treasured for their decorative leaves. Closely related to Colocasia (taro), the plants of this genus feature heart to arrowhead-shaped leaves (12-36″ long)

Best in part shade or filtered sun in moist, organically rich soils. Plant in locations protected from strong winds after last frost date.Water and fertilize regularly.

 

Photo Credit: http://www.flowercouncil.co.uk/retail/Imagebank