Why do we need houseplants? Why is there a week dedicated to them? Around here, everyday is houseplant day, but for most people, (normal people) it isn’t. So, why is there a need to dedicate an entire week to houseplants (indoor plants)?

orchid show 038

Framed and self watering plant container

People need to realize that the air inside buildings, including our homes is more polluted than the air outside. The pollutants are called VOCs or volatile organic chemicals. These include benzene, xylene, styrene, and formaldehyde, which originate from computers, televisions, computer monitors, carpet, paint and stain, and furniture. The worst pollutant-causing material is pressed wood products. Manufactured homes and RVs are almost completely built of it.  Now that buildings are built better and are more energy efficient, they are sealed tightly to discourage loss of heat and air conditioning. That also seals all the contaminates inside. They have even given a name to the problems caused by the contaminates. It is called SBS or sick building syndrome. This can cause allergies, eye, nose, and throat irritation, fatigue, and headaches. So beyond a good filtration system what can be done? Add some houseplants, of course!

My daughter even has houseplants in her 16th floor apartment

My daughter even has houseplants in her 16th floor apartment

Two books that give the fact as to why we should grow houseplants is How To Grow Fresh Air by Dr. B. C. Wolverton, and Plants, Why You Can’t Live Without Them, by B. C. Wolverton and Kozaburo Takenaka. Back in the 80’s NASA conducted research on plants and their air cleaning properties. These studies were led by Dr. Wolverton. He reveals the top 50 houseplant to use in his book How To Grow Fresh Air.

Dr. Wolverton's two books

Dr. Wolverton’s two books

The good news is, by placing houseplants in an office or home, you can get rid of most of these VOCs! Some of the best plants to use are palms, ficus, ivy, Spathiphyllum or peace lily, Dracaenas, spider plant and Sansevierias. They remove the VOCs just by doing what they do naturally-photosynthesize. Plus, as they do that, they also give us oxygen. It has also been proven that the presence of houseplants lowers blood pressure, lowers the number of sick days taken by people in office settings, and improves moods. Why wouldn’t you have some houseplants? I tell my husband we have the cleanest air and lowest blood pressure around. He just rolls his eyes.

So, as you can see, there is a lot of good reasons to have a week to praise indoor plants. I could go on forever. They are my therapy and I love them. I think everyone should have some houseplants in their homes and offices. It will make you happy, too.

To help you in this endeavor, I am giving away a copy of How to Grow Fresh Air by Dr. B.C. Wolverton next week. Leave a comment below and tell me about your favorite houseplant and next Friday, September 25 I will draw a name using random.org. Entries must be received by 8pm on Friday, Sept. 25. I will contact the winner by email, so remember to leave your email, as well. You’ll love this book! Good luck!

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