A Breath of Fresh Air

Red Anthurium

Red Anthurium

It’s a new year and my goal this year is for a healthier body, mind and home.  There are many different components to that goal but currently I am concentrating on three:  eating organic produce and meat, drinking lots of well-filtered water and reducing indoor pollution.

Being in the plant business, I believe plants are beneficial. Plus they are beautiful and I get great stress reduction being out in my garden.  Indoors, houseplants have been reported to improve indoor air quality and potentially reduce the effects of electromagnetic fields.  This is the aspect I am most interested in at present.  Charlotte, our houseplant guru, has been well informed on this subject for quite awhile.  She usually references a book entitled “How To Grow Fresh Air” by Dr. B.C. Wolverton.  It discusses NASA’s tests on houseplants and pollutant reduction.  There’s lots of great information in the book, as well as rankings of houseplants for reducing several chemicals, as well as a overall ranking based on removal of chemical vapors, ease of care, resistance to insects, and transpiration rate. Unfortunately, the book was written in 1996, and although NASA’s study is still being cited, the book does not cover electromagnetic fields and radiation.

So, next I turned to the Internet.  It is amazing what you find when you Google Orchidregarding EMF and houseplants.  I found a very wide range of suggestions, from the odd “grounding” of your bed involving a plant, wood and a natural fabric tie, to several unsubstantiated reports that Christmas Cacti placed near your computer reduce “EMFs”.  Most sites referenced the NASA study.

Here’s my take on the whole thing.  I have houseplants in every room in my house that I am frequently in, except our television/work-out room, which is the only upstairs room.  I derive great pleasure from them.  I think they look pretty good, too.  In my house I have only 3 of the top 20 recommendations (from the book cited earlier).  I’m planning to add a few more plants to my collection, especially in the bedroom.  Number 1 on my list is a Dracaena, since 4


types of them made the top 20.  However, I feel like I need to do more research into

EMF/EM radiation reduction.  Probably the best idea is simply to turn off, place a good distance away and eliminate the use of electronic devices that create EMFs.

Thinking of adding houseplants to help clean your indoor air?  Here are Charlotte’s top 3 and further recommendations based on the rankings in Wolverton’s book.

Charlotte’s top 3.  They’re easy to grow, lower light tolerant:

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Janet Craig Corn plant, Dragon Tree (3 different types of Dracaena)

Snake Plant (Sansieveria).  Practically indestructible!

From the book:

Areca Palm.  Medium light

Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica).  Medium light

Philodendron.  Low Light

Boston Fern.  Medium light

My picks for flowering plants, based on what I have grown:

Christmas Cactus (I actually like them!).  Medium light

Regier Begonia.  Medium light

Anthurium.  Medium light.

Breath deep, relax and enjoy the New Year.  If I’m able to find more info on houseplants and EMFs, I’ll share.  If anyone of you has info, let me know.  You can share on Word Press or e-mail me at Brenda@garlandnursery.com.  If I’m not able to find out more, I may be resorting to the “bed grounding”.


About Brenda Powell

I'm one of the owners of a family-owned retail nursery. I have a degree in horticulture from Oregon State University. I love to garden and read. My technically savvy but horticulturally challenged husband, Mitch, spends most of his time as slave labor in the garden. Thank goodness he adores me! My goal in this blog is to share my enjoyment of gardening, my love of nature, and my addiction to books. Did I mention I like to cook, too?
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