The Snake Plant – (an air purifying plant)

The snake plant (sansevieria trifasciata laurentii) is in the succulent family and is a great choice as a houseplant. Not only does it add color and vibrancy it purifies the air. The snake plant gets its name because the long thin leaves look similar to the scales of a snake. Another common name is “Mother In Law’s Tongue” because of its sharp points at the end of each leaf.

If you are looking for a houseplant and are plant challenged, the Snake Plant is the one for you. It is a low maintenance non-fussy plant. In addition to being a low maintenance plant is also acts as an air purifier for your home. NASA research has proven that snake plants clean the air of toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene.
The snake plant has sword shaped waxy leaves and grows tall and thick making it a great addition to any décor.

snake plant

Snake plants thrive in most conditions in your house including indirect sunlight allowing you to grow it in almost any room in your home.  It requires sparse watering, in fact it likes to dry out in between watering.  When the soil is very dry, water the plant. Use a water meter to measure the moisture towards the bottom of the pot. Even though it may look dry on the surface, the soil could still be moist down below. Remember, overwatering is the number one killer of the Snake Plant.  Insect and diseases are also uncommon with the snake plant as well. Apply a houseplant fertilizer like Miracle-Gro All-Purpose Plant Food or Schultz All purpose Liquid Plant Food every 2 weeks to insure a healthy plant.

A great way to have a happy lifestyle is to keep a snake plant in your house and to have a great relationship with your mother-in-law. The last thing you need is unhealthy air in your house or the sharp tongue of your mother-in-law. We have a beautiful selection here at The Dees’ and as always, we welcome your questions to help with your problems (plant problems that is). Stop by and see Bob in our Greenhouse – He can help with both.

Joe Dee

House Plants That Purify the Air

Projects like installing new carpet and painting walls can release chemicals that pollute indoor air. Luckily, some houseplants moonlight as efficient purifiers. For the best results, put as many plants as you can care for in the rooms you use most, says environmental scientist Dr. Bill Wolverton. That means you’ll want at least two plants (in 10- to 12-inch pots) per 100 square feet of space; if you’re in the middle of major renovations, aim for more plants. One tip: Be sure not to overwater, as too much soil moisture can lead to mold growth.

English Ivy:

This hearty, climbing vine thrives in small spaces. It also fares well in rooms with few windows or little sunlight.

How it Helps: Its dense foliage excels at absorbing formaldehyde—the most prevalent indoor pollutant, says Wolverton—which shows up in wood floorboard resins and synthetic carpet dyes.

Peace Lily:

 Among the few air purifiers that flower, the peace lily adapts well to low light but requires weekly watering and is poisonous to pets.

Peace Lilly rids the air of the VOC benzene, a carcinogen found in paints, furniture wax, and polishes. It also sucks up acetone, which is emitted by electronics, adhesives, and certain cleaners.

Lady Palm:

An easy-to-grow, tree-like species, the lady palm may take a while to start shooting upward. But once it does, its fan-like patterned leaves will add charm to any spot.

Lady Palm targets ammonia, an enemy of the respiratory system and a major ingredient in cleaners, textiles, and dyes.

Boston Fern:

Boston fern features feather-like leaves and curved fronds that are well suited to indoor hanging baskets. It’s considered one of the most efficient air purifiers, but it can prove a bit difficult to maintain because of its need for constant moisture and humidity.

This fern works especially well in removing formaldehyde, which is found in some glues, as well as pressed wood products, including cabinetry, plywood paneling, and furniture.

Snake Plant:

Also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, this sharp-leafed plant thrives in low light. At night it absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen (a reversal of the process most plants undergo). Pot a couple and put them in your bedroom for a slight oxygen boost while you sleep.

A Snake Plant, In addition to helping lower carbon dioxide, the snake plant rids air of formaldehyde and benzene.

Golden Pothos:

 This fast-growing vine has a reputation for flexibility. You can pot it with something to support it, plant it in a hanging basket, or train it to climb a trellis. Dark green leaves with golden streaks and marbling make it an eye-catching addition to a home or office.

Golden Pothos tackles formaldehyde, but golden pothos also targets carbon monoxide and benzene. Consider placing one in your mudroom or entryway, where car exhaust fumes heavy in formaldehyde are most likely to sneak indoors from the garage.

Wax Begonia:

Place in an area with abundant sunlight and this semiwoody succulent will produce pretty clusters of flat white, pink, or red flowers during the summer.

The Wax Begonia plant is a heavy hitter in filtering out benzene and chemicals produced by toluene, a liquid found in some waxes and adhesives, according to a University of Georgia study conducted last year.

Red Edge Dracaena:

While this slow-growing shrub can get quite tall (up to 15 feet), it’s relatively compact and will make the most out of whatever floor space you can offer it. For best results, keep one in a room with high ceilings and moderate sunlight, and water occasionally. Its red-trimmed leaves will deliver a dose of unexpected color.

This plant takes care of gases released by xylene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde, which can be introduced by lacquers, varnishes, and sealers.

Spider Plant:

A good option for beginning gardeners, the spider plant reproduces quickly, growing long, grassy leaves as well as hanging stems, which eventually sprout plantlets—hence its arachnid-inspired name.

Place a spider plant on a pedestal or in a hanging basket close to a sunlit window and you’ll benefit from fewer airborne formaldehyde and benzene molecules.