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Houseplants that clean the air


Not sure where or when I found this, but might be useful to know which houseplants can be useful as well as decorative.

I wondered that the spider plant wasn’t on the original list, because I’d long heard that that was good for cleaning the air, so I Googled “houseplants for clean air” and got thousands of hits – even NASA getting in on the act!

Bamboo palm or reed palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii)

Boston Fern

Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)

Cornstalk dracaena (Dracaena fragans ‘Massangeana’)

Elephant ear philodendron (Philodendron domesticum)

English Ivy (Hedera helix)

Gerbera Daisy or Barberton daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)

Golden pothos or Devil’s ivy (Scindapsus aures or Epipremnum aureum)

Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron oxycardium, syn. Philodendron cordatum)

Janet Craig dracaena (Dracaena deremensis ‘Janet Craig’)

Lady Palm

Peace lily (Spathiphyllum ‘Mauna Loa’)

Pot Mum or Florist’s Chrysanthemum (Chrysantheium morifolium)

Pygmy Date Palm

Red-edged dracaena (Dracaena marginata)

Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

Selloum philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum, syn. Philodendron selloum)

Snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)

Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Warneck dracaena (Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckii’)

Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)

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I've read about this idea before. I have several of the plants you mention here, in our living/dining room: Peace lily (Spathiphyllum), Red-edged dracaena (Dracaena marginata) & the Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum). :-)) Therefore our air must be pretty clean! LOL!

2 Aug, 2011


lol indeed - the original list kep on about plants cleaning out formadehyde, benzene, xylene and other chemicals - makes me wonder what that author does in their spare time!

I've only got spiders in my lounge, nowhere yet to put one in the bedroom; then i want to work down the list as much as I can. I never had much luck with peace lilies, had two goes but managed to kill both; but rubber and dragon trees are fairly idiot-proof

2 Aug, 2011


I've never grown a rubber plant but I almost killed my Dragon tree last year! All the leaves turned yellow & fell off! I think I may have overwatered it! Now I have two long bare stems with a tuft of leaves at the top, one must be about 5 ft 6 high while the other is about 6 ft 5. The trunks look like serpents as over the years I've turned it around after it has grown too close to the window but the trunks have only turned from the growing tips!

My wife has wanted a Jasmine for many year & this year we found some plants in Tesco's so I got her one. After it had finished flowering we didn't know where to put it. I put it into a larger pot & the put on top of the pot where the Dragon tree grows & as the branches have grown I've let them twist around the Dracaena. That way they hide the unsightly trunks. At least one of them!

You can see a couple of photos on page 11 of my photos. I've just had a look at them & they look quite different from what the plant looks like now with the Jasmine climbing up it!

3 Aug, 2011


I found your page 11 but can't see any dragon trees - but the pictures keep changing position as I click on each thumbnail and then "back" to the page! a picture of what looked like a tray of tomatoes started off in the middle of the bottom row, then moved to the end of the row, then vanished altogether and then came back in the middle of the top row! so I'll check pages 9+12 to see if they've migrated there.

I rescued a dragon tree from work once; over five feet tall but in a five-inch pot, the stem was about as thick as a marker pen. i had to cut the pot away in bits because the roots were more out of the pot than in it. I read somewhere that one can cut the top off a dragon tree andplant it and it can regrow; didn't work on this one but maybe it was too far gone, or I did it wrong.

I also rescued a rubber plant when it was about eighteen inches tall; I didn't know then but if a leaf is knocked off another stem grows unless you seal the wound. it ended up almost touching the ceiling and with enough stems for a small tree, so it was probably a good job that it put some energy into growing sideways, or it'd have gone up into the flat above.

3 Aug, 2011


I uploaded two new photos of the Dragon tree that I took yesterday. These are on my 1st page. My tree is only a foot or so from the ceiling & in a year I will have to do something about it.

I tried to root a small branch that had got broken off a plant in Tesco's a few years ago but it never rooted. :-((

4 Aug, 2011


*s* I found the page 1 one's earlier today; I'll keep going till I find the others.

I Googled "dragon tree propagation" and found this on a site: "Propagation: The Madascar Dragon Tree is easy to shape and propagate. When plant becomes too tall, you can cut off the cane at any height. New leaf cluster will form and grow just below where the cane was cut."
(*s*, yeah, just like that!!!)

link to the page:

but Google had "about 42,000" other results!

4 Aug, 2011


Thanks for that link but it looks very different to the plant I have.

I did a search & found this interesting page that has quite a detailed explanation under the photo - it doesn't look a lot like mine but the botanical name is the same & the description is almost the same.

7 Aug, 2011


*s* that's the difference between searching under the proper name as opposed to the common name! which is why we have proper names, I suppose; it can only apply to one plant, and one variety of one plant. There are probably more than a dozen types of "dragon tree"

8 Aug, 2011

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