• Renu Joshi, Ph. D.

Air Quality and Oxygen Level Improvement with Indoor Plants

Updated: Apr 6, 2018

Healthy air is usually considered as directly proportional to the amount of Oxygen it contains. It is evident from the green forests (or lack of it) air quality and its associated effects primarily rainfall in that region. The modern civilization and lifestyle has somewhere compromised or rather paid the price by exchanging the air qualitative aspect with industrial and individual growth. While there are reasonable means and focus on retaining the green environment of earth, there still lacks the awareness about indoor air quality. The conversations about artificial indoor air purifiers have been common recently in some cities those underwent the smog and respiratory problems in recent past. However, in lack of awareness, such natural provisions are often disregarded. We must know that the air quality can be significantly improved by various indoor plants those release oxygen and absorb CO2 of the environment. Such plants also have the capability to remove traces of toxic particles from the air. As inherent property of plants, they release oxygen while absorbing CO2 through their leaves in addition to other gases as part of their respiration process. The rate of oxygen produced is much higher than consumed pollutant elements from the air by plants.

The primary catalyst of Oxygen production is light through a process called photosynthesis. The absence of light reverses the process i.e. consuming Oxygen and releasing CO2 when plants don't get sufficient light to support photosynthesis, making it important to ensure plants receive sufficient amount of light for the photosynthesis to function appropriately. The plants also are observed to reduce traces of toxic compounds of households e.g. from bathroom, pets, paint, upholstery or carpets. The microorganisms in plant roots help to reduce such pollutants.

According to researches conducted in the University of Minnesota Extension, there are several common houseplants those can be considered to improve the indoor air quality, in addition to removal of pollutants. Some of such plants are the spider plant, English ivy, snake plant and spade leaf philodendron. As classified into hardiness zones by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Spider plants grow in zones 8 into 11, English ivy in zones 5 through 9, serpent plant is a subtropical species that grows within zones 9b into 11, while spade leaf philodendron grows within zones 10a throughout 11.

It is important to consider that the health, size as well as the suitability of the plant to your indoor growing environment determine how much oxygen it produces and the quantity of damaging compounds it removes from the air. Plants which are adapted to direct sunshine will produce the most oxygen when they're kept in the front of a window with a southern exposure. The impact of plants on your indoor oxygen levels is also affected by the number of plants indoor and their distribution.

There is a variety of plants those have photosynthesis evolved in such a way that they produce Oxygen in the night or low light situations and hence are considered best for indoor purposes. Some of these plants are :

Areca Palm Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata Zeylanica) Aloe vera Orange (Gerbera) Schlumbergeras Rama Tulasi (Ocimum sanctum) Orchid

Renu Joshi, Ph. D.
20 views0 comments