Indoor plants that clean the air and remove toxins – The Standard

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The Peace Lily originates from the tropical rainforests of Colombia and Venezuela. The official name of the Peace Lily, Spathiphyllum, is derived from the Greek words for spathe and leaf.
The plant has received extra attention over the last few years through the NASA Clean Air Study. They were researching how to purify the air in space stations and the Peace Lily turned out to purify air better than the average plant.

In Kenya it is becoming popular in urban homes, with many people growing them in bedrooms and verandahs for fresh air.

How to use plants to purify your indoor air
According to Hosea Kipng’etich, a plant consultant at Irish Gardeners in Lower Kabete, Peace lilies have dark green leaves and bracts which most people think are flowers.
Why is Peace Lily important in your home?
 
1.It purifies the air 

 
Our homes are known to have many pollutants present that cause a lot of health issues. According to a NASA experiment, pollutants like benzene, xylene, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde are some that a peace lily plant can absorb. Therefore, by eliminating 60% of the pollutants, in return, it makes the air suitable for breathing by adding moisture to it.

2. It’s a low maintenance house plant 
 
As you opt for home decor as many people are now turning to, especially indoor plants. Everyone wants one that is low maintenance that can accommodate their busy schedules.
The peace lily is one amazing house plant you can choose as it still thrives even when you forget watering them. Besides, it can survive without sunlight and use just bright indoor light from the indirect sunlight.
 
3. Absorbs acetone vapors 
 
It helps protect you from harmful vapors like acetone and alcohol that have harmful effects on your health. Varnishes, paints, rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover, among others contain acetone and alcohol, this is according to Feng Shui. The more you get exposure to these vapors, it can cause headaches, lack of coordination, low blood pressure, acetone poisoning, and lethargy. Hence, when you have a peace lily in your home, it helps keep the surrounding air in your home free from these vapors making it a healthy place for you.
 
4. Promotes restful sleep 
 
It is an amazing plant for your bedroom and it is a beautiful sight as well. It helps filter the indoor air, increase the levels of humidity, helping you breathe better It is the best bedroom plant, according to Feng Shui, as it brings positive energy and peaceful touch to the room.
Caring for the Peace Lily
Light
Peace lilies are a good choice for low-light spaces because they can thrive in shade or partial shade. “They also tolerate fluorescent lights, so if you need a plant friend to liven up your desk at the office, peace lily is a good option.” Says Kipng’etich.
Temperature
Peace lilies like a consistent temperature from 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Protect your plant from drafts and cold or drastic changes in temperature. So, maybe don’t place yours by a door that opens out into the cold winter air.
Fertilising
In spring and summer, use an organic houseplant fertilizer to help your plant bloom. Keep in mind that peace lilies are sensitive to chemical fertilizers, so organic options are best.
Watering
If you’re wondering how often to water a peace lily, one tip is to wait for the plant to droop slightly before watering.
“One of the great advantages in caring for the peace lily is the fact that it sags a bit when it needs water, essentially telling you when it’s thirsty.” Says Kipng’etich.
In general, water at least once a week and keep the soil moist.
Transplanting
When your plant’s roots show or your peace lily seems to be drinking up all its water within a few days, re-pot into a larger container. Your plant may need to be gradually moved into larger and larger containers, but generally peace lilies won’t need to go into a pot larger than 10 inches.
Plants largely breathe via tiny pores(stomata) that open to allow gaseous exchange, but in doing so, they also allow water to escape. Anything you do to increase a plant’s respiration (gaseous exchange) will also increase transpiration (water loss) and anything you do to reduce evaporation will decrease respiration.
Common problems
Common mistake people make is overwatering peace lilies. These plants are far more tolerant of under watering than overwatering.” Says Kipng’etich.
What you need to look out for when purchasing the Peace Lily
According to Kipng’etich, “When purchasing the Peace Lily mainly look out for the pot size, the diameter and the thickness of the plant, the size of the spathe, the growth habit of the plant, the flower stems per plant and the maturity.
Look if the flowers or leaves are damaged, this often happens during transportation or storage.
Cost
In Kenya, they can be found on the side of the road In Kenya, the peace lily plant is commonly sold at the side of the road, Sh1000 in a pot, you can also find it in paper bags already packed with the special soil going for Sh250.
Social media sites and online stores like Instagram, Facebook and websites like Jumia are platforms where you can find this plant being sold.
Peace Lilies are available in different sizes. They are divided into three groups based on size; dwarf, medium-sized and giant varieties.
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