Healthy gardening that can take place indoors on an office desk or a living room table


Houseplants add beauty, health to home and office

Bright light streams through huge windows at a low winter angle as Aj Ewing kneels down and carefully studies the undersides of shiny green leaves at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

Through the glass, two fat robins watch the activities from perches on leafless shrubs filled with red berries. Ewing uses a small metal magnifying glass, which he keeps on his keychain, to search for insects. He discovers a pest called scale, which he starts to methodically remove by hand.

The plant is in the Center for Sustainable Landscapes on the Phipps campus. It’s one of the greenest buildings in the world. One floor is filled with cubicles, each one surrounded by a plethora of houseplants. They help keep the air clean with two plants placed every 10 square feet in the office area.

It’s the type of healthy gardening that can take place indoors on an office desk or a living room table.

Ewing cites a NASA study and the book “How to Grow Fresh Air” by B.C. Wolverton as the sources Phipps used to create a list of plants that are best for air purification.

“When it comes down to it,” he says frankly, “all plants are clean-air plants in that through the photosynthetic process, they help to clean and filter air.”

The key, he says, is to find a plant that will thrive in your own indoor space.

Read the full story: TribLive

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.