Gardeners' World: How to care for houseplants
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Keeping on top of cleaning the dust in your home is particularly important, as a build-up can cause a number of health issues, including asthma attacks, irritation to the eyes and coughing. However, according to research by NASA, certain houseplants can help to reduce dust levels in your home by 20 percent.
On top of their dust-busting abilities, houseplants are also known to boost the air quality in your home.
All of this is thanks to their leaves.
The leaves of certain plants can capture dust particles from the air by trapping the particles on their surface.
Research shows that plants that have crinkled leaves or leaves with hair, can remove more dust than smooth or scrappy leaves.
However, that’s not to say that plants with smooth leaves can not also be effective in eliminating dust from their surrounding environment.
But, it is important to note that plants do not recycle dust. Instead, it is your job to remove the dust from the leaves of your plant.
You should avoid blowing or shaking the leaves, as it will only release the dust particles back into the air.
You should use a microfibre cloth to carefully wipe the dust collection from each leaf.
Alternatively, if your plant is small enough, carry it outside and blow the dust off into the air.
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Which plants are best for removing dust in the home?
Not only is English ivy a good dust collector, but it is also known to absorb moisture and humidity from the air making it a perfect match for reducing the risk of mould.
Furthermore, the plant is effective in eliminating formaldehyde and benzene from the air.
As it is a native plant, English ivy is relatively easy to come by, and a purse-friendly option for those who don’t want to splash out on their horticultural collection.
English ivy prefers spaces with good air circulation, and do well in cool to moderate air temperatures.
Water every five to seven days, ensuring the soil is consistently moist but never too wet.
Rubber plants are often considered to be one of the best plants for cleaning indoor air.
Research shows that rubber plants are effective in reducing mould spores and bacteria from the air by as much as 60 percent.
Their large leaves are also the perfect surface for dust particles to rest.
Rubber plants thrive in medium to bright indirect light, and can even tolerate bright sunlight.
They prefer to be watered every one to two weeks, with enough time for the soil to dry out between waterings.
Spider plants are renowned for their air-purifying quality, also great for removing humidity from the air.
However, their leaves are also great for removing dust from the air.
Over the course of just two days, a spider plant can eliminate approximately 90 percent of toxins in a room.
They do well in bright, indirect light and prefer some time in between waterings for their soil to dry out.
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