The Ten Best Plants for Green Interiors

Plants in the interior reduce health problems and stress.  This is reflected in a significant reduction in absence due to illness and an improvement in the performance and productivity of employees.  These are excellent reasons for making the workplace greener and healthier.

Here are the 10 best plants based upon their ecological benefits.  These plants have been graded in a research project with a total of 50 other plants according to ease of growth and maintenance, resistance to pests, efficiency at removing chemical toxins from air, and transpiration rates.  These are the plants with the highest ratings…

  • Areca Palm: Also known as yellow palm or butterfly palm, the areca palm is one of the most popular and graceful palms.  It is tolerant of the indoor environment, releases copious amounts of moisture to the air, removes chemical toxins, and is also beautiful to look at.  It is kept best in a semi-sun area.
  • Lady Palm: This large palm has fans 6-12 inch wide that consist of between four and ten thick, shiny leaves.  Lady Palm is one of the easiest houseplants to care for and is highly resistant from attack by most plant insects.  It is also one of the best plants for improving indoor air quality.  It grows slow, is easy to maintain, and is best kept in semi-sun.
  • Bamboo Palm: Most members of the palm family are easy to care for and continue to be popular houseplants.  The bamboo palm is no exception and is a long-standing favorite in commercial establishments.  In terms of its atmospheric benefits, the bamboo palm has an excellent overall rating and one of the highest transpiration ratings.  It pumps much needed moisture into the indoor atmosphere, especially during wither months when heating systems dry the air.
  • Rubber Plant: Bred for toughness, it will survive in less light than most plants because of its size.  It will tolerate dim light and cool temperatures.  This plant is easy to grow and is especially effective at removing formaldehyde.  It receives high marks in all categories and is an excellent overall houseplant.  of the ficus plants tested to date, the rubber plant is the best for removing chemical toxins from the indoor environment.
  • Dracaena Janet Craig: The dark-green leaves of a Janet Craig make it a most attractive plant.  It is one of the best plants for removing trichloreoethylene.  These plants can tolerate neglect and dimly lit environments, but growth will be slow.
  • English Ivy: English Ivy is often used as ground cover in public atriums or lobbies.  But to add interest, try growing it in topiary form.  It is ideal for use in hanging baskets.  They are easy to grow and adapt to a variety of environments.  However, they do not generally do well in high temperatures.
  • Dwarf Date Palm: This palm usually reaches a maximum height of 5 to 6 1/2 ft.  However, it is a very slow grower.  It is best seen when given adequate space and is impressive standing alone, especially when given spot lighting.  When its environment needs are met, the date palm can survive for decades.  It is one of the best palms for removing indoor air pollutants and is especially effective for the removal of xylene.
  • Ficus Alii: This new ficus is rapidly gaining popularity.  Its slender dark green leaves make it an extremely attractive plant.  It is much less finicky than the Ficus benjamina.  Like all species of ficus, expect some leaf drop until the plant adjusts to its new location.  A magnificent large plant, its ability to help purify the air, ease of growth and resistance to insects make it an excellent choice for the home or office.
  • Boston Fern: Ferns are probably one of the oldest groups of plants.  It is grown stricktly for its foliage for it does not produce flowers.  It is best displayed in a hanging basked or sitting upon a pedestal.  Of the plants tested, it is the best for removing air pollutants, especially formaldehyde, and for adding humidity to the indoor environment.
  • Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum): An outstanding foliage plant that also produces beautiful white flowers, the peace lily should always be included when seeking a variety of indoor plants.  It possesses all the qualities to make it one of the best indoor plants.  Its ability to remove air pollutants and its excellent performance in all categories make it a valuable plant.
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