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Top 10 House Plants that Clean the Air

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 into the air, removes chemical toxins, and is beautiful. The areca is consistently rated among the best houseplants for removing all indoor air toxins tested. Best in direct, bright sunlight.

Raphis Palm

This large palm has fans six to 12 inch wide with four and 10 thick, shiny leaves. It is highly resistant to attack by most plant insects and is great for improving indoor air quality. It grows slowly and is easy to maintain. Best in direct, bright sunlight.

Bamboo Palm

Easy to care for and a popular variety. The bamboo palm pumps much needed moisture into the indoor atmosphere, especially during winter months when heating systems dry the air. This palm is also one of the top-rated plants tested for the removal of benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde. Best in direct, bright sunlight.

Rubber Plant

Bred for toughness, it will tolerate dim light and cool temperatures, making it an excellent house plant. This plant is easy to grow and is great for removing chemical toxins from the indoor environment, particularly formaldehyde. Best in direct, bright sunlight to indirect, medium sunlight.

Dracaena “Janet Craig”

The dark-green leaves of dracaena “Janet Craig” make it an attractive plant. It is one of the best plants for removing trichloreoethylene. These plants can tolerate neglect and dimly lit environments. This plant does best in indirect, medium sunlight. It will tolerate dimly lit areas, 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 or in hanging baskets. They are easy to grow and adapt to a variety of home environments. However, they do not generally do well in high temperatures. Best in indirect, medium sunlight to low sunlight.

Pothos

One of the primary reasons Pothos is popular is it can tolerate lower light, lower humidity and cooler temperatures than many other plants. Pothos are rated one of the best houseplants for removing all indoor air toxins. Pothos also goes by a few other names: devil’s ivy, pothos ivy and has a few cultivars. The most common variety “Golden Pothos” gets the most use in the interior business. Two other varieties are “Marble Queen” with a streaky white on green and “Jade” which is green. Pothos does not like wet feet and the soil should not stay too moist. Every so often a Pothos could use a good pruning – but prune selectively. This will also promote new growth. Best in indirect, medium sunlight but it will also tolerate very low light.

Ficus Alii

This is a new ficus variety that is rapidly gaining in popularity. Its slender dark green leaves make it an extremely attractive 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. 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. Best in direct, bright sunlight to indirect, medium sunlight.

Boston Fern

Ferns are probably one of the oldest groups of plants. Many have been found as fossils dating back to prehistoric times. The Boston Fern’s stiff fronds arch out, drooping downward as they age. It is grown strictly for its foliage for it does not produce flowers. It is best displayed in a hanging basket or sitting upon a pedestal. As an indoor plant, the Boston Fern requires a certain amount of attention. It must have frequent misting and watering, or the leaves will quickly turn brown and begin to drop. It is the best for removing air pollutants, especially formaldehyde, and for adding humidity to the indoor environment. Best in indirect, medium sunlight.

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

An outstanding foliage plant that also produces beautiful white spathes, the peace lily should always be included when seeking a variety of indoor plants. This plant has a high transpiration rate and enjoys the large water reservoir that hydroculture offers. It possesses all the qualities to make it one of the best indoor plants. The Peace Lily excels in the removal of alcohols, acetone, trichloroethylene, benzene and formaldehyde. Its ability to remove air pollutants and its excellent performance in all categories make it a most valuable houseplant. Best in indirect, medium sunlight to low sunlight.

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War on Gardening / Freedom to Garden

Lately I’ve been reading many articles on the subject of home gardens and laws against it. It’s time to change these ridiculous laws! Does it make sense to you to cover your lawn with chemicals and waste so much water just so you can have a greener lawn than your neighbors, or grow vegetables and help your family as well as save money? Of course, if you want a green lawn that is certainly OK, but what if I want to garden in my yard? Shouldn’t that be my choice? I say YES!

Here is one article on the subject:

Cities Continue to Demonize Vegetable Gardens

From 2008 to 2009, home gardening increased from 36 million to 43 million households. It appears to be continuing its upward trend. As Mother Earth News puts it, “The worse the economy, the more people garden.”

Although vegetable gardening is good news for people’s pocketbooks as well as their stomachs, it has created an interesting problem between some city officials and the local gardeners. In what has been dubbed a War on Gardening, many green thumbs across the nation are having to deal with officials who are none-too-impressed with their edible plants.

The trouble occurs when gardeners turn to unconventional places to plant their produce, usually in the front yard. One organization, Food Not Lawns, is devoted to helping gardeners rip up their useless ornamental lawns in favor of growing something you can eat.

The garden starts out innocently enough, in most cases. Usually, the gardens under dispute are very well-maintained and give the appearance of order and organization. However, someone soon calls the city with a complaint. City workers then look up their land development code and issue a citation.

It’s there that the situation gets dicey. The gardener can either comply with the city or face an array of fines, watch as the garden gets cleared by the city, or be confronted with even jail time for their actions.

The most famous case of this concerned Julie Bass, who faced up to 93 days in jail for not removing her front-yard vegetable garden. But gardeners from Orlando to Oklahoma are stirring up an unlikely movement challenging the authorities and calling for others to preserve their right to garden.

One gardener we spoke to related a problem he had with the city of Las Vegas. “[My] garden contained assorted vegetables like beets, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, [and] grape vines in a Pennsylvania topsoil retention method.”

His garden was covered with Bermuda grass to conserve topsoil and water. It was this that officials took offense at, and they wrote him a citation.

“The citation stated “Overgrown area, in need of cutting. Time limit and fine if failed to comply.”

He sent a reply stating that he did not live in a fenced in homeowners association area, and that the inspector did not know the difference between weeds and vegetables. “Two weeks later I received an apology from our city councilman,” he told us.

The question of whether gardeners should be allowed to use their front lawns as plant beds affects more than you may think at first glance. Those against them see them as a threat to property values, a plight on the aesthetics of a neighborhood.

Is there more behind anti-gardeners’ thinking, however? The woman charged with a misdemeanor and threat of jail was told that her garden was not “suitable” for a front yard, with one city official saying that suitable meant “common.” Since ornamental lawns today usually include bermuda grass, a couple of deciduous trees, and perhaps a small row of flowers, that is what everyone should do, the thinking goes. The question then becomes less about personal freedom and more about why we constantly try to define what is normal and acceptable in society.

Perhaps soon officials will realize that organic vegetable gardening is a good thing, and it is here to stay. Until then, there will probably be many more cases of the war on gardening taking place in America.

Also see  Todmorden: The Incredible Edible Town

Tick Removal

GOOD TO KNOW! Tick Removal: A nurse discovered a safe, easy way to remove ticks where they automatically withdraw themselves when you follow her simple instructions. “I had a pediatrician tell me what she believes is the best way to remove a tick. “Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball and swab it for a few seconds (15-20); the tick will come out on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away. Please pass on.