Houseplants that can make your home healthier

Certain plants have air-purifying qualities that can greatly improve their surroundings.Research by NASA has shown that some plants absorb harmful substances and carry them away with their roots. They also release oxygen and help maintain the humidity level in the home.Pure Green houseplants of the month for October are the stars among natural air purifiers: Spathiphyllum, Gerbera, Nephrolepis and Ivy.OriginsIvy (Hedera) is a member of the Araliaceae family, and grows on rocks and trees in Asia, Europe and North Africa. The plant is able to climb to a height of 25-30 metres and does particularly well in cooler regions. The Latin name ‘Hedera’ roughly means ‘gripping’ and refers to the roots with which the plant secures itself. Ivy symbolises eternal life, because the plant is evergreen.Gerbera flowers in Southern Africa, Asia, South America and Tasmania. This flowering plant is now available in 600 different colours, shapes and sizes. Gerbera is known as a cut flower, but it is the plant that can best absorb harmful substances from the environment.Nephrolepis is a member of the fern family: beautiful foliage plants with varied appearance have been growing on Earth since the Devonian period (400-350 million years ago).Nephrolepis is found in tropical rain forests around the globe. This bushy plant with feathered leaves is one of the best air purifying plants for the home.Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily) comes from the tropical rain forests of Colombia and Venezuela, and is the sort of plant that everyone falls in love with straightaway: soft green leaves, white bracts around a flowering spike, and very interactive. If Spathiphyllum is too dry, its leaves will droop. Its leaves will spring back up again within a couple of hours after being watered.What to look for when buying Pure Green ● With all the plants you should look at the pot size, diameter, thickness and height of the plant. With ivy it’s worth checking the length of the tendrils, and with Gerbera and Spathiphyllum you should check the number of flowers per plant and the stage of ripeness.● All Pure Green plants should have slightly damp soil. The smaller pot sizes in particular dry out rapidly and then suffer leaf drop, shrivel leaves or dry leaf edges.● Plants should be free of yellow leaves in the heart of the plant, particularly in winter. It's also a good idea to check for various types of scale insects and mealybug. Ivy can also suffer from red spider mite. These pests are often difficult to eradicate in the retail chain or at the consumer, so it’s advisable not to buy the plant.

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