Air-purifying plants

Tempers can easily get a little frayed when it is cold and dreary outside and the daily indoor routine gets on your nerves. If a hard word or two has been spoken along the way, remember that plants can clear the air in more than one sense

Plants are not only welcome in the home because of their proven air cleansing properties - they are also fantastic at lifting the mood in the family when the atmosphere needs a little improvement.

If you happened to say the wrong thing, you'll be surprised how much a plant or two can do to restore harmony and delight the recipient.

Plants are personal and sincere gifts
You can also make the reconciliation gift personal by letting it reflect the situation to be addressed, and give the plant with a smile. If you have growled a little at your partner in the morning rush, a Spathiphyllum or "peace lily" is a beautiful and sophisticated way to make up again.

Or if you made an unfortunate comment on your mother-in-law's cooking or choice of clothing when you last visited, you can turn the situation around with humour and present her with a Sansevieria, also known as "mother-in-law's tongue". This will surely provoke laughter and ease any tense situation.

Plants show you care
But giving plants is also a sign of caring, since plants make a great contribution to the well-being of the recipient. Besides being decorative, plants also remove harmful toxins and add moisture to dry indoor air, both of which help to improve the indoor climate.

Facts about plants' air-purifying qualities:
Plants cleanse the air by absorbing and neutralising toxins through their leaves, and by converting atmospheric CO2 to oxygen. The bigger the plant is, and the faster it grows, the better its ability to improve the indoor climate.

Examples of functional plants with documented air-cleaning properties:

Asplenium nidus
Chlorophytum comosum
Draceana surculosa 

Ficus microcarpa 
Hedera helix 
Sansevieria trifasciata 
Spathiphyllum wallisii

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