As the blanket of smog refuses to lift in Delhi, the demand for air purifiers and masks has shot up in the city. The post-Diwali period has been especially hazardous, with record-breaking pollution levels.
But rather than jumping the gun and adding that purifier to your shopping bag, how about considering indoor plants? “Indoor plants are easy to maintain and generate more oxygen than other plants. It is better to keep them near windows and places where there is some breeze,” says Vikram Saini, director, Masjid Nursery.
It’s said that certain plants combined with the microorganisms in their soil destroy indoor air pollutants. Keep in mind that you use durable potters made of ceramic or fibre. Plastic ones also work for indoor plants. “Terracotta or clay pots work the best, but they leave stains on the surface. So for indoor plants, you can use plastic pots,” adds Saini.
Some people might be sceptical of using indoor plants thinking they attract bugs and other insects. “Use a spray made of lemongrass, neem or other essential oils around these plants and it will help keep the problem at bay,” says Ritu Mathur, a gardening solutions provider.
The ideal ratio of plants in your house per person should be 4:1, but even one plant per person is sufficient. Here are some plants you can install.
Dracaena comes in different variants which grow well indoors. They require clay-rich soil and need watering once every fortnight. They need to be kept in sunlight and respond to white light from tubelights as well.
The scaly, hard leaves make it very effective against pollution. It can adapt to all kinds of light conditions, ambient or direct sunlight. They need to be watered once every fortnight.
A shade-loving plant as it originally grows along bogs. The plant likes water and needs to be watered once a week. They need not require breeze or sunlight, and even air-conditioned environs work for it.
A creeper plant that works best inside the house if potted with a moss stick. It is durable and adapts to any condition. It can even work well with ambient light, if direct sunlight is not available.
Areca Palms are easy to maintain as they need ambient light and some amount of air circulation. They need to be watered once or twice a week, depending on the size of the plant.