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Plants speed post-surgery recovery

Therapeutic growth — Study shows potted plants or flowers boost post-operative healing. © iStockphoto

Therapeutic growth — Study shows potted plants or flowers boost post-operative healing. © iStockphoto

A recently released university study affirms what we already seem to know intuitively and that is that plants are good for us.

In fact, people recovering from surgery in hospital rooms with plants felt better, reported less pain and registered lower blood pressure and heart rate, according to the October 2008 issue of HortTechnology, a journal published by the American Society for Horticultural Science .

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Web Extra – 1/17/09

List of recommended plants for cleaning indoor air

In the 1980s, NASA studied house plants and their ability to cleanse indoor air. For a 1,200 to 2,000 square foot home, use 10 to 15 plants. These plants will go a long way to help clean indoor air of pollutants, such as carbon dioxide and formaldehyde. Place them where you spend the most time, such as on a desk or reading table.

Here are 15 plants recommended for the job, each of which should be available at florists, garden centers and other retailers.

Spider plant © Fotolia

Spider plant © Fotolia

1. Heartleaf philodendron ‘Oxycardium’ (Philodendron scandens)

2. Elephant ear philodendron (Philodendron domesticum)

3. Corn plant ‘Massangeana’ (Dracaena fragrans)

4. English ivy (Hedera helix)

5. Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

6. ‘Janet Craig’ dracaena (Dracaena deremensis)

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Easy-care house plants clean air and beautify surroundings

Bloomin’ easy — Peace lily helps clean the air while beautifying the room. © Fotolia

Bloomin’ easy — Peace lily helps clean the air while beautifying the room. © Fotolia

Besides brightening our winter weary days, house plants clean the indoor air. In the process that adds oxygen to the atmosphere, house plants absorb gasses and chemicals, such as carbon dioxide and formaldehyde.

Most house plants come from the tropics, where the weather is warm and humid. There are many, however, that will tolerate, even thrive in the  low-light, low-humidity environment of our Midwest winter homes.

The tips of house plant leaves may turn brown, which usually indicates a lack of humidity. Consider placing the plant on a tray of pebbles and water, but don’t allow the pot to sit in water. Or, group house plants so that they can create a slightly more humid micro-climate.

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