A Breath Of Fresh Air

Hicks_Herbs on the windowsill
Herbs on the windowsill

The cold temperatures of winter keep many of us cooped up in our homes with the heat on and the windows and doors closed. Although the cold stays out—something pretty important does not get in…fresh air.

Homes and offices need fresh air to help remove pollutants and keep us healthy. One of the easiest ways to clean the air you breathe is to add houseplants to your home. In addition to absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into the air, houseplants remove many of the indoor pollutants commonly found in detergents, carpeting, furniture and paints. You don’t need a fancy filtration system to create a less toxic and more beneficial environment, just a few plants.

Ficus plants

These plants are a great overall air purifier.

Hicks_Snake Plant
Snake plant


Use herbs as an all-natural air freshener. Place a fresh bunch of herbs in a vase in the living room, hang dried herbs in the coat closet or create a sachet of herbs for underneath your pillow. Three favorite herbs are rosemary, lavender and mint.

Rosemary is great for releasing humidity and has a pleasant aroma while lavender’s fragrance is calming. Mint makes the air easier to breathe especially if you are sick.

Snake Plant (sansevieria laurentii)

Produces unusually high amounts of oxygen during the day.

Areca Palm (dypsis lutescens)

Hicks_Palm Plants
Palm plants

This palm is highly effective in removing carbon dioxide during the day.

Hicks_Chinese Evergreen
Chinese Evergreen

Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema), Philodendron and Pothos

All of these plants emit a high oxygen content.

Boston Fern

The fern is a natural air humidifier.


Houseplant Care Tips

Hicks_Boston Fern
Boston Fern

• Choose one 10 to 12 inch plant or several smaller plants per 100 square feet of space for maximum benefits.
• Consider where you want to place the plants and how much light they require.
• Once you understand the water requirements for your plants, keep a schedule for even watering.
• Periodically dust the leaves with a damp cloth to ensure proper absorption of air particles and toxins.
• Keep the soil replenished by occasionally adding organic fertilizer and changing soil when needed.

Clean and add a fresh scent to your home this winter with houseplants. With little work, they will help you feel better, perform better and enjoy life to its fullest.

Karen Musgrave, CNLP, Hicks Nurseries

Karen Musgrave
Karen Musgrave, CNLP, is a marketing and education specialist at Hicks Nurseries and contributing writer to Long Island Weekly.

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