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Give your family cleaner air with nature’s best air-cleaner: houseplants!

Fresher indoor air is just a few houseplants away at Tagawa Gardens!

It’s a fact that houseplants make us feel better just by looking at them.  But did you know that they actually clean the air we breathe? When the weather is too cold to throw open the doors and windows, healthy houseplants can freshen our environment by eliminating toxins from stale indoor air. That’s good news for all of us, but it’s great news for children, the elderly or anyone with a compromised respiratory system.

The research is from the folks who gave us space flight!

Experiments done by NASA, and repeated by scientists around the world, prove that many of the most common indoor air pollutants can be dramatically reduced and even eliminated by growing houseplants. The plants don’t just trap the contaminants. They eat them. They turn them into food! How cool is that?

The initial NASA research appears in the book  How to Grow Fresh Air by Dr. B.C. Wolverton.  Dr. Wolverton is the visionary lead scientist who tested fifty common houseplants to see how well they remove indoor pollutants. The plants were also scored on how easy they are to grow, their insect resistance and their ability to give off humidity… their transpiration rate.

Putting the research to work now

Hundreds of new varieties of houseplants have come onto the market in the years since Dr. Wolverton’s research. Tagawa Gardens carries an excellent selection of a great many of them.  I think the best way to put the NASA findings to work is not simply to grow the plants listed in his book…. but to understand that a broad assortment of new and improved houseplants is an excellent addition to any home or office.  Here are some of my favorites.

Peace Lily


The Peace Lily should be near the top of everyone’s go-to houseplant list.  While it’s doing a remarkable job of cleaning the air, it will also be rewarding you with beautiful white flowers for much of the year.  And a big added bonus:  it can thrive in lower light.  What more could you want?



PALM (2)

Various types of palms scored very well in Dr. Wolverton’s research. They give any room a wonderful tropical feel.  They require a little extra care in our dry Colorado air, but are well worth trying.




Dracaenas make up a huge plant family and come in a remarkable variety of sizes, shapes and leaf colors.  The variegated or bi-color leaves are a stunning display of Mother Nature at her tropical best. Lime green, tall, short or striped… dracaenas have something to please everyone.


Rubber Trees


Rubber trees were one of the favorites in the conservatories of Queen Victoria’s day, but the plants have come a long way.  Once available only in a rich, solid dark green, a trip through Tagawa’s houseplant department now offers rubber trees with variegated leaves and beautiful pink stems.




Sansevierias are about as trouble-free as a plant gets.  Commonly know as “snake plants” or “Mother-in-laws Tongue,” they’re slow growers that can tolerate some neglect in the watering department.  And they’re one of the fresh air plants that does its work at night.  That makes them great for bedrooms where the air may get stale while we sleep.




Philodendrons have come a long way since our mothers and grandmothers grew them in a glass of water.  This beauty is called “Congo.”  The bi-color leaves will look their best with good morning light.




Aglaonemas are another personal favorite.  They’re beautiful, resilient plants that offer a wide range of leaf patterns and colors.  They thrive with some bright light and regular watering.  Gotta love ’em!

Come see us at Tagawa’s for plants that will freshen the air where you live and work.  Let our Houseplants Department staff help you choose the plant that’s purr-fect for your needs.  Take home a handout on how to keep your plants happy and healthy so they can do their job of making your world a better place.