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Costa Farms’ O2 for You: Houseplants with a Purpose program

Find out why peace lilies are a great indoor plant here

Costa Farms, the largest producer of indoor houseplants in the world, would like everyone to celebrate Earth Day on Tuesday, April 22nd, with a houseplant that will keep giving all year.

NASA research over the last 20 years has shown that certain houseplants remove Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from indoor air – just one of houseplants' many benefits. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates Americans spend 90% of their time indoors, where air quality can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air.

In 2008, Costa Farms launched the O2 for You: Houseplants with a Purpose program to promote the benefits of houseplants; recent research conducted by the University of Exeter reveals houseplants are proven to aid in concentration, increase productivity and boost well-being by 47% over areas without houseplants.

"We should be as concerned about our indoor environments as we are the outdoors," says Justin Hancock, garden expert from Costa Farms. "Houseplants scrub the air of common indoor pollutants commonly found in homes, apartments and offices."

Houseplant experts at Costa Farms call these the five best plants to scrub the air, de-stress areas and keep homes and office spaces beautiful:

Peace Lily – Peace lilies are common, easy to care for houseplants-and powerful, too. With their broad, green leaves and charming, white calla-like flowers, the peace lily topped NASA's list for removing three of the most common VOCs.

Orchids – Orchids offer classic, timeless beauty, and are not the drama queens some people think – they’re easy to grow and show off gorgeous blooms for weeks, or even months. As radiant orchid is Pantone's Color of the Year, orchids are a big trend in indoor design. They also rid the air of xylene, a pollutant found in many glues and paints.

Anthurium – Anthuriums bear heart-shaped red flowers and leaves, complemented with standing-at-attention yellow centers, like little exclamation points; blooms last for weeks. Also known as the flamingo flower, this colorful houseplants' dark leaves also suck up a multitude of common VOCs.

Ferns – Fern leaves catch attention in any space, and ferns are some of the easiest houseplants to care for. They add instant texture and color to a room, and their leaves also rid the air of common indoor pollutants such as toulene and xylene, found in many paints, nail polishes and glues.

ZZ Plant – part of Costa Farms' Plants of Steel collection, the ZZPlant excels in nearly any location, even dark corners of offices and homes. Its shiny, dark-green leaves also clean the air of common air pollutants to keep indoor air clean as can be.

Learn more about these and other houseplants at

Information and quotes in this piece provided by Garden Media Group.

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