Anthurium andraeanum (Flamingo lily)
Deteriorating environment is nowadays one of the biggest concern for both society and individual level. Studies showed that indoor air pollution is 12 times more than that of outdoor air pollution (1). There are many ways to handle indoor air pollution like an air purifier, using organic substances in the day to day life and planting indoor plants. Indoor plants are not only one of the best and cost-effective way against indoor air pollution but also adds to the aesthetic sense.
Anthurium andraeanum (Flamingo lily) plant is a decorative indoor air purifying plant with a bright colored leaf known as a spathe. This plant prefers warm humid conditions for its growth. This plant is listed in NASA studies for its ability to remove pollutants like formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, and ammonia from the environment.
Anthurium plants benefits
Formaldehyde is one of the major indoor pollutants. The main source of formaldehyde in indoor are facial tissue papers, paints, synthetic fibers, wooden flooring, wooden furniture, waxed paper, shoe polish other makeup items (2). The leaves of Anthurium absorbs formaldehyde and thus helps in cleaning the indoor air of houses and offices.
Another major air pollutant is xylene that is mainly found in paints, tobacco smoke, rubbers, vehicle exhaust (2). A major cause of xylene pollution is poor ventilation in the buildings. Therefore planting Anthurium helps in reducing xylene pollution. Planting anthurium in offices where printers are there will help in controlling the level of xylene.
Ammonia is mainly emitted from building concrete materials and paints. Ammonia is corrosive in nature and irritates the respiratory tract and also lowers the body’s resistance to other diseases. Overexposure of ammonia also causes cancer and other degenerative diseases. Anthurium plants thus help in absorbing ammonia and makes the indoor air clean to breathe.
How to grow Anthurium plant
Anthurium plants require lower temperature, indirect light and proper aerated soil with medium water retention capacity. Overwatering of the plant should be avoided as it rots the roots of the plant. As an indoor plant, it requires half a mixture of potting soil and half perlite. Anthurium plants are mainly propagated through stem cutting. Top crown of the plant when removed the bottom leaves remains in the pot developed roots. Proper caring of the remaining plants develops healthy baby plants from the bottom leaves.
The leaves Anthurium plants contain calcium oxalate crystals, therefore, are poisonous. Before handling these plans it will be recommended to wear gloves and keep the plant out of reach from children and pets (2).