Dracaena marginata: Indoor air purifying plant

Dracaena (Dracaena marginata) commonly known as Tricolour or Rainbow plant is a popular house plant because of its tolerance to low light. The plants look very attractive with a dense terminal rosette of leaves. The leaves are stripped cream white between green and rose red margins therefore known as Tricolour. This plant belongs to the family Asparagaceae which includes around 40 other species.

Common names

Dragontree

Botanical Name

Dracaena marginata

Height and Spread

15-20 feet and 3-10 feet

Leave appearance

Colorful (Strips have a different color)

Sun requirement

Partial shade and partial sun

Water requirement

Medium during the summer season and less during winter

Type of soil

Well-drained soil mixed with peat or humus-rich

Mode of propagation

Stem cutting

Toxicity

Cats

Dracaena marginata general description and propagation

The plant grows well in shade and also in sun. Can withstand drought conditions and is a low maintenance plant. Propagation of this plant is mainly through stem cutting. 

Dracaena marginata as an indoor air purifying plant

The is used as an indoor plant not only because of its good appearance but is also cleans indoor air pollutants thus acts as an air purifying plants. As per the reports were given by NASA following the plant, Dracaena marginata helps in the removal of the following pollutants

Benzene

According to WHO major source of benzene are automobiles from the attached garage, heating and cooling systems, solvents. Exposure to benzene causes nausea, headache and vomiting, have low but non-negligible carcinogenic risk. Source of benzene are tools and attached garages, gas and charcoal cooking, solvents, etc (2) (3). Dracaena marginata help in absorption of benzene in indoor conditions.

Formaldehyde

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 (4). Planting Dracaena marginata helps in absorbing formaldehyde thus reduces the level of pollutants from the interior environment.

Xylene

Along with formaldehyde, paints, tobacco smoke, rubbers, vehicle exhaust also emits xylene (4). This xylene gets accumulates in the houses and offices due to poor ventilation in the buildings. Therefore planting Dracaena marginata helps in reducing the xylene pollution.

Toluene

Toluene is another harmful air pollutant causes central nervous system dysfunction, necrosis, Irritation of upper respiratory tract and eyes. 

Children’s exposed to this harmful pollutants also suffer developmental problems and reproductive problems in females. The major source of toluene pollution is gasoline, solvents in paints, plastic and soda bottles, paint cosmetics and other organic chemicals (5).  Dracaena plants indoor thus results in removing toluene from the air and thus give clean and fresh air to respire.

Trichloroethylene

The main use of this substance is done in the degreasing process in the industries. Household products like correction ink and paints also contain trichloroethylene. The main health hazard form trichloroethylene is it affects the central nervous system and cause cancer (6). Therefore planting Dracaena helps in the removal of this harmful volatile component from the indoor environment.

 References 

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Clean_Air_Study
  2. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/publications/healthy-living/guidance-benzene-residential-indoor-air.html
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK138708/
  4. http://www.sandowngardenclub.org/air-filtering-plants/?print=pdf
  5. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-09/documents/toluene.pdf
  6. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-09/documents/trichloroethylene.pdf

 

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