Air Purifying Plants

Plant Overview

Plants are sophisticated bio-filters where complex interactions occur inside the leaves, and the roots of the plant as well as in the areas immediately outside the plant – next to the leaves and the roots.

Plants naturally absorb light, carbon dioxide and water whilst emitting oxygen and water vapour as waste products of photosynthesis.

Photosynthesis is widely acknowledged as one of the most important processes for sustaining life on earth. It was the growth and evolution of plants that cleaned and oxygenated earth’s atmosphere over millions of years. Without the air purifying ability of plants, humans would not be able to survive on this planet.

Perhaps less well known is the ability of plants to remove a range of airborne pollutants collectively known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s). This aspect has been the subject of numerous studies by NASA and the leading plant scientist Bill Wolverton.

Scientific research has established a fundamental link between the supply of air to the roots of a plant and the ability of a plant to absorb airborne pollution.


Root Zone

Microorganisms live in a mutually beneficial relationship with plants in the soil immediately surrounding the root zone of a plant. Microorganisms can synthesise essential nutrients which help the plant to survive. In return, plants release a range of chemicals which are essential to helping microorganisms survive.

Airflow to the root system is fundamental to helping microorganisms survive and thrive. The better the flow of air to the roots, the better the microorganisms breathe and synthesise nutrients for the plant.

It is the mircoorganisms in the soil that remove and break down the toxins with the help of the plant. If you feed the microorganisms with air they can clean the air more effectively.

It is this scientific principle that inspired us to create the Breathe Pot.


Natural Air Movement

The plant draws water from the soil to the leaves in a process called transpiration. The continual process of evaporation from the leaves and absorption of water through the roots from the soil creates natural convection currents in the air around the plant. It is this process which enables plants to naturally aid ventilation of the indoor environment.


Moisture Balance

Plants draw water from the soil and push out water vapour into the air around the leaves. This air is typically full of oxygen and water vapour. Plants are superb at balancing the moisture in an enclosed environment – this is particularly important where indoor heating or air conditioning creates artificially dry air. Commercial office environments or large residential blocks are commonly ventilated with  mechanically conditioned air - plants are particularly useful in these environments.