Recently, my eleven year old son, J.J., asked me a rather simple question: Why does mom buy all these indoor plants that we have to water daily and worry about when we go on vacation? Internally I laughed because I had some similar sentiments. I don’t know son. Why does your mom hang plates on the wall? Why is there a bowl of fake fruit on the table? Why are our best towels designated for guests only?  
Instead, I channeled my inner Georgia Tech nerd self and threw out the biggest word I know: photosynthesis. J.J.’s eyes lit up and he immediately began chattering about the scientific process of plants. As we talked, I began to reflect on all the benefits of living in Palm Beach Gardens’ tropical environment. 

Florida’s natural foliage has numerous health benefits, which is a big reason many families choose to purchase real estate here. The warmer climate and endless sunshine yields blooming flowers and plants all year long. In addition, several studies, including one published by International Journal of Biometeorology, conclude that those residing in warmer climates are less likely to die than those living in cooler ones. How’s that for an incentive to buy a Palm Beach home? 

For those of us already living in South Florida, adding a few indoor plants can enhance the air quality within the home and absorb toxins such as formaldehyde that may permeate through the recycled indoor air. Because of their ability to remove Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), scientists recommend the following five plants:

Bring the Florida tropics inside with this native palm, one of NASA’s top ten air purifying plants. Because the tree grows approximately six to seven inches per year, be sure to purchase a suitable container. The Areca Palm thrives in filtered light and does not require daily watering. In fact, over-watering the palm can cause root rot or disease.

A succulent plant, Aloe Vera plants prefer dry soil, so daily water is not needed. While safe to use for medicinal purposes on humans, the leaves are toxic for pets.

Derived from the Latin word Spathiphyllum, the plant means peace and prosperity and symbolizes Christ’s resurrection. Though commonly on display at Easter, the Peace Lily is a beautiful plant to keep all year. For those practicing Feng Shui, the Peace Lily is believed to eliminate radiation emissions from technology and provide balance to the room.

Also referred to as Money Plant, – and who doesn’t want that type of fortune in his or her home? --the Golden Pothos is robust ivy that is difficult to kill, unless you’re my wife. Left unattended in the wild, the ivy can become invasive, but as an indoor plant, the ivy represents a timeless elegance and gives any room instant charm.

Known as the mother-in-law’s tongue (and I’ll refrain from further comment), the snake plant has long, sword-like leaves and is very durable. In fact, really the only way to kill this plant is to over water it, so it is great for a low-maintenance or forgetful family.

For more information on how to care for your indoor plants, check out Clemson’s Home & Garden Information Center at

1 Response to "Purifying Your Palm Beach Home With Plants"

Lee Lindler wrote: Nice article Todd! I have 3 of these species in my home with multiple aloe vera. They are great for burns too!

Posted on Thursday, January 18th, 2018 at 7:51am.

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