Yes, the peperomia plant does clean or purify the air. Like most indoor plants, it releases oxygen and reduces pollutants in your room.
In school, we were taught that plants do the opposite of what we do. They inhale carbon dioxide and release oxygen.
But most of us aren’t aware that it also helps to remove 87 percent of toxins in 24 hours. (NASA report)
Peperomia can effectively carry out the photosynthesis process in medium and low light, which allows the plant to remove volatile organic compounds.
Smoking, burning wood, paint, adhesives, and cooking are the activities that result in VOCs.
Having a group of indoor plants in your room can effectively mitigate pollutants in the air through the phytoremediation process.
Importance of Air Purifying Plants
The alarming increase in pollution isn’t just confined to the outdoors; even indoor space isn’t free from pollutants.
Growing indoor plants in the house and workplace can certainly remove these toxic elements from the air and improve your overall well-being.
- Scientific research confirms the presence of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide in indoor air. These harmful chemicals reduce the air quality in your house.
- Along with urbanization and vehicle pollution, additional things like toilet cleaners, gas stoves, garbage bins, and detergents also release harmful toxins that aren’t safe for health.
- Germs and chemicals result in allergies, rashes, coughs, colds, and eye irritation.
- Using indoor plants in your living space can reduce the amount of toxic air.
Does Peperomia Clean the Air?
The ability to thrive in medium light, transpiration, and stomato processes can efficiently clean the air.
- Oxygen is an important element in air purification. Though all plants carry out the photosynthesis process, not all can effectively release oxygen in low-light conditions.
- Indoor plants like the Peperomia plant thrive in medium and low light, which allows the plant to absorb carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen.
- Scientists found that, along with carbon dioxide, houseplants can absorb other harmful gases and volatile organic compounds present in the house.
Cleaning the air is just the start. Peperomia and other indoor plants can reduce airborne mold and bacteria by 50 percent. (Source: NASA)
Not just Peperomia leaves; microorganisms in the soil play a vital role in cleaning the air.
The wider the plant leaves, the more it can efficiently purify the air.
Lack of strong scientific evidence
Luz Claudio, a professor in environmental medicine and public health, states that studies held to test the air purifying ability of houseplants are confined to limited air circulation and maximum light exposure.
However, in real-time, this is not the same. Outdoor and indoor air swaps every hour, and indoor plants may sometimes don’t receive enough light to carry out the photosynthesis process effectively.
This research by Claudio concludes that houseplants can purify the air, but how effectively they can clean the air in real-time hasn’t been proven yet.
Finally, apart from their ability to remove some pollutants from the air, houseplants have been proven to calm the sympathetic nervous system and make people feel happier.
Also Read: 37 Common Houseplants that are Toxic to Dogs
How to Care for a Peperomia Plant?
When you care for the Peperomia plant, they gift your back with clean air and beautify your indoor space.
This houseplant is known for its diverse and charming foliage. With relatively low maintenance, it is among the most prominent plants to purify air.
The Peperomia plant is native to tropical rainforests, where it receives ample amounts of filtered sunlight. To be able to successfully grow this plant, gardeners must replicate similar climatic conditions.
Peperomia plants prefer filtered sunlight or a spot that receives bright, indirect sunlight.
Exposing them to direct sunlight can result in burned foliage. Different peperomia varieties might have slightly different light preferences, so it’s best to observe your plant and adjust the lighting accordingly.
This plant can grow in low-lighting conditions, but it is not ideal to grow in full shade.
Choosing the right potting soil is important for the well-being of your peperomia plant.
Opt for a potting soil mix that drains well and prevents common gardening issues like overwatering and root rot.
To improve its draining and water-retaining abilities, mix equal parts peat moss, perlite, and quality potting soil. Along with good aeration and water-retaining ability, it removes excess water through a drainage hole.
To be able to produce oxygen, the Peperomia plant needs to carry out the photosynthesis process.
Water, carbon dioxide, and sunlight are three important things for this process.
But overwatering can result in the yellowing of leaves, black leaves, stunted plant growth, and root rot.
To avoid this, water the peperomia plant only when the top 2 inches of the potting soil are dry.
During the growing season, in spring and summer, you should water the peperomia plant once every week.
Choosing well-drained potting soil is crucial to avoid overwatering and underwatering issues.
Though peperomia plants aren’t heavy feeders, if supplied with essential nutrients during the season, they will thrive with green foliage.
Use liquid fertilizer once a month, depending on the climatic conditions in your region.
When a plant is exposed to an ample amount of sunlight, it needs to be fertilized so that it can efficiently utilize nutrients. Otherwise, it can lead to overfertilization and stunted plant growth.
Based on this article on Time, we can conclude that peperomia cleans the air, but it can’t be the most effective way to purify air circulation.
The reason is that every hour, outdoor and indoor air swaps occur. With medium-light exposure, peperomia or other indoor plants can remove all pollutants from the air.
However, it does have a positive impact on your health.
Let me clarify this: no one is denying the ability of peperomia or indoor plants to release oxygen and remove volatile organic compounds to some extent.
Khaja Moinuddin, a computer science graduate, finds joy in gardening and homesteading. Join him on this blog as he shares his experiences in homesteading, gardening, and composting