Plants to minimise air pollution

Plants to minimise air pollution

Air pollution affects everyone living in towns and cities. But your garden can help mitigate the effects of pollution on your local environment, if you choose the right plants

Autumn gardens are lovely

Air pollution is a blight on our country because it causes ill health and contaminates our environment. But if you have a garden, however small, you can choose plants that have super air-cleaning properties according to the team at Compost Direct.

It's been widely reported that around 40,000 deaths are caused every year in the UK by air pollution in urban areas. So if you have a garden, take heart that you can do your bit for your locality but planting plants that can help purify the air.
 
Gerbera daisies 
Green doesn’t need to be the only colour on the quest for greener air! A recent study by NASA has provided a few colourful blooms for gardeners keen to clean the air. Gerbera daisies are bonny, beautiful blooms that come in different colours; white, orange, red, pink — whichever you pick, they’ll give your garden a splash of colour. These flowers love direct sunlight and a bit of space, so make sure not to leave them in a shady corner of your garden. NASA states that these wonderful flowers are great for dealing with multiple air toxins, such as benzene. 
Wallflower
If you’re looking for more colour for your garden, then introduce the wallflower, also known as the Erysimum? This plant is deemed akin to the common ivy for its particulate-cleansing power. Wallflowers have a bright display of petals during the first half of the year and can grow wallflowers in many colours, with purple and yellow popular choices. 
 
Gerbera daisies
Wallflowers
Conifers
Hedges are great for combatting air pollution, and Homes & Property recommends conifers for the job. Specifically, the western red cedar hedge is named as an ideal conifer to plant in your garden. But if your garden is a little smaller, the publication also names the yew as a great alternative, citing its evergreen nature and easy trimming. 
English Ivy
A classic climbing plant, you might already have the hedera helix climbing up the walls of your house. Though it has a bad reputation in the States as being a weed, it can be a lovely addition to your garden if tended to. The plant offers benefits for wildlife and for the air – the wide leaves of the common ivy traps particulates, which makes it a great choice for air purification.
 
Putting it into practice 
Of course, green gardening isn't just about plants. You have to consider how you tend your garden as well. SmilingGardener offers five great ways to reduce pollution in ways beyond planting shrubs and flowers: 
 
Avoid corn gluten meal. This meal is made up from genetically modified corn, so best to stay away from using it, if possible. 
 
Quiet equipment. This one’s more for noise pollution, but it’s certainly an added bonus for the pollution-conscious gardener to take note of! 
 
Give pesticides a wide berth. Common sense of course, but if you can avoid using chemicals on your garden, please do. 
 
Consider indoors as well as outdoors. As well as planting to combat outside air toxicity, houseplants, and lots of 'em, will help keep your indoor air clean and pure. 
 
Start composting. You can turn many waste products into compost (for example teabags and the contents of your vacuum cleaner bag) to stop it going to the landfill. 
 
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