Sunday, February 19, 2012

Valentine's Giveaway #4: house plants

My last Valentine's giveaway is something beautiful, functional, and good for your health: house plants!

The winner will select one of the following from a friend of mine who sells houseplants (potted and starts) on Ebay:
  • A "mama" spider plant with several "babies"
  • A set of 3-6 smaller potted plants
  • A do-it-yourself kit with plant starts, several small plastic pots, soil, and decorative stones

Here's more information from the sponsor about the health benefits of house plants:
Houseplants are not only pretty, they help clean the air! According to Rhonda Ferree, Horticulture Educator with University of Illinois Extension, research shows that houseplants have an important role in cleaning the air we breathe. A team of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) researchers tested 15 types of houseplants on three pollutants known to be present in spacecrafts. These same pollutants-- Benzene, Formaldehyde, and Trichloroethylene--are present in homes and office buildings.
  • Benzene is a very commonly used solvent that is present in many common items including gasoline, inks, oils, paints, plastics, and rubber.
  • Formaldehyde is a chemical found in virtually all indoor environments, including modern office furniture, grocery bags, floor coverings, carpet backings, and permanent-press clothes.
  • Trichloroethylene (TCE) is used in printing inks, paints, lacquers, varnishes, and adhesives.
NASA found that certain houseplants removed as much as 87% of indoor air pollutants in 24 hours under controlled conditions. Each plant type were placed in sealed, Plexiglas chambers in which chemicals were injected.

According to a University of Agriculture in Norway study, indoor plants can reduce fatigue, coughs, sore throats and other cold-related illnesses by more than 30 percent, partially by increasing humidity levels and decreasing dust.

The Top Plants included Golden Pathos, Spider Plant, Bamboo Palm, Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema), English Ivy, Gerbera Daisey, Janete Craig Dracaena, Corn Plant Dracaena, Mother-in-Law's Tounge, Mums, Peace Lily, Warneckii, Dracaena, and Philodendron.

The plants remove substances from the air through their leaves, roots, and soil bacteria. NASA researchers suggest that for the plants to be effective "air cleaners",it is necessary to use one moderate sized house plant per 100 square feet of home or office space. My house is 1032sq ft and I have 57! Some are HUGE plants!

You can find more info at
To enter:
  • Leave a comment about your favorite giveaway option
  • Open to US (lower 48) residents only
  • Dads get an extra entry--new comment, please (Hint: pass this along to your husband/son/dad/brother/uncle/etc!)
  • Contest ends Wednesday, Feb 22 at 5 pm EST


  1. I'd love to win the mama spider plant with babies! We live in an underground house that definitely gets stuffy and poor air circulation at times. I was just thinking the other day that some house plants would definitely help us out!

  2. ^ Kate's husband here. We were just watching Star Trek last night and wondering why everyone had potted plants right behind their bed/headboard area on the USS Enterprise, now we know! We are the DIY type, so the diy kit appeals to me/us the most, we even have a nice solarium to start them in. Thanks for this informative article and giveaway offer.

  3. I miss having a spider plant, so I might choose that, but the variety might be good to have too. Oh, decisions, decisions!! Either way, I'd love to have more greenery in my life!

  4. Lexi's Husband says: spider plants are cool that's what I would pick.

  5. I want the smaller potted plants so I can perch them on the window sill at work. Already have a spider plant.

  6. I would love the spider plant and babies!

  7. What a fun giveaway! I'm intrigued by the DIY kit. I think it would be a fun project to do with the kids.

  8. Oh cool, I have really been wanting to add more around the house to help improve indoor air quality. It is a tough decision, but I think I would choose the 3-6 potted plants...

  9. I have several house plants and I'm always eager to get some more! I would choose the set if 3-6 potted plants. Thanks!

  10. the mama spider! we just moved into a house with lots of windows and lots of hooks on the ceiling. :) thanks for the chance!

  11. I would love to win the spider plant!!

  12. Nice.

    (I was told to tell you I was Liz Schaible's husband...)

  13. By the way I like the do it yourself option, thats always best in my opinion.

  14. I love the idea of the DIY kit, but I know spider plants are so easy to grow and non-toxic to my cats.


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