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News Every Day |

The 7 house plants that’ll keep your home cooler without you lifting a finger – revealed by a gardening expert

WITH temperatures soaring, people will eagerly be looking for cheap and cheerful ways to cool down.

But it turns out there’s no need to fork out on pricey air con…because Craig Morley, gardening expert at Budget Seeds, who has collaborated with housebuilder, Barratt London, revealed seven types of houseplants that can cool your home for free.

Craig Morley revealed seven types of houseplants that can cool your home for free
Getty

How transpiration works 

The gardening whizz explains that many people are aware that houseplants can improve the air quality of your home by circulating the air and removing pollutants.

However, he warns that not enough people are aware of the air-cooling qualities of plants

“Transpiration is the process by which water flows upwards through a plant, from the soil to the leaves and stem,” he says.

“As well as delivering water and nutrients to the plant’s cells, this process keeps plants cool as water evaporates from the leaves.”

Craig adds: “Transpiration also cools the area around the plant.

NASA’s Earth Science Division proved this means plants can help combat rising temperatures caused by climate change.

“On a smaller scale, having houseplants in your home can help cool your home in summer – free, eco-friendly air conditioning, if you like.”

Six tips to promote transpiration in your plants 

1. Keep your houseplants well-watered 

The gardening expert explains that if a plant is not watered often, this can reduce the rate of transpiration as the plant tries to conserve water.

“Giving your houseplants ample water will encourage transpiration and help to cool your home during hot weather,” he says.

2. Increase the humidity 

Craig says that placing your plant in a wet pebble tray can also promote transpiration.

“As the water evaporates from the tray, it creates a bubble of humidity surrounding the plant,” he explains.

Investing in a humidifier also has the same effect.” 

3. Group plants together

Craig adds: “Grouping plants together also helps to create a humid microclimate.

“This prevents each plant from drying out, which hinders transpiration.”

4. Upsize your pot

Craig points out that plants in containers may transpire less, as their roots are often confined within a small space.

“This can make them prone to water stress,” he explains.

Snake plants, peace lilies, aloe vera, bamboo palm and Boston ferns are all great options as they have high rates of transpiration

Craig MorleyGardening expert

“Of course, houseplants are usually kept in pots but opting for a larger pot can mitigate this issue.” 

5. Avoid pruning in the summer 

The gardening whizz notes that pruning can also decrease transpiration in a plant, as it reduces water uptake.

“Avoid pruning during warm weather to ensure transpiration is not hampered,” he says.

6. Satisfy your plant’s needs 

Craig explains that houseplants placed in an environment that does not satisfy their needs will not be as efficient at cooling your home.

” Consult your plant’s care tag or use the internet to research ideal growing conditions,” he says.

“How much sunlight does it need? Does it prefer dry or humid conditions?” 

Seven of the best air conditioning plants

Craig explains that plant species have different leaf structures which affect their rate of transpiration.

“A larger leaf size means more ‘pores’ through which to release excess water which means increased transpiration,” he says.

“Similarly, species with leaves that are curved or folded may not lose as much water as their shape helps to conserve water.

Seven of the best air conditioning plants

1.      Snake plant (Dracaena Trifasciata)

2.      Peace lily (Spathiphyllum Wallisii)

3.      Aloe vera (Aloe Barbadensis Miller)

4.      Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea Seifrizii)

5.      Boston fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata)

6.      Golden pothos (Epipremnum Aureum)

7.      Spider plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)

“As leaves age and prepare to shed, transpiration usually reduces too.”

Craig notes that it’s also believed that a plant’s rate of transpiration improves with age.

“This is likely due to the increased surface area plants benefit from as they grow,” he says.

“Some plants transpire more than others so if you’re investing in new plants, it’s important to know which ones to choose for their air-cooling properties.

“Snake plants, peace lilies, aloe vera, bamboo palm and Boston ferns are all great options as they have high rates of transpiration.”

He adds: “For anybody new to plant parenting, good low-maintenance choices include golden pothos, which are also valued for their air-purifying qualities, and spider plants, which are perfect for bathrooms because they enjoy moisture.” 

June gardening jobs

The Sun's Gardening Editor, Veronica Lorraine, has shared the tasks you should take this month.

Stake out leggy perennials

With all the dramatic weather we’ve been having, it’s definitely time to stake out your leggy perennials (the ones that come back every year). Heavy rain and growth spurts, can make them collapse and flop.

Picking out the slugs and snails

Hopefully as we move into summer they  will do less damage as the plants get bigger.  The best way is still to go out at night with a head torch to find them. 

Pick elderflower heads

You can use them to make your own cordial, or add to cakes, champagne or even fry them in batter. 

Get on top of weeds

It’s around now that weeds really ramp up in the garden, so keep on top of them with hoe-ing – or just the traditional ‘on your knees with a hand fork’. Try and avoid chemicals – remember weeds are just plants in the wrong place. 

Up the mowing

You’ll need to mow your lawn weekly now – if you’ve got time, weed it beforehand as once you mow you chop off the leaves and its harder to see them. 

Check on your tomatoes

Your tomato plants will need attention – water, feed and regularly and pinch out the sideshoots. 

Chelsea Chop

There’s still time for the Chelsea Chop – plants like Rudbeckia’s, Asters, Penstemons, Sedums and other perennials can be cut back by a third to help them get a bit more bushy, and prolong the flowering period.

Sort out your tulips

If you can be bothered and have space – lift and story your tulip  bulbs to ensure colour next Spring. 

Deadheading your roses

Take them down to the first set of healthy leaves – which will ensure more flowers for longer. 

Enjoy your space

Take some time to sit and enjoy your garden or outside space – it’s great for your mental health. Even just a few minutes a day can make a big difference. 

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