Gerbera is an ornamental plant very appreciated thanks to its colorful flowers, similar to daisies. This plant takes its name from the German naturalist Traugott Gerber and belongs to the Asteraceae family, just like the daisy, the dandelion, the sunflower and the chamomile. That of the gerberas is actually a very large family, which includes more than 70 species. Among these the most well-known is the gerbera jamesonii, of which we will speak in this post. Yes, because this type of gerbera is not only a very beautiful plant to admire, but also useful to improve the microclimate in houses.
Gerbera jamesonii, anti-pollution plant
The gerbera jamesonii has been included, in fact, in the list of about 50 plants studied by NASA at the end of the 80s as they are able to remove toxic and carcinogenic substances from the environment. In particular, as can be seen by consulting this research published online in English with the title Interior Landscape plants for indoor air pollution abatement, this type of gerbera is able to remove from closed rooms such as houses or offices 50% of formaldehyde, almost 70% of benzene and 35% of trichlorethylene after 24 hours. To understand the importance of this action, just consider that formaldehyde and benzene are classified by IARC as carcinogenic to humans and trichlorethylene as a probable carcinogen, in addition, all these substances can easily be found indoors. In fact, formaldehyde is released into closed rooms as a consequence of combustion processes, therefore possible sources are cigarette smoke, candles or incense, but external causes such as car exhaust gases and industrial emissions should not be forgotten. Finally, pay attention to new furniture products with panels of plywood or chipboard, which is considered one of the main sources of formaldehyde in closed environments, but also insulating materials, paints, lacquers and glues, detergents and disinfectants (Kaden et al, World Health Oragnization, 2010). For what concerns benzene, this may be released indoor from external sources such as garages near the houses or traffic while internal sources may be synthetic nylon carpets, furniture in PVC, fiberglass materials, glues and solvents (Harrison, World Health Oragnization, 2010). Trichlorethylene is contained in industrial solvents and can contaminate soil and water, from here it enters the house through normal evaporation processes or with the use of contaminated water in showers, washing machines and dishwashers (Bonvallot et al, World Health Oragnization, 2010).
How to grow gerbera jamesonii
The plant is grown in pots and can be kept in well-lit areas of the house. For what concerns watering, be careful because it should only be done when the soil is dry. If you give too much water, the roots can rot.