David Domoney shares 4 houseplants that act as ‘mould-busters’

'Game changing' hack to cure damp, mould and condensation

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When mould appears in your home, not only can it be unpleasant to look at, the build-up of fungus can also pose a risk to your health. The surprising solution, however, could be by adorning your property with houseplants. They can also prevent condensation by bringing down humidity and moisture levels in the air through their leaves, which ultimately can reduce the risk of mould developing – particularly in rooms such as the bathroom or kitchen. Research shows that rooms with plants can have anywhere from 40 to 60 percent fewer mould spores and bacteria. But, not all plants are as effective in eliminating mould, mildew and condensation, which is why picking the right houseplant is crucial, according to gardening expert David Domoney.

He said: “Using houseplants in rooms prone to mould and condensation is a natural way of controlling humidity levels.This is due to the plants absorbing moisture through the leaves.

“This is a win-win, because not only will you have removed the risk of condensation and mould, but you’ll have stunning greenery to enjoy in your home.”

1. Hedera helix (English ivy)

The trailing foliage of this evergreen looks striking when positioned in a hanging basket where the leaves cascade out over the pot. 

It’ll grow happily with plenty of bright, indirect light with moist but well-drained soil. Water regularly, checking the top inch of soil and wait until it is dry to water again.

In terms of humidity, David noted that English ivy prefers medium to high humidity, meaning it will happily grow in a bathroom or kitchen.

He added: “Hedera helix is within the top houseplants for purifying air by filtering out toxic chemicals. 

“From a controlled experiment, it was found that it reduced levels of formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. Not only this, but research has showed that it can help combat mould in the home.”

However, its leaves are toxic to animals and so pet owners should be sure to keep the plant out of reach.

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2. Dracaena trifasciata (snake plant)

The gardening pro claimed that this houseplant is “as tough as nails” and is low maintenance” so won’t demand much from you. Their ease means they’re a great houseplant for beginners. 

They are incredibly tolerant in terms of their position, but prefer a sunny position. Snake plants are able to tolerate being in humid or dry rooms in the house.

David said: “Not only are they said to help prevent mould and condensation in the home, but they may help reduce the damaging health effects of trichloroethylene. 

“This is a chemical compound found in cleaning products that cause headaches, dizziness, and nausea. In addition to this, they also continue to remove carbon dioxide and produce oxygen during night-time.”

3. Spathiphyllum (peace lily)

Peace lilies are a hugely popular houseplant, and for good reason. They bring a brightness to a space with their white bracts that contrast beautifully with the dark glossy foliage. 

Perfect for warm, humid environments, they will appreciate watering when the top of the soil dries out. Their love of humid spaces makes them “great for placing in areas prone to mould”, according to the expert.

He added: “The glossy foliage doesn’t just look great, they also are able to extract high levels of benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and ammonia from the atmosphere and give you plenty of oxygen instead.”

Much like English ivy, though, peace lilies should be kept away from pets due to their toxicity levels.

4. Palms

There are a variety of palms that make fantastic houseplants. Among them are dypsis lutescens (areca palm), phoenix robelenii (dwarf date palm), rhapis exelsa (broadleaf lady palm) and chamaedorea elegans (parlour palm).

David explained that these houseplants are “great for controlling humidity levels and as mould preventatives”. They do this by absorbing the excess moisture into their leaves.

Studies into air purification showed that palms help to rid formaldehyde and xylene from the atmosphere, making them a great addition to the home.

The structure of palms adds elegance to the space, whether in a dining room, living room, or adding some greenery to bathrooms. Due to their height, they can be a great plant replacement for Christmas trees now that the festive period is over.

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