A very good friend for your home is Hedera helix, or English Ivy, says Dr. B.C. Wolverton in his book How to Grow Fresh Air.
The common ivy grows up to 100 ft. with yellow green, dark bottle green leaves and often tiny flowers which supply nectar to butterflies and overflies, especially the holly blue and tortoiseshells. Its green berries turn black when ripe and are greedily eaten by resident birds and winter visitors. Its thick cosy mysterious coat also gifts nesting sites for wrens, sparrows and blackbirds! (Green Gardening Practical advice from National Trust Gardeners).
This enchanting plant dazzled me the first time I saw it during a holiday in London.It was everywhere. It ornamented church walls, dressed up endless houses, cottages, garages, offices, garden gates, in the most amazing way. I could not have enough of it. I began to gather up 100’s of cuttings of it from everywhere to take home to India. Unfortunately it did not grow in my garden. Luckily I found it in local nurseries and use it all over the house.
According to the book How to Grow Fresh Air ivy has an overall rating of 7.8 out of ten, for removal of chemical vapours, ease of growth and maintenance, resistance to insect infestation and high transpiration rate. It is a sturdy climber and can make any window, door, garden wall, garage etc. look enchanting. In most countries it provides its beauty to houses and flats.
It is also inexpensive and easy to maintain. It is particularly effective at removing formaldehyde. It would be an excellent choice to purify indoor air, instead of using commercial chemical air purifiers.
Ivy is also good to keep in the kitchen and around the microwave etc. to clear the air. It can be used medicinally as well.
pics and text: daksha