Air Purification for Indoor Plant Growing
When it comes to indoor plant growing, air quality is often overlooked. Even with adequate ventilation systems, poor air quality will affect the plant’s growth and reproduction, not forgetting the plant’s health. Ventilation systems are designed specifically to swap stale air from the growing area with fresh air from the surrounding, however, they don’t safeguard the plant against problems arising from poor air quality.
Plants need more than just temperature control and replenishing CO2 for photosynthesis, often provided by basic ventilation systems. However, these ventilation systems must also provide the proper air filtration to ensure good air quality.
Air filtration and purification principles are much akin to those of water filtration and purification. We filter and purify to prevent germs and other microscopic particles from entering the growing space that would otherwise be detrimental to your plants’ health and growth capacity.
Fungi Spores and Molds
Indoor garden plants are susceptible to a lot of pathogenic molds and fungi which have the potential to infect them. Moreover, these microscopic organisms are transmitted through the air, making them deadly airborne organisms that have the potential of wiping out your entire indoor garden. A few examples of destructive airborne fungi include powdery mildew, botrytis and black spot. These class of fungi are opportunistic and with the right conditions, can decimate your hydroponics garden, in the shortest period.
Luckily, with a dependable air filtration system and prevention mechanisms put in place, your indoor garden is safe and sound.
Pests are not only for the outdoor plants, indoor plant growing is currently facing a threat from the dreaded spider mite. An insect notorious for being the most destructive pest insect travels by air or rather glides through the air by spinning a web-parachute and riding the current infecting plant after plant. Here a similar approach to dealing with molds and fungi spores can be applied; preventive measures and quality air filtration system.
Albeit uncommon as molds and fungi, airborne microbes can also be a force to reckon with for certain indoor plants. Plant bacterial infections can be identified by the following symptoms: blights, galls, specks, cankers, scabs, leaf spots, overgrowths, or wilts. Sometimes these infections are hard to diagnose, often being interpreted as a nutritional deficiency.
The only real defense against these microbes is complete and total elimination through an effective air filtration and purification mechanism.
Undesired pollen matter in the air can cause problems to indoor plants, more so in cannabis growing where a certain species is desired. Species cross-contamination can limit the progress of controlled breeding. Pollen contamination can also create unstable or non-viable offspring, thus it is critical that you keep unwanted pollen at bay to prevent cross-contamination.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Odors
VOCs are chemical compounds found in the air that are a result of synthetic compounds reacting. Indoor gardens have a variety of odors ranging from the plants there and the fertilizer in the soil. All these are VOCs and those left behind by synthetic chemical insecticides and fungicides have the potential to kill your plants. Air purification is the only ideal way to deal with VOCs in and around an indoor garden.
Implementing an Air Purification Device
Once you understand the necessity of maintaining proper air quality in your indoor garden, the next step would ultimately be, installing an air purification device that will decrease the likelihood of the aforementioned dangerous components from infecting your plants.
There are various air purification devices available, each with its own pros and cons. The most common air quality maintenance devices include Filters and Air Purifiers.
These are devices that serve the purpose of filtering the air that gets into a ventilation system from the surrounding. Under this category, we’ll look at two main filters that are often preferred by indoor gardeners.
- Intake Filters
Intake filters are critical preventive tools that need to be included in any ventilation system. Intake filters vary greatly, but all strive towards a common goal: allowing maximum airflow and effectively filtering the air. A good example is the high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, which are able to filter particles from the air down to a size of .3 microns. As many mold and fungi spores fall within the 1-20 micron size bracket, HEPA filters are therefore an excellent choice for preventing and protecting indoor plants from these harmful spores.
Moreover, intake filters greatly influence a garden’s performance. Since dust and other particles can settle on the glass and lighting system, they can reduce the efficiency of the lighting system.
- Stand-alone Filters
These filters are often employed within the garden space, where they continuously recirculate the air within the garden whilst filtering it in the process. Introducing a stand-alone filter not only reduces or eliminates odors and VOCs but also help reduce the likelihood of experiencing mold problems.
Air purifiers are special devices that recirculate and purify air within an indoor garden. Quite often, an air purifier is installed in addition to a filter system. The air purifier’s main purpose is to eliminate any mold and fungi spores, microbes, and VOCs. However, not all air purifiers are the same.
- HEPA Air Purifiers
This is essentially a HEPA filter fitted with a low-powered fan to yield a HEPA Air Purification System. Ideal for indoor gardens the size of a closet, this air purifier works to eliminate any of the aforementioned destructive agents from infecting and infesting your indoor plants.
- Ozone Air Purifiers
Another type is the ozone-based air purifiers. These usually have a UV light and a fan fitted to produce ozone and to circulate the air respectively. Despite being a great option for clean air, they should be used with care since, too much ozone accumulation can damage plants and moreover, cause radiation to humans.
Maintaining proper air quality is essential when attempting to provide indoor garden plants with optimal conditions necessary for growth and preventing unwanted issues. Investing in an air purification system is critical to protecting your plants from unseen pathogens, pests and more.