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  • Most of the previous threads around such plants are centered/ biased around western nations, so finding ones that fit this Asian/ Indian city is different and key.
    • Also, it would help apply to lots of people in polluted Asian cities.

Which of these plants would work best for outlined Mumbai Weather & conditions:

  • Better fit for Mumbai Weather
  • Pollution cleansing; If needed I can try to post pollutant information for a major crowded Metropolitan city in Asia like Mumbai
  • Low Maintenance for an apartment Window/ Balcony
    • Current window/ balcony is South facing; so should get enough sunlight except during days in monsoon where there is darker cloud cover
    • Tall sliding windows with a 8-12" ledge on outside and 8" ledge on inside of window. Open to suggestions that work for both inside and outside

Please advise on what would be a more fitting shortlist from these.

NASA Clean Air Plants & Reference Answers with recommendations on SE:

Mumbai Weather Information:

Average Temperature Graph for Mumbai enter image description here

Sources & More information:
http://www.worldweatheronline.com/mumbai-weather-averages/maharashtra/in.aspx
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_Mumbai
http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weather.php3?s=30034

  • Just for clarification: do you want the plants outside or inside? – Stephie May 30 '16 at 16:36
  • @Stephie - Tall sliding windows with a 8-12" ledge on outside and 8" ledge on inside of window. Open to ideas for both inside and outside – Alex S May 30 '16 at 16:39
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    If you think about fighting the air pollution by plants on the outside: forget it. You'd literally have to plant a jungle to get a measurable effect. If you want to help the air indoors - it may be worth a shot. But the general cleansing properties aren't huge. – Stephie May 30 '16 at 16:42
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    @Stephie - I get that it will have limitations, but some well chosen plants are better than No plants (right now) + Window A/C; a tiny bit more of Oxygen :) – Alex S May 30 '16 at 16:45
  • The best thing to do to get any GREEN plant to suck up more CO2 and provide more O2 is ventilation. Once the plant does its photosynthetic thing using co2 it produces o2 and if o2 sits around the leaf less co2 will be 'processed'. Just by blowing or keeping your plants ventilated will make any green plant more active in photosynthesis allowing more co2 to get to the leaf by pushing away the o2. Does that make sense? As long as a plant is green and healthy it will make co2 used for o2. Never heard of certain plants being better at this than others. Air conditioning might be too much draft – stormy May 30 '16 at 18:31
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Based on all three links that you have provided, as well as the availability of the said plants in Mumbai, these plants will not only survive, but thrive, as well as clean the air. They are low maintenance too. I'm already growing them in my south facing window in Mumbai.

Very Important: Remember to remove the plates under the pots of the 'outdoor' plants, or keep them overturned ONLY during monsoon. If you don't, all the plants (ANY, even those beyond this list as well) are susceptible to root rot (death).

Following are the plants I'm growing from your list:

  1. Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata 'Bostoniensis') (outdoor preferred)

  2. English ivy (Hedera helix)

  3. Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) (indoor preferred)

  4. Devil's ivy, Money plant (Epipremnum aureum)

  5. Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)

  6. Variegated snake plant, mother-in-law's tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii') (indoor preferred)

  7. Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron cordatum)

  8. Selloum philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum)

  9. Elephant ear philodendron (Philodendron domesticum)

  10. Red-edged dracaena (Dracaena marginata)

  11. Cornstalk dracaena (Dracaena fragrans 'Massangeana')

  12. Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) (outdoor preferred)

  13. Dumb canes (Dieffenbachia spp.)

  14. Aloe vera (Aloe vera) (outdoor preferred)

  15. Janet Craig (Dracaena deremensis "Janet Craig")

Given the oncoming monsoon, I would suggest the following for outdoors (marked above):
Boston fern, English ivy, Money plant, Chinese evergreen, Heartleaf philodendron

As a side note, you must have noticed 'palms' missing from the above list, because I'm not a fan of the category and I'm not growing any from the list currently. But you can grow ANY PALM in a south facing window, although I would suggest growing them indoors, as during the monsoon, they tend to rot more easily as the large and spread out leaves tend to collect more water. But, in my opinion, your 8 inch indoor ledge maybe too small for them in the long run.

  • What about moringa bonsai, or my favorite, a sunchoke patch in a board raised bed garden with removable boards on the side to pick out what you need only? – black thumb May 30 '16 at 22:13
  • @spinge - actually it's 13" outside and 8" inside. The outside is concrete ledge, top bottom left & right which is closed on front by box grill & back end are tall sliding Windows. And then 8" granite slab inside. Mostly I'd like to start outside and given my travel schedule & absence I was actually thinking of starting them off in monsoons even if I forget to water them - and set up automated system for after – Alex S May 31 '16 at 0:50
  • @spinge - which ones would you recommend I kickstart with OUTSIDE, given the oncoming monsoon? – Alex S May 31 '16 at 0:52
  • Now that I think about it, I doubt if I can start with them inside at the moment until I've learnt a bit more about plants & pests and other things. Plus inside space is behind a headboard & something I'd approach later with fewer smaller ones if at all possible in the future. – Alex S May 31 '16 at 0:56
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    @AlexS Given the oncoming monsoon, i would suggest the following for outdoors: Boston fern, English ivy, Money plant, Chinese evergreen, Heartleaf philodendron. – spinge Jun 1 '16 at 19:25

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