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- 1 12 Natural Air-Purifying Houseplants
- 2 NASA research leads to discovering air-purifying houseplants
- 3 We’ve compiled a list of 12 air cleaning houseplants to help you choose
12 Natural Air-Purifying Houseplants
As we all know, indoor plants enhance the aesthetic beauty of our homes. However, they provide other much-needed services, too. Plants provide oxygen that humans and animals need for breathing, using the carbon dioxide we exhale for their own health. In doing so, they also clean the air.
Our homes contain toxins such as formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, benzene, and trichloroethylene. Plants purify the air from these chemicals which accumulate in the air from furniture or building materials, detergent, and household cleaning products. They also reduce mold growth, maintain humidity, and provide us a stress-free environment.
NASA research leads to discovering air-purifying houseplants
While houseplants decorated homes for many years, the discovery of their health benefits came more recently. B.C. “Bill” Wolverton first discovered the ability of plants to clean heavy toxins such as agent orange in the Florida swamps. That led to further research where he demonstrated the amazing ability of plants to clean air toxins. While he originally researched to aid NASA space exploration, it translated to our homes, too! You can read more about his work and findings <here> and his book is available on Amazon, too!
As his research continued, he discovered that some plants perform this air cleaning much more efficiently than others. While you may choose plants other than the top performers, you might ensure you have at least a few of the top performers.
We’ve compiled a list of 12 air cleaning houseplants to help you choose
The Areca Palm filters toxins from the home like a powerhouse. It targets benzene, carbon dioxide, toluene, and formaldehyde in the air. These chemicals accumulate in the air when we use of detergents, nail varnish or furniture, etc. Four shoulder-high plants of the Areca Palm plant will usually offer one person unpolluted air. This plant is also a good choice if you have pets as it is a non-toxic plant. Areca palm grows best in filtered light with plenty of water.
If you desire to purify your environment without much effort, the spider plant is for you. It works like a sponge to absorb chemicals from the air such as carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, and benzene. It removes about 90% of indoor toxins in just two days. Moreover, it’s a generous plant of a mother’s nature always teaching us to give and share. This plant produces baby spider plants that can be easily cut off to grow either in soil or water to produce your plant’s family. While the Spider Plant gives you multiple benefits, it doesn’t demand much from you. The occasional watering keeps it quite happy.
The uniqueness of the Chinese Evergreen lies in its variegated leaves. With attractive white blooms and red berries, it’s considered very popular among the house plants. As it releases oxygen, the Chinese Evergreen reduces the level of pollutants to provide healthful milieu and reduces respiratory sickness. It prefers low light and well-drained soil. Mist it frequently if your home is not of high humidity.
A Peace Lily can be a gorgeous addition to your side table. The glossy green leaves and pretty white flowers catch everybody’s attention. This good-looking plant works extremely well as an air cleaner. It cleans the air from VOCs (volatile organic compounds). In addition, it absorbs mold spores thereby helping to sustain a mold-free state. The Peace Lily loves humidity. As such, it grows well in the bathroom where it also reduces mold growth on tiles and curtains as well.
The Gerbera Daisy flowers grow in a range of colors. Many believe the colors of the daisy indicate feelings. The red daisies express inspiration, pink conveys gratitude, bright orange for happiness, and white symbolizes purity. Like other plants, Gerbera Daisies produce oxygen, and absorb carbon dioxide and other toxins. Place it in your bedroom. It will enhance your mood and helps you sleep better.
The Snake Plant possesses a unique character of providing oxygen at night. Keep a snake plant in your bedroom. It works silently when you sleep, converting a lot of carbon dioxide into oxygen. Also known as a Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, the snake plant in your bathroom filters formaldehyde (occur in tissue papers, air fresheners). It diminishes airborne allergens, too. About 6 to 8 snake plants can provide oxygen enough for a person’s health in a small room. The Snake plant doesn’t demand much care. It gladly filters the air for you even after weeks of neglect.
The English Ivy displays its vines well in a hanging basket or along a trellis. While it makes an ideal houseplant, grown outdoors they readily climb the sides of buildings and fences. The English Ivy absorbs airborne matter, reduces mold growth, and removes benzene. It possesses anti-inflammatory properties that reduce swelling of the respiratory tract. In fact, it even helps protect your lungs, spleen, and liver. It helps people with breathing problems. Keep your ivy in a shaded area and train it in the shape you want.
The burgundy glossy leaves of this evergreen plant provide a good amount of oxygen in exchange for the carbon dioxide we exhale. The Rubber Plant also breaks down other toxins such as benzene and formaldehyde. Indeed, it reduces the growth of bacterial and mold spores. To keep this air-purifying houseplant healthy, keep it in indirect light and water occasionally in winter and weekly in summer. Avoid over-watering.
A luscious addition to a high shelf or floor space, the Philodendron adds texture to your decor. In favorable conditions, it can grow up to 15 feet. It targets formaldehyde (from furniture, building material, carpets, etc.) in the air. These heart-shaped veiny plants come in a range of sizes and colors. Displaying hearty leaves that look pretty cool, Philodendrons contain toxins. Therefore, these beautiful plants are dangerous for children or pets. However, those choosing to keep them need only find a same place to avoid the dangers. The Philodendron dislikes direct sunlight. Also, don’t over or underwater your philodendrons. For best success, water it when the soil seems dry.
Pothos is a high-rated air cleanser. It removes many dangerous chemicals that may affect your health. Pothos plants help keep the environment free from formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, and xylene. It can extend up to 10ft. Although the Pothos prefers cascading hanging baskets, they also grow well on a table top. In fact, the trailing vines look amazing over edges of the table display. Moreover, its forgiving nature allows most people to keep it easily. It will survive with some neglect. However, it thrives best with some weekly attention.
A well-known favorite air-purifying houseplant, the Boston Fern loves humidity. In fact, it serves as a small humidifier, keeping the moisture level of your home. Place Boston ferns in an air-conditioned room as it thrives well at low temperatures. This leafy workhorse removes contaminants such as formaldehyde. It displays beautifully in a tabletop planter. However, the Boston Fern shows equally well in a hanging basket. Remember to mist it regularly. In fact, while many plants don’t like their leaves wet, the Boston Fern requires it.
Known as a Christmas plant, the Poinsettia serves as an air-purifying houseplant, too. It cleans the house air while providing color and interest. It removes chemicals and molds from your home. However, the Poinsettia is toxic. Therefore, you need to ensure that children and pets cannot reach them. Its beautiful bracts and lovely flower will brighten your bedroom’s corner. Sunlight and well-drained soil allow these plants to thrive.
12 Air-Purifying Houseplants to Choose
And many more options exist, too! We’ve chosen twelve of our favorites. However, we know you may find others, too.
Filling your home with houseplants does more than just clean the air, however. Plants bring a calming tone to our homes. Like a walk on a forest trail, greenery helps clear our minds as well as our air. Office and commercial designers understand this and build greenery into reception and work areas, malls, and street walks. Restaurants rely on the aesthetics and ambiance plants bring to their decor.
Which plants will you choose? We’d like to hear about your favorites!