We all know trees clean the air we breathe. Trees work hard to keep the outside air clean — but what about the air inside our houses?
NASA has done multiple studies since the 1980s about how to improve or purify air quality in their facilities in space, and the information they discovered can be applied to life inside our houses here on earth. Our homes commonly have three major toxins: formaldehyde (carpets, paints, glues), trichloroethylene (paint removers, adhesives) and benzene (plastics, pesticides).
Thankfully for us, there are many plants that look lovely and also can purify the air in our homes. Now, we may need about 15 to 20 plants to help a 2,000-square-foot home, but if you enjoy indoor plants, this could be a new adventure for you. Remember to do more research on your potential plants to make sure they are all pet friendly if you have any four-legged family members running around. Here are the top 10 indoor plants that purify our air.
1. Peace Lily – This lovely flower absorbs formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, benzene and ammonia, among other chemicals. The lily has beautiful foliage and white blooms. You may need to dust the foliage once in a while. Peace lilies go well in both full and partial sun, although there will be less flowers in the low light. The soil needs to be moist.
2. Chrysanthemum – This flower is one of the best air purifiers. It flowers for about six weeks before you need to get another one. Although not really considered a houseplant, Chrysanthemums, or “Mums,” do well inside. They like indirect, but still bright sunlight and moist soil. Mums help rid the house of ammonia, benzene, xylene and formaldehyde.
3. Boston Fern – The Boston Fern has magnificent full, green foliage. There is no flower, but that doesn’t take away from the plant’s beauty. It does well on a pedestal or in a hanging basket. This fern adds humidity to a room while removing harmful chemicals. Remember to mist the fern regularly, but don’t saturate the soil.
4. Aloe Vera – Besides being helpful with cuts and burns, this plant also rids the home of benzene and formaldehyde. It needs well-draining soil, as you will need to soak the soil and let it dry between watering. Aloe Vera can get quite large, but if you use the plant, it will stay small.
5. Mother-In-Law’s Tongue – Here is a cleverly named plant. The leaves are stiff and upright, without a flower. The plant is a deep green and is pretty tough. It will not die easily, but don’t overwater. It is good for filtering out formaldehyde. This plant does very well in bathrooms, where there is a bit more humidity than in the rest of the house.
6. Bamboo Palm – Here is an elegant plant. It grows between three and six feet high. This palm brings a bit of moisture into a dry room and gets rid of chloroform, carbon monoxide, xylene, benzene and formaldehyde. Bamboo Palms need bright, but indirect, sunlight, moist soil and occasional misting.
7. Dracaena – There are two different types of Dracaena, but both work well to remove benzene, formaldehyde, toluene, xylene and trichloroethylene. It needs moist soil, but avoid overwatering. It grows inside with no trouble, adding color and foliage to the room.
8. English Ivy – This ivy is a climbing plant, but easily grown indoors in containers or baskets. English Ivy helps relieve allergies to mold and animals. It will grow in both low and bright sunlight. The soil needs to be moist, but not overwatered. Besides reducing allergies, it removes carbon monoxide, benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde.
9. Rubber Plant – Rubber Plants are a very popular, evergreen plant from India. Rubber Plants have characteristic broad, shiny green leaves. This plant is very efficient at getting rid of formaldehyde, carbon dioxide and trichloroethylene from the air among other chemicals. It loves full sunlight, and moist soil. Some pruning may be required to keep the plant manageable and looking good.
10. Weeping Fig – A pretty, yet sensitive plant, the Weeping Fig rids the air of the usual benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene. This tree doesn’t handle being moved around well, so try to pick a place where it can stay for a long time. A Weeping Fig can handle partial shade, but truly loves full sunlight. The soil should drain well, do not saturate. Water when needed.
There are many other plants that help purify the air. Areca Palm, Golden Pathos, Snake Plant and Chinese Evergreen are just a few others. Do your research and see what fits into your home and lifestyle. You can have a beautifully, well-decorated home while naturally getting rid of toxins.
Do you filter your indoor air with plants? Which ones do you believe are best? Share your suggestions in the section below: