Top 12 Indoor Plants That Purify the Air You Breathe
When some talks about pollution the first thing that comes to your mind is that is actually an outdoor problem. However, you should know that indoor air may also be polluted with some harmful chemicals.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that people spend around 99 % of the time indoors and they have poor air quality which can induce harm to their overall health.
The indoor air pollutants may trigger asthma attacks, coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, itchy or watery eyes, sore throats, and headaches.
The most harmful indoor air pollutants are trichloroethylene, carbon monoxide, ammonia, radon gas, benzene, and formaldehyde.
The harmful pollutants above mentioned come from chemicals in furniture and building materials, cigarette smoke, chemicals in cleaning solutions, paint, and plastics.
Nature to the Rescue
Here nature can help because it offers an effective and simple solution regarding indoor air purification. Some plants can help to get rid of the pollutants from the air.
As a matter of fact, according to a 1989 NASA study, you need to have at least 1 plant at home that has the power to purify the air for every hundred square feet of your office space or home.
You need to be careful about what type of household plant you choose because some plants can be toxic for your furry friend.
Household plants that may be toxic to your companion are florist’s chrysanthemum, English ivy, rubber plant, red-edged dracaena, weeping fig, and peace lily.
In 1989 NASA came to the discovery that household plants might absorb the harmful toxins found in the air, particularly in closed spaces in which there is little flow of air.
This exact study served as a basis for the new, recent studies about the cleaning abilities of the indoor plants. The plants have less horse power in comparison to the air purifiers, but they are actually more therapeutic, natural and cost effective.
- Reduce fatigue and stress
- Increase productivity and mood
- Enhance memory and concentration
Here Are the 12 Top Plants to Grow Indoors for Air Purification
1. Golden Pothos
The golden pothos, i.e., devil’s ivy is the plant that is almost indestructible. This plant can grow around eight feet long, and also it flourishes in different conditions.
The golden pothos is thought to be among the most effective plant to remove toxins.
To take care for this plant is easy, you just need to water it when you notice that is soil is dry and also you can trim its tendrils when you see that the plant is too big.
You should avoid this plant in case you have a furry friend; this plant is toxic to both dogs and cats. In case you decide to take this plant, make sure that will be out of reach for your pets.
This plant eliminates carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, benzene, xylene and more.
2. Boston Fern
This plant is known to remove formaldehyde effectively, a toxin found in pressed wood products and glues. In addition, it can remove toxic metals from the soil like arsenic and mercury. And also toxins from the air like toluene and xylene.
The Boston fern needs indirect sunlight and to encourage its growth it needs a small amount of sunlight. You need to water this plant on a regular basis, but do not make the soil soggy.
Every two weeks give the plant a balanced fertilizer. Protect it from cold drafts and warm indoor heating. You can keep Boston fern in the bathroom because this plant requires high humidity level.
3. Spider Plant
This plant is also known as airplane plant. It is a perennial herb that can lower the indoor air pollution and it can reduce toluene, formaldehyde, and xylene.
From all plants on this list, this one is the most adaptable, and it can grow in different conditions. Water it on a regular basis but do not make the soil soggy.
You can put it in the corner or use the spider plant as a hanging display.
4. Peace Lily
This plant ranks on the top of the list. The peace lily is a tropical plant that neutralizes and breaks down the toxic indoor gases like carbon monoxide, benzene, ammonia, formaldehyde, xylene, and trichloroethylene.
Peace lily absorbs acetone and alcohol from the air, that is emitted by certain cleaners, electronics, and adhesives.
This household plant needs indirect, medium sunlight. You can water it from 1 to 2 times on a weekly basis, but bear in mind to avoid standing water.
To help this plant to grow once a month, you need to use liquid fertilizer. To keep its air-cleaning ability to the highest levels, you need to keep the dust-free foliage.
5. Areca Palms
This plant originates from Madagascar, and it makes a pretty addition to your office or home.
During growth, this plant needs plenty of water, but not so much during the winter. Areca Palms is safe to keep around your pets, because its leaves are not toxic to both dogs, cats and other pets.
This particular plant eliminates xylene, benzene, trichloroethylene, carbon monoxide and formaldehyde.
6. Rubber Plant
The rubber plant is another air purifier and powerful toxin eliminator that you can grow indoors. It efficiently removes carbon monoxide and formaldehyde.
This plant prefers bright or full, filtered light and grows in tropical and wet conditions. To take care of it once a month you need to use a high-nitrogen fertilizer and water it in moderation.
To maintain its size, you need to trim the plant on a regular basis. Also, from time to time you need wipe its leaves with a soft cloth and tepid water to keep them shiny.
This plant is a small tree that is why you can easily use it on a windowsill, shelf or as the centerpiece on your table. Also, you can put it near entryways or next to a fireplace.
Word of Caution
Avoid contact with its milky latex because it can lead to skin irritation.
7. Red-Edged Dracaena
The red-edged dracaena has wide and long leaves with red lines. In fact, one large plant of this type can do the same work as few smaller plants. It helps to get rid of indoor toxins like formaldehyde, xylene, trichloroethylene, and benzene.
This plant grows up to 15 feet tall that is why you will need to trim it from time to time. Its soil should be damp and not soggy.
Its leaves can get dusty, so wipe them with a damp cloth on a regular basis. This plant is perfect for filling up and decorating space in your office and home.
8. Florist’s Chrysanthemum
Another houseplant that can effectively purify the air is the Florist’s Chrysanthemum. This plant is also known as hardy garden mum and florist’s daisy.
It can help eliminate chemicals such as formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene. This plant needs indirect, bright light and water from 2 to 3 times per week.
9. Weeping Fig
This the most popular houseplants when it comes to eliminating toxic chemicals from indoor air. It effectively removes chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene.
To grow it needs to be in a bright room with direct morning sunlight. You need to water this plant on a regular basis, and throughout its growing season use fertilizer.
Bear in mind to protect if from strong drafts because it is sensitive to cold. You can put this plant in foyers and entryways.
10. English Ivy
The English Ivy is among the most popular plants for air purifications. It successfully absorbs indoor chemicals and pollutants thanks to its dense foliage.
English Ivy can remove toxic chemicals like toluene, benzene, xylene, carbon monoxide, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde.
It is also known to clear cigarette smoke from the air. This plant is actually easy to grow since it needs medium sunlight, little space, and moderate temperature. Depending on your space you can perch it on your floor or simply hang it.
To take care of this plant, you need to water it in its early growth stage and maintain its soil mostly. To keep it healthy, once a month you need to use balanced liquid fertilizer.
11. Snake Plant
Some people also know this plant as mother-in law’s tongue. Regardless of its name, this plant is good to keep in your office and home for air purification.
It eliminates benzene, formaldehyde and nitrogen oxide. Also, it can reduce the levels of carbon dioxide.
It can thrive without much water or light. Also, it prefers dry conditions. Therefore, remember not to water this plant too much, particularly during winter.
Once a month you need to use a fertilizer that is all purpose and with good quality. The colors of this plant are in different colors, including lavender, red, white, orange and yellow.
Because of its amazing colors, it may add color to your dull spot in your office or home. Do not place it in areas that are with low humidity or that are dry.
12. Aloe Vera
The Aloe Vera is sun loving succulent that is easy to grow and eliminates benzene and formaldehyde, that may be a byproduct of cleaners and paints that are based on chemicals. This is great décor for the kitchen window.
Not only it has air-cleaning abilities, but the gel inside the plant can help heal burns and cuts.
The National Institutes of Health reports that Aloe Vera was known as the “plant of immortality” in Early Egypt and it is actually used for more than 6, 000 years.
- Avoid smoking in your office or home.
- Increase ventilation and let fresh air in. This can also help to eliminate indoor pollutants.
- Use a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter.
- Install a high-efficiency particulate air, i.e., HEPA filter in your office and home.
- To reduce dust make sure to clean with a dust mop or damp cloth.
- In case you use a gas stove, make sure always to keep your window open to lower buildup of nitrogen dioxide.
- Once per week, wash the bedding with hot water and dry the bedding in direct sunlight.
- Do not use house cleaning products that contain VOCs, i.e., volatile organic compounds, chlorine, and also ammonia.
- To reduce dust mite allergens and keep the humidity down you can use air conditioning.
- Take care of your pet and bathe it on a regular basis. Make sure to brush it outside to reduce allergens in your home.
Now that you know all these plants that can be a great decoration in your house, hobby and at the same time can benefit your overall health all you need to do is decide which one you are going to have in your home.
Which plant will fit best in your home or maybe office?