Are you looking for a natural way to purify the air in your home? Look no further than indoor plants! Not only do they add a touch of greenery to your space, but they also have the ability to filter out toxins and pollutants. Research has shown that certain plants can even improve air quality, reduce stress levels, and boost productivity. So, if you want to breathe in cleaner air and create a healthier environment, consider adding some air purifying indoor plants to your home. In this article, we’ll explore the best plants for the job and how to care for them.
Indoor Air Pollution
Before we get into the best indoor plants for purifying air, let’s talk about the problem they’re solving: indoor air pollution. It’s a serious issue that affects us all, as we spend most of our time indoors. In fact, indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air. The biggest culprits of indoor air pollution include chemicals from cleaning products, furniture, and building materials, as well as allergens like dust and pet dander.
Poor indoor air quality can have negative health effects, ranging from minor irritations like headaches and eye irritation to more serious issues like respiratory problems and even cancer. Children, elderly people, and those with pre-existing health conditions are especially vulnerable.
How do plants purify the air?
Plants are nature’s air purifiers, and they’ve been doing their job for millions of years. Through photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen. But did you know that some plants also have the ability to filter out harmful toxins and pollutants?
NASA conducted a study in the late 1980s to determine the best plants for purifying air in space stations. The study found that certain plants were effective in removing common indoor air pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. These toxins are found in common household items like paints, furniture, and cleaning products.
The study also showed that plants can absorb VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which are emitted by products like pesticides and air fresheners. Plants can also remove allergens like dust and pet dander from the air.
Top 10 Air Purifying Indoor Plants
Let’s discuss the top 10 air purifying indoor plants.
1. Spider plant
Spider plants are one of the most popular indoor plants, and for good reason. Not only do they have air purifying abilities, but they also have a unique appearance that adds character to any room. Plus, they’re easy to care for, making them a great choice for beginners.
In terms of air purification, spider plants are known for their ability to remove formaldehyde and xylene from the air. Formaldehyde is a common indoor air pollutant found in many household items, including furniture and cleaning products. Xylene is a compound found in paint and varnish.
Spider plants are also effective at removing other toxins and pollutants, including benzene, carbon monoxide, and VOCs. They can even help reduce the amount of allergens in the air, making them a great choice for those with allergies or asthma.
Spider plants have long, thin leaves that arch outward from the center of the plant, resembling spider legs. They come in a variety of colors, including green, variegated, and even all-white.
Spider plants are easy to care for, making them a great option for those who are new to plant ownership. They prefer bright, indirect light and should be watered when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch. They can also be propagated easily by cutting off a baby spider plant and planting it in its own pot.
2. Snake plant
Snake plants, also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, are another popular choice for air purifying indoor plants. They are low maintenance and can survive in a variety of lighting conditions, making them a great option for those who don’t have a lot of sunlight in their home.
In terms of air purification, snake plants are effective at removing benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from the air. Benzene is a common pollutant found in tobacco smoke and gasoline. Formaldehyde is found in many household items, including furniture, flooring, and cleaning products. Trichloroethylene is often used in dry cleaning and can also be found in household products like adhesives and paint removers.
Snake plants have long, upright leaves that can grow up to several feet tall. They come in a variety of shades of green and yellow and can add a modern touch to any space. They prefer well-draining soil and should only be watered when the top inch of soil is dry.
In addition to their air purifying abilities, snake plants are also known for their ability to release oxygen at night, making them a great choice for the bedroom. They are also one of the few plants that can tolerate low light conditions, making them a great choice for darker rooms.
3. Peace lily
The third air purifying indoor plant on our list is the peace lily. Known for its beautiful white flowers, the peace lily is not only visually appealing, but it also has impressive air purifying capabilities. This plant is effective at removing benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and even ammonia from the air.
Peace lilies are easy to care for and require low to moderate light, making them a great option for those with limited sunlight in their home. They prefer moist soil and should be watered when the top inch of soil is dry. The peace lily also has a long blooming period, typically from late winter to early summer, and can add a touch of elegance to any space.
In addition to their air purifying abilities, peace lilies are also known for their ability to improve humidity levels in a room. They release moisture through their leaves, making them a great option for those living in drier climates or during the winter months when indoor heating can cause dry air.
The Dracaena is another popular indoor plant that has impressive air purifying abilities. It is effective at removing benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde from the air. These pollutants are commonly found in household cleaning products, adhesives, and varnishes.
What makes the Dracaena stand out from other air purifying plants is the variety of foliage patterns and sizes it comes in. From the tall and slender Dracaena Marginata to the short and bushy Dracaena Compacta, there is a Dracaena variety to fit any space and aesthetic.
Like most indoor plants, Dracaenas prefer well-draining soil and should only be watered when the top inch of soil is dry. They also thrive in moderate to bright indirect light, making them a great option for rooms with plenty of natural light.
5. Aloe vera
Aloe vera is not only a popular household plant, but it is also known for its medicinal properties. This succulent plant is effective at removing formaldehyde and benzene from the air, making it a great addition to any room in the house.
In addition to its air purifying abilities, aloe vera is also known for its healing properties. The gel inside the leaves of the aloe vera plant has been used for centuries to treat burns, cuts, and other skin conditions. It is also known for its ability to soothe and moisturize the skin, making it a common ingredient in skincare products.
Aloe vera is also a great plant for beginner gardeners, as it requires minimal maintenance. It prefers bright, indirect light and well-draining soil. The Aloe vera plant should be watered thoroughly but allowed to dry out before watering again.
In addition to its air purifying abilities and medicinal properties, aloe vera can also be used in cooking. The flesh of the plant can be added to smoothies or used to make a refreshing summer drink. It is also a great addition to salads and other dishes.
6. Rubber Plant
Rubber Plant, also known as Ficus elastica, is a popular indoor plant that not only adds a pop of green to your home but also has air purifying abilities. It is effective at removing formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene from the air, making it a great addition to any living space.
Rubber Plant is easy to care for and can grow up to 8 feet tall. It prefers bright, indirect light and well-draining soil. It should be watered thoroughly but allowed to dry out before watering again. It also benefits from occasional misting to increase humidity levels.
7. Boston Fern
Boston Fern, also known as Nephrolepis exaltata, is a popular indoor plant that not only adds a touch of green to your living space but also has air purifying abilities. It is effective at removing formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene from the air, making it a great addition to any household.
Boston Fern is a low-maintenance plant that prefers bright, indirect light and well-draining soil. When watering, allow to dry out before watering thoroughly. The Boston Fern also benefits from occasional misting to increase humidity levels.
8. Bamboo Palm
Bamboo Palm, also known as Chamaedorea seifrizii, is a beautiful indoor plant that not only looks stunning but also has air purifying abilities. It is effective at removing formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene from the air, making it a great addition to your home or office.
Bamboo Palm is a low-maintenance plant that prefers indirect light and well-draining soil. When watering, it should be watered thoroughly but allowed to dry out before watering again. This plant also benefits from occasional misting to increase humidity levels.
10. Golden Pothos
Golden Pothos, also known as Epipremnum aureum, is not only a beautiful addition to any indoor space but also has air purifying abilities. It is effective at removing formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide from the air, making it a great choice for those who live in polluted urban environments. Golden Pothos is also easy to care for and can thrive in low light conditions, making it a perfect plant for those who don’t have access to bright, direct sunlight. Overall, golden pothos is a great plant for improving indoor air quality and adding a touch of natural beauty to any living space.
These plants are not only effective in purifying the air, but they’re also easy to care for and make great additions to any home.
Complementary Air Purification Strategies
While air purifying indoor plants are a great way to improve indoor air quality, there are other strategies that can be used in conjunction with them to further cleanse the air in your home or office.
One such strategy is the use of air purifiers. Air purifiers work by filtering out harmful particles from the air, such as dust, pollen, and smoke. They are especially helpful for those with allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues. When used in combination with air purifying plants, air purifiers can help to create a truly clean and healthy indoor environment.
Another strategy is proper ventilation. Opening windows and doors to let in fresh air can help to dilute any pollutants that may be present in the air. It’s especially important to do this when using cleaning products, cooking, or doing other activities that could release harmful chemicals into the air.
Humidity control is another important factor in creating a healthy indoor environment. High humidity levels can promote the growth of mold, bacteria and other harmful microorganisms, while low humidity levels can lead to dry skin, respiratory problems, and other issues. Using a humidifier or dehumidifier can help to maintain optimal humidity levels in your home or office.
By combining the use of air purifying indoor plants with these other strategies, you can create a truly healthy and clean indoor environment that promotes optimal health and well-being.