Are you looking to naturally reduce toxins in air inside your home? Air purifiers can do wonders to cleanup some of these, but there is another natural way to do this. Many air cleaning indoor plants can help you remove toxins and improve air quality inside home.
In a study by NASA, the leaves, roots, soil, and associated microorganisms of plants have been evaluated as a possible means of reducing indoor air pollutants.
The more plants, the better. To reap the benefits, have at least two plants per 100 square feet. Bill Wolverton, the man behind the NASA study, recommends palm, fern and ivy plants because they take up the most surface area.
How do plants purify air at home?
Let’s take it back to science class: During photosynthesis (you remember that word, don’t ya?), plants convert the carbon dioxide we exhale into fresh oxygen and remove toxins from the air we breathe. NASA tested this theory in a landmark 1989 study when they examined how popular houseplants diffuse toxic chemicals including:
- Formaldehyde, which can cause irritation to nose, mouth, and throat.
- Benzane, which can cause irritation to eyes, drowsiness, dizziness, increase in heart rate, headaches, and confusion.
- Trichlorothylene, which can cause dizziness, headache, nausea, and vomiting.
In the study, they found several, no-fuss plants that actually filter out the bad stuff and easily grow indoors.
Best indoor plants to purify air at home
Below listed are best plants and can easily be grown inside home to breath fresh and pure air. Along with best air conditioning system, it is essential you get to breath best air as well at home.
1. Areca palm
As with all plants, the Areca Palm is biologically engineered to take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. However, what sets the Areca Palm apart is its ability to also purify the environment it’s placed in by removing dangerous chemicals such as formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.
Tips to care: The Areca Palm does well in filtered light and needs to be watered often. For one person, four shoulder-high plants should suffice.
2. Snake plant
Plant otherwise known as the Mother-In-Law’s Tongue is unique for its nighttime oxygen production, and ability to purify air through the removal of benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene.
Tips to care: The Snake Plant does well in window light and needs to be watered weekly. For one person, six to eight waist level plants are recommended. In an air-sealed room, these plants are capable of producing enough oxygen to breathe normally.
3. Money plant
Featured by NASA, the Money Plant is renowned for its ability to remove chemicals and other pollutants from the air, specifically benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene. However, despite the benefit of its high purification rate, this plant is toxic to cats, dogs, and small children if its leaves are ingested.
Tips to care: The Money Plant prefers indirect light and needs to be watered every week or so. For one person, three 18-inch plants are recommended. This can be placed at any room but keep out of reach of pets or small children
Arguably the prettiest entry on the list, the Gerbera Daisy is often used as a decorative element in gardening. However, the Gerbera Daisy is also distinct for its ability to produce high levels of oxygen at night while removing harmful chemicals, such as benzene and trichloroethylene. Beneficial for those suffering from sleep apnea and breathing disorders, keep this one on the nightstand for better sleep.
Tips to care: The Gerbera Daisy prefers bright sunlight during the summer, spring and fall, and indirect light during the winter. It needs to be watered regularly with the soil being kept moist. Due to the decorative nature of the flower, the amount of recommended flower pots is up to the discretion of the planter.
The Chinese Evergreen is one of the most common household plants and for good reason. This plant emits a high oxygen content while purifying indoor spaces of harmful chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde and other toxins. As its name suggests, it is quite popular in China specifically for its high efficiency in removing harmful pollutants from the air.
Tips to care: The Chinese Evergreen does well in full shade, and only needs to be watered occasionally with a focus on keeping the soil moist. The number of plants kept is at the owner’s discretion.
6. Spider plant
For those of you who are houseplant newbies, the resilient spider plant is a perfect choice. It will quietly battle toxins including carbon monoxide and xylene, a solvent used in the printing and rubber industries. If you have pets, this is one of the few houseplants that are non-toxic to animals.
Tips to care: You can also re-pot the tiny ‘spiderettes’ and grow a whole family of plants that will pretty much take care of themselves… and you.
7. Aloe Vera
A healing aloe plant is a lovely addition to your kitchen windowsill, as it loves a sunny spot. While being on hand to soothe any kitchen burns, this succulent will be purifying the air of formaldehyde and benzene, found in varnishes, floor finishes, and detergents.
Tips to care: This plant will thrive in a sunny location. It doesn’t require frequent watering, so it is perfect for new plant moms and dads. You can grow these plants at window sill or any well-lit corner, out of the way to avoid pricking.
This is one of the few plants that can help reduce levels of ammonia that can be found in a range of cleaning products. They are expensive to buy fully-grown so you might want to shop around for a smaller one or start from seed.
Tips to care: Humidity-loving, this plant will be very happy with generous watering. You can grow them near bathroom, the entrance or the Living Room. However, if kept in the bathroom, go easy with watering as it takes up the moisture as it is
Trichloroethylene and xylene are amongst the pollutants fought by this spiky, slow-growing plant. The leaves have a bright red trim which adds a flash of color to your home.
Tips to care:
This plant needs reasonable sunlight. It has the potential to grow to 8ft, so keep it in a room with high ceilings.
They are best placed at well-lit corner of the living room or balcony.
10. Weeping fig
Popular houseplants since the Victorian times, weeping figs can help to tackle levels of formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene.
Tips to care:
They are fairly fussy plants that don’t like change. Keep your weeping fig in bright, indirect light away from drafts, and it will be a trusty purifier for many years to come. This can be grown near balcony or a well-lit corner of the living room.
These pretty blooms help to filter out a host of toxins including ammonia and benzene, which is often found in plastics, detergents, and glue.
Tips to care:
This plant loves sunlight, so place it in a spot near a sunbathed window. This plant can brighten up your kitchen or living room with a chrysanthemum.
12. Rubber plant
While rubber plants (Ficus robusta) are grown as easy-care houseplants, they also improve indoor air quality, according to studies conducted by NASA. Their large leaves can absorb airborne chemicals and break them down, rendering them harmless. They absorb exhaled carbon dioxide and convert it to breathable oxygen. Rubber plants also eliminate bacteria and mold spores in the air.
Tips to care: Rubber plants are tolerant of neglect and so can be grown easily by those with little experience with plants. They should be allowed to dry out between watering.
Rubber plants handle under-watering better than over-watering. They can thrive in dim light, so they do well in a variety of indoor conditions. Rubber plants can eventually reach 8 feet tall if given the right conditions, so they should be planted where there is space for them to grow.
Over to You
This post has details to think about being healthier at home. Carefully selecting and positioning the right house plants can ultimately make your home a healthier place to relax. Let us know which plant you brought and how you detoxify the air in your living spaces!