Having potted plants into a living space is a trick that's been used by interior designers for years, but did you know that our leafy friends are also powerful filters that purify the air around us?
In fact, several studies have been conducted showing that certain plants can rid a room of up to 89 percent of harmful VOCs like formaldehyde and xylene. If you or anyone in your family has allergies, smokes or just wants to breathe fresher, cleaner air in their homes.Want to see the best plants? Read on.
Aloe (Aloe vera)
This easy-to-grow, sun-loving succulent helps clear formaldehyde and benzene, which can be a byproduct of chemical-based cleaners, paints and more. Aloe is a smart choice for a sunny kitchen window. Beyond its air-clearing abilities, the gel inside an aloe plant can help heal cuts and burns.
People have been using aloe vera for more than 6,000 years when it was known as "the plant of immortality" in early Egypt.
Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Even if you tend to neglect houseplants, you’ll have a hard time killing this resilient plant.Also known as airplane plants, spider plants are also easy to regrow. Just cut off one of the "spiders" and place it in a pot. Spider plants are incredibly easy to grow, but thrive in cool-to-average home temperatures and prefer dry soil. Bright indirect sunlight keeps them growing best. As an added bonus, this plant is also considered a safe houseplant if you have pets in the house.
Gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
This bright, flowering plant is effective at removing trichloroethylene, which you may bring home with your dry cleaning. It’s also good for filtering out the benzene that comes with inks. Add one to your laundry room or bedroom — presuming you can give it lots of light.
Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii')
Also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, this plant is one of the best for filtering out formaldehyde, which is common in cleaning products, toilet paper, tissues and personal care products. Put one in your bathroom — it’ll thrive with low light and steamy humid conditions while helping filter out air pollutants.
Golden pothos (Scindapsus aures)
Another powerful plant for tackling formaldehyde, this fast-growing vine will create a cascade of green from a hanging basket. Consider it for your garage because car exhaust is filled with formaldehyde. (Bonus: Golden pothos, also know as devil’s ivy, stays green even when kept in the dark.)
Heads up: Golden pothos is a poisonous plant and should be kept away from small children and pets.
Chrysanthemum (Chrysantheium morifolium)
The colorful flowers of a mum can do a lot more than brighten a home office or living room; the blooms also help filter out benzene, which is commonly found in glue, paint, plastics and detergent. This plant loves bright light, and to encourage buds to open, you’ll need to find a spot near an open window with direct sunlight.
Available in all kinds of colors and shapes, this climbing vine helps clear out formaldehyde. It’s super versatile, too: You can grow it in hanging baskets, low planters, or even as a topiary. It needs regular misting, though, especially during winter.
The palm family of plants, also known as Arecaceae or Palmae, is extremely popular and it’s easy to see why. These hardy houseplants are easy to grow and perfect for lifting people’s spirits and distracting from otherwise drab surroundings, and they’re also known to be natural air purifiers. Palms specifically target and remove formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide (which is especially helpful if someone in your household smokes cigarettes).
A pro at removing a laundry list of toxins, including acetone, benzene, alcohols, and ammonia, the peace lily is the only air-cleaning plant on our list that flowers. To keep it healthy and insect-free, you’ll need to wash the leaves occasionally.
When you embellish interior spaces with houseplants, you’re not just adding greenery. These living organisms interact with your body, mind and home in ways that enhance the quality of life.
Remember that for the best success with any houseplant, you need to match the right plant to the right growing conditions.
"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow" - Audrey Hepburn