Houseplants for Improving Indoor Air Quality
We are bringing you houseplants for improving indoor air quality. In the late ’80s, NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America studied houseplants as a way to purify the air in space facilities. They found several plants that filter out common volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The plants can also help clean indoor air on Earth, which is typically far more polluted than outdoor air.
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.
It was used for skin conditions and to heal wounds, as well as used as a laxative. Today, although the science is lacking, aloe vera is typically used topically for sunburns, burns, abrasions and other skin conditions.
Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Photo source : gardenloversclub
Even if you tend to neglect houseplants, you’ll have a hard time killing this resilient plant. With lots of rich foliage and tiny white flowers, the spider plant battles benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene, a solvent used in the leather, rubber and printing industries. 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. Gerberas (sometimes called gerber daisies) like well-drained soil, so be sure pots have drainage holes. Mist leaves a couple times a week and make sure plants get at least six hours of direct sunlight every day.
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.
You may also want to put a couple of these sharp-leafed plants in your bedroom. Interestingly, they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen at night (the opposite of the process most plants follow). Sharing your room with these plants could give you a slight oxygen boost while you sleep.
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.)
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.
Red-edged dracaena (Dracaena marginata)
The red edges of this easy dracaena bring a pop of color, and the shrub can grow to reach your ceiling. This plant is best for removing xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde, which can be introduced to indoor air through lacquers, varnishes and gasoline.
There are many dracaena plants. This distinctive version is distinguished by the purple-red edges on its ribbon-like green leaves. Although it grows slowly, it can eventually get as high as 15 feet tall, so maybe put it in a room with high ceilings and moderate sunlight.
Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina)
A ficus in your living room can help filter out pollutants that typically accompany carpeting and furniture such as formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene. Caring for a ficus can be tricky, but once you get the watering and light conditions right, they will last a long time.
Azalea (Rhododendron simsii)
Bring this beautiful flowering shrub into your home to combat formaldehyde from sources such as plywood or foam insulation. Because azaleas do best in cool areas around 60 to 65 degrees, they’re a good option for improving indoor air in your basement if you can find a bright spot.
English ivy (Hedera helix)
The plant is called “an aggressive invader that threatens all vegetation levels of forested and open areas.” Fortunately, ivy shouldn’t do much damage in a pot in your home. It grows best with moist soil and four or more hours of direct sunlight each day.