Looking for a natural, beautiful way to improve the air quality of your new home? Believe it or not, there are a number of common houseplants that not only provide lush, lovely green treats for they eye, they also make your air cleaner, healthier and sweeter to breathe. All plants use the process of photosynthesis to release oxygen into the air, but some plants have their own unique air filtering systems that can improve the quality of the air we breathe. According to a 1989 NASA study, some are even blessed with the ability to remove carcinogenic chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde from the air as well.
It’s also widely believed that green, growing things can reduce stress and lift your spirits as well. Who are we to disagree? Check out some of these gorgeous specimens – you’ll love the results!
According to a 2010 study done by the American Society of Horticultural Science, these popular ferns removed more airborne formaldehyde from the atmosphere than any other plant. These popular plants require a bit of care; they need to be fed regularly to thrive, and if your home tends to have lower humidity and moisture levels, you may need to mist their leaves every couple of days.
Bamboo and Lady Palms also get high scores for air purification, removing formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide, xylene, ammonia and chloroform from the air. Even though they are typically considered to be warm weather plants, indoor palms prefer slightly lower temperatures. They usually like it to be between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit; perfect for indoor living.
Rubber Plants and Janet Craigs
If you have dimmer, darker rooms that don’t get much natural sunlight, these plants are the perfect fit! They will grow more slowly because of the lower light levels, but they’re attractive, deep green plants that help eliminate carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene beautifully.
This crawling, climbing plant has the ability to thrive both indoors and outdoors. As an indoor plant, it can decorate vertically on an indoor pot trellis or cascade in lush waterfalls from hanging planters. Less finicky than the Boston ferns, it thrives with less water and a mix of sun and shade daily, and provides relief from benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.
If you don’t have pets or small children, this exotic, indoor blooming plant is easy to care for and one of the most attractive options on the list. It does have poisonous leaves, so it’s best to limit its use to adult households or those with older children. It prefers shade to full sun, and has a high transpiration rate that will humidify your air more rapidly than most plants. Enjoy reduced exposure to formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene and ammonia with peace lilies.
Florist’s Mums and Gerbera Daisies
If you love to keep a cooler home, these pretty plants are for you! They prefer a temperature of about 65 degrees Fahrenheit to thrive, and do require regular feeding and watering. If you love to care for plants, they are among the best at removing formaldehyde from your air.
If you don’t have the greenest thumb, this little beauty is for you! Tough, hardy and almost impossible to kill, this plant can handle everything from overwatering to neglect. If you’re a novice gardener, or one that tends to forget the basics, start with one of these efficient air purifiers – brought to you by Mother Nature. You can reduce the levels of formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, benzene, carbon monoxide in your air.
One of the most common houseplants in America, these spiky, spiny favorites are easy to grow. A little water two or three times a week and you’re set. You can expect reduced levels of formaldehyde and xylene in your home when you invite one of over 200 varieties of these plants into your home.
Also known as mother in law’s tongues, these stiff-leaved plants have an unusual talent; they exchange their carbon dioxide for oxygen at night rather than during the daytime, on an opposite schedule from other plants. This makes them ideal bedside plants; you’ll get an extra boost of oxygen while you sleep. They also help cleanse the air of formaldehyde and benzene.
This slow-growing plant with distinctive reddish-purple edged leaves can become quite tall, sometimes topping 15 feet. Best grown in a large pot in a high-ceilinged room, this shrub is best for removing xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde. It loves a space with moderate sunlight. If you’re looking for a smaller dracaena plant, other varieties are available that reach a more modest size.