7 Air Purifying Houseplants: Learn Their Benefits

 

With air pollution plaguing urban health, it is essential that city dwellers integrate more greenery into their interiors, as plants are natural, cost effective, and therapeutic solutions to improve air quality.  A 1989 NASA study revealed that indoor plants are capable of absorbing harmful air pollutants, more specifically in enclosed spaces with little air flow - such as city apartments. The big question is - what sort of houseplants are the most effect at cleaning air? We share 7 low maintenance plants that are certified to purify your air and do not require you  to have a green thumb. 

 

 

 

Author: Siphilele Magagula

Image: Courtesy of Annie Spratti / Unsplash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to the EPA, scientific evidence has found air within homes to be more harmful than outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. With people spending 90% of their time indoors, it is imperative that we take measures to purify our air and although plants are not as powerful as air purifiers, they are the most accessible, affordable and natural form of air purification which also have a positive impact on mental health.

 

Here are 7 air purifying plants that are easy to care for:

 

 

1 | Spider Plant

 

 

Image Courtesy of Gardening Know How

 

 

Spider plants are said to be one of the easiest plants to grow and are easily accessible.They could also be a great backdrop as they are known to produce white blosoms. If space is a constraint in your home or office spider plants are the ones to consider as they are said to look great in hanging baskets - purifying your air and bringing some dimension to your space!

  • Pollutants removed: Formaldehyde (found in paper and synthetic fabrics - causes irritation to your nose, mouth and throat) and xylene (found in furniture and household products - can cause dizziness and headaches). 

  • Care: Water 2 - 3 times a week.

  • Safety: Non-toxic, safe for children and pets alike.

 

2 | Bamboo Palms

  

Image courtesy of Lawnkart

 

Bamboo palms make a great addition to your space as they are not only air purifying agents, but also bring a calming tropical flair to your home or office. If in need of a plant with some height, bamboo palms are ideal as they can grow up to 12 feet high.

 

  • Pollutants removed: Formaldehyde and xylene.

  • Care: Expose to full, bright light and place in an area with air circulation. Keep the soil moist and to avoid spider mites - mist periodically. 

  • Safety: Safe for children and pets.

 

3 | Boston Fern

 

Image courtesy of Colourbox

 

 

Boston ferns are said to be popular houseplants, they act as humidifiers and can help keep the air moist, which is beneficial for those with dry skin and other cold weather problems. 

 

  • Pollutants removed: Formaldehyde, xylene and benzene.

  • Care: Expose to indirect light. Boston ferns thrive in high humidity and indirect - be sure to keep the soil moist by checking it daily. 

  • Safety: Safe for children and pets.

 

 

4 | Dracaenas 

 

Image courtesy of ProFlower

 

 

Dracaenas are available in 40 different variations (even comes in bright purple), making them easily accessible and diverse, you can select the variations that work best with your space. They are also very low maintenance for beginner plant owners. 

 

  • Pollutants removed: Trichloroethylene (found in paint and ink - causes fight dizziness, headaches and nausea), toluene, benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde.

  • Care: Place in a well light room. Keep soil moist, however be careful not to soak the soil in water as this could kill the plant.

  • Safety: Toxic when ingested - keep away from children and pets (cats and dogs).

 

5 | Snake Plant

 

Image courtesy of ProFlower

 

 

 

Snake plants are the beginner plant owner's dream as they require very little maintenance and are reportedly hard to kill. 

 

  • Pollutants removed: Formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, and xylene.

  • Care: Snake plants do not require direct sunlight, place in a moderately lit room. Keep in dry area, water occasionally.

  • Safety: Safe for children and animals alike.

 

6 | Peace Lily

 

Image courtesy of ProFlower

 

 

Don't be fooled by the small size of the Peace Lily, these plants are major air purifiers - cleaning out numerous indoor air pollutants. They add a sense of peace and beauty into a space with their white lilies that blosom all summer long. Lilies produce pollen, avoid if allergic or keep only a few.

 

  • Pollutants removed: Benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene.

  • Care: Keep in a shaded area, however too little light can prevent flowers from blooming. Keep the soil moist, however do not overwater. Keep soil slightly moist. 

  • Safety: Toxic when ingested - keep away from children and pets (cats and dogs).

 

7 | Areca Palms

 

Image courtesy of Flowerbx

 

 

Don't be fooled by the small size of the Peace Lily, these plants are major air purifiers - cleaning out numerous indoor air pollutants. They add a sense of peace and beauty into a space with their white lilies that blosom all summer long. Lilies produce pollen, avoid if allergic or keep only a few.

 

  • Pollutants removed: Formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, benzene, carbon monoxide, and more.

  • Care: Keep in a shaded area, however, water less often in the winter.

  • Safety: Toxic when ingested - keep away from children and pets (cats and dogs).

 

 

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