Top 7 Houseplants for Removing Indoor Air PollutantsColby Morrell
We could all use a breath of fresh air…especially when studies show that indoor air is often more polluted than outside…go figure. We don’t often realize the amount of pollutants we bring into our home with every day items, but bringing a little green inside can help combat the problem.
In the late 80’s, NASA studied the affect houseplants would have on purifying the air in the space station. They found several plants that filter out common volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Countless other studies confirm that these plants do the same thing here on Earth!
Here are the top 7 effective houseplants for removing indoor air pollutants:
We’re all pretty familiar with this plant’s ability to help heal cuts and burns. In fact, we’ve been using it for our skin for more than 6,000 years! Ancient Egyptians called it “the plant of immortality”. They weren’t aware of the plants ability to purify air, but today we can use the plant in our home to filter out formaldehyde and benzene…common byproducts found in cleaners, paints, and more. Aloe is a good choice for a sunny spot in front of a window.
Are you thinking “but, I’m a plant killer!”, well, you’ll have a difficult time killing this resilient plant. Also known as airplane plants, they are easy to grow and prefer dry soil. Adding one to your home will filter out carbon monoxide and xylene, which is often found in leather and rubber. Bonus: the plant is also considered a safe houseplant if you have pets! (Check out more plants that are safe for pets here.)
Better known as mother-in-law’s tongue, this plant kicks major formaldehyde butt. You’d be surprised by the amount of formaldehyde found in products you use everyday, particularly personal care products. A great spot for this sharp leaded plant is your bathroom because it will thrive in low light and steamy conditions while filtering the air. You should also consider adding one to the bedroom. They absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen at night (opposite most other plants). Sleeping with one in the room could give you a little oxygen boost!
Colorful and popular, mums do a lot more than add a splash of color to a room – they help filter out vocs found in glue, plastic, and detergent. If you’re wanting a plant with many color options, mums could be just right for you! They come in nearly every color! When buying one though, be sure you choose a floral mum NOT a garden variety, which won’t thrive inside at all.
Who doesn’t love a daisy? Did you know that the plant is most effective at removing trichloroethylene, which you probably bring into your home with your dry cleaning? When potting one, be sure that the pot has drainage holes, and misting the leaves a couple of times a week will keep your Gerberas healthy and happy while they return the favor.
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.
Adding this beautiful shrub to your home will combat vocs found in things such as plywood and foam insulation. If your house is dry, mist the plant every few days to create a more humid environment. It’s important to remove any dead leaves or blooms that fall into the soil to prevent the plant from becoming diseased.