Which Houseplants Give You Cleaner Air

By in Green Talk on 01 September 2010

In the late 1980s, NASA researched indoor plants to see if they would cleanse the air in tightly-sealed space stations. The good news is, you can benefit from their discoveries in your home.

It is true that houseplants improve indoor air quality. They absorb some of the toxic chemicals that out-gas from building materials. Some plant varieties are better at this than others. To derive all the cleansing benefits from your houseplants, you will need at least one plant for every 100 square feet of living space.

Here are some of the plants that are the most effective at cleaning indoor air.

1. English ivy (Hedera helix) is familiar to many as a landscape plant. It also does well indoors. It looks especially nice in hanging arrangements.

2. Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) also does well in hanging pots. Another benefit of the spider plant is that pet canaries love them!

3. Golden pothos (Epipiremnum aureum) is also a vine. Because it climbs or trails, you can train it over an indoor trellis. It does well in low-light conditions.

4. Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum ‘Mauna Loa’) do well in low light as well. That’s why you will often see this plant in waiting rooms, lobbies, and other indoor gathering places.

5. Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum) is another plant that grows in little light. In fact, it doesn’t like a lot of water, either, making it quite low-maintenance. Cuttings root easily in water.

6. Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) is especially good at removing formaldehyde from the air. These lush plants look pretty in bay windows or hanging baskets.

7. Bamboo or reed palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii) likes humidity, so consider putting it in a bathroom window. You can also spritz it with water each day.

8. Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) is actually a tree that will grow indoors. You may find it trained as a bonsai in a traditional pot. It’s another favorite of shopping malls.

9. Janet Craig dracaena (Dracaena deremensis ‘Janet Craig’) is a specific type of Dracaena. If you can not find the Janet Craig variety, another dracaena will do as well. They vary quite a bit, so you can just pick the sort that fits best in your home.

10. Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron scandens ‘oxycardium’) is pest-resistant and prefers low or diffused light (no direct sunlight). Heartleaf philodendron prefers moist soil.

These plants are beneficial and beautiful, and they are just some of the varieties that will improve the air quality of your home. Next time you hear of a friend who is moving, why not present him or her with an air-cleaning plant as a house-warming present?

1 Comments For This Post

  1. Marianna says:

    This is a great idea! You forgot to mention that “mother in law tongue” is very good at cleaning air as well. Thx!!

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