Plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen; we all know this from grade school.
But some plants can actually do much more, like purifying the air in your home. Toxins like dust and household chemicals can remain in the air. So try these plants to not only make your place look better but breathe better too! BREATH OF FRESH AIR
1. 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.
2. PEACE LILY
People have been using aloe vera for more than 6,000 years when it was known as “the plant of immortality” in early Egypt, according to the National Institutes of Health. 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.
Not just pretty to look at, this plant is also great for ridding the air of formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, trichloroethylene and ammonia. It actually topped NASA’s list of best plants for purifying the air. Some shade and weekly watering is all it needs to survive so it’s easy to take care of. (Keep this one out of reach of your furry friends).
3. SPIDER PLANT (CHLOROPHYTUM COMOSUM)
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. (Find more houseplants that are safe for pets.)
Also known as airplane plants, spider plants are also easy to regrow. Just cut off one of the “spiders” and place it in a pot. Spider plants are incredibly easy to grow, but thrive in cool-to-average home temperatures and prefer dry soil. Bright indirect sunlight keeps them growing best, reports Kansas State University.
4. 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, suggests Gardens.com. Brightly colored cut blooms can last as long as two weeks.
5. GOLDEN POTHOS
Virtually indestructible, it’s hard to kill a golden pothos unless you really try. It’s one of the best air purifiers because it reduces levels of benzene and trichloroethylene immensely. Give it some bright, indirect light and watch it grow and help you breathe easier! (This is another one to avoid if you have pets; if ingested, it can cause swelling their mouths).
NASA says every household should have between 15 and 18 of these plants in an area of 500 square meters, and to keep at least one in the bedroom. Not only will they brighten up your décor, but they’ll improve your indoor quality of life.
6. 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.
Want a plant to match your decor? You’re usually in luck with mums. They come in nearly every color except true blue, according to Green Circle Growers. When choosing a plant for indoors, make sure you choose a floral mum and not a garden variety, which does best when planted outdoors.