Bringing a bit of nature into your home does more than brighten the atmosphere. Introducing houseplants into various rooms in the house can help reduce the chance of getting seasonal sicknesses (such as the common cold), remove airborne contaminants (volatile organic compounds [or VOCs]), reduce the chance of headaches, lift your mood, decrease your blood pressure and much more! It’s possible to filter your indoor air with the right air purifying plants. The results are so proven that even NASA has concluded that the plants you choose for you home make a difference. Here are some of the best plants that will go to work making your indoor environment cleaner:
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. Aloe vera is typically used topically for sunburns, burns, abrasions and other skin conditions.
This is one of the best plants to have in your home thanks to its ability to remove toxins like benzene and trichloroethylene. They can get pretty big if you keep repotting them, so they can fill up some unused space in your home as well. You’ll want to have a Bamboo Palm in your home if you live in a climate with harsh winters. It will help to restore some of the moisture that tends to dry up thanks to indoor heating units. They’re also good at removing formaldehyde, which could be making you sick.
Tip: Put your Bamboo Palm in a location that gets some sunshine, but mostly is shady. Keep the soil moist, but be careful not to overwater it.
The Boston fern grows to 4’ in height with a spread up to 5’. It has feathery ferns which are best displayed as a hanging plant. It prefers bright indirect sunlight. Keep the soil barely moist and mist frequently with warm water. This plant is prone to spider mites and whitefly which can be controlled using a soapy water spray. Inspect new plants for bugs before bringing them home. This plant can help remove toxins like formaldehyde and benzene from the air.
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. 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.
Don’t let the name fool you, this plant is an angel for its ability to make the air in your home more breathable. It takes care of at least four different toxic substances that could be in your home. You can use this plant as decoration by directing the vines where you want them to go. As long as they’re given something to cling to they can climb a window giving your home an earthy look.
Tip: Devil’s Ivy likes the sun, just not directly, so place it near a window but out of direct sun. You don’t want to give it too much water, and you can let the soil dry up a bit between waterings. This is much better than giving it too much and keeping the soil soggy.
This plant 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.