Clean air is essential for healthy living. We spend a lot of our lives indoors, and while we’re there, we breathe in all sorts of dangerous pollutants. Our indoor air is full of harmful compounds such as formaldehyde and carbon dioxide, and with every breath we take, we run the risk of asthma and other air-related diseases.
It’s essential to fill our homes with air purifying plants to deal with these airborne threats. Plants are nature’s air-cleaning machines. They scrub the air of hazardous gases and pollutants and purify the air.
A home that contains plants that purify the air is a safer and more pleasant place to be, and the plants add beautiful green highlights to the house and ease the eye as they soothe the sinuses. In this guide, we look at fourteen plant species that will improve your indoor air.
These plants reduce air pollution and make your home gorgeous. You’ll be amazed at the difference air purifying plants for the bedroom or living room make to your life!
Why Use Air Purifying Plants?
We’ve long known about plants’ ability to remove carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. Indoor plants that clean the air and remove toxins have been the subject of many a clean air study, too.
Because air purification is so crucial for space-bound vessels, plants accompany astronauts on flights as a natural air scrubber system. Air purifying plants are a boon to astronauts on long voyages. You can take advantage of plants’ air-cleaning ability, as well: a NASA study on indoor air quality determined that plants that purify the air play a key role in maintaining indoor air quality (..).
You’ll be surprised at what a difference organic air purifiers such as plants can make to your indoor air quality. Many issues that you might not have credited to air quality, such as colds and headaches, will fade away once you have a few plants acting as air filters. You’ll sleep better, and you’ll wake up more refreshed.
Where Should I Place Plants that Purify the Air?
As you might expect, air-cleaning plants will do best in areas that receive sufficient sunlight throughout the day. You’ll want to make sure to place plants in the rooms that get the most use, so find good plants for the bathroom, kitchen, living room, and bedroom. You do most of your breathing in those rooms, and it makes sense to have the most significant air purifying plant presence in those locations.
As with all plants, give your air purifying house plants the best chance to thrive. Place them in pots large enough to hold their root system without crowding it, and keep an eye on their water levels. Use moisture strips if need be to keep the plants from getting too thirsty.
Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent tool for plant maintenance, and you can ease your mind if you’re wondering: is hydrogen peroxide safe for plants? Your plants will not only tolerate hydrogen peroxide but will be much happier if you use it to treat root rot and other plant ailments.
14 Low Maintenance Air Purifying Plants
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Spider plants, also called air plants, are some of the most dynamic and air-friendly plants you can place in your home. They live for dirty air and will gobble up formaldehyde and xylene. They’ll change your indoor air quality for the better.
Nontoxic and safe if consumed by children or pets, the spider plant is a perfect addition to any home plagued by a sewer smell or other unpleasant gases. The spider plant prefers bright light, but it can tolerate indirect sunlight, too.
Keep your spider plants watered, as they can dry out in a hurry. Spider plants are hardy specimens and will do fine in adverse conditions, but try to keep them comfortable and warm for the best results.
Dracaenas (Dracaenas) – Purifies the Air
If you want to have air-cleaning plants but are concerned about your lack of a green thumb, then you might want to give a few dracaenas a home. These plants that are hard to kill look beautiful but thrive on neglect.
The dracaena not only removes contaminants such as benzene and toluene but is easy to care for and difficult to kill. They’re the ultimate starter plant for those folks that aren’t great with plant care, who would like to have a few plants around to brighten up a space, and want clean air in the process.
The dracaena is poisonous, so be sure to place dracaena out of the reach of pets and small children, as consuming the plant can cause dilated pupils, excessive salivation, and vomiting, among other problems. While the dracaena is a low-maintenance plant, take care to avoid overwatering it; damp soil is all you need.
Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
The golden pothos is a tough customer that will make your home’s air cleaner and fresher while needing almost no maintenance. It loves to suck up air pollution and enjoys a reputation as one of the most effective indoor air cleaning plants around. It happily consumes carbon monoxide or xylene in the air, and you can get away with almost no maintenance on this sturdy organic air freshener.
Because the golden pothos, also called devil’s ivy, is such a durable plant, all you need to do is make sure that it gets enough sunlight (indirect light is enough). Water the plant as required, but don’t overwater it. Trim the golden pothos as needed.
Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)
Do you like your organic air purifiers to produce gorgeous blooms? Choose the chrysanthemum. You might be familiar with this plant’s flowers, which are so lovely that you see them in corsages.
But, in addition to its movie-star looks, the chrysanthemum does a bang-up job of keeping your home’s air clean and is one of the best plants for your living room or bathroom.
This plant loves to be hydrated, so check on it every other day to make sure it isn’t drying out. The chrysanthemum flower is toxic when consumed, so keep them away from children and pets. This plant only cleans the air when flowering so you might want to keep several pots around to stagger the blooms.
Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens) – A Great Bedroom Air Purifier
The areca palm does well indoors and makes for a reliable air purifying plant. It scrubs away tri-chloroethylene and other nasty agents and brightens your bedroom or living room with its long, delicate fronds that drink up bright light and spring forth in green glory. You can also grow this beautiful plant outdoors if you live in a warm climate.
Give the areca palm sufficient water during its initial growth to ensure maximum leafing and air cleaning power. The brighter the sunlight, the better for this plant, so make sure to place it in a sunny spot.
Bamboo palms (Chamaedorea seifrizii)
Like its relative the areca, the bamboo palm is an attractive plant with slender, green shoots and tall, graceful fronds. This plant is also a fantastic air scrubber, and it is comfortable in any room of your house. The bamboo palm is an equal-opportunity cleaner and can handle most air pollutants it encounters, including chloroform.
Place the bamboo palm in indirect sunlight; this plant likes bright light but cannot handle direct sunlight. Spider mites are a concern, so make sure to mist your bamboo palm from time to time as a preventative. Make sure that the plant’s soil stays moist, but do not overwater it.
English Ivy (Hedera helix) – A Lovely Plant that Purifies
You can find English ivy growing wild all over the place. It’s a hardy and adaptable plant, and it also does a beautiful job of cleaning your air. English ivy does exceptionally well as one of the best hanging plants with its long, drooping tendrils. Place this plant near windows or walls to both accentuate the home and produce the best air.
The English ivy likes generous amounts of water during its growth, but it doesn’t need nearly as much once it reaches its full height. Keep the plant away from pets and children, as the leaves are toxic and the sap can cause severe skin reactions.
Rubber Plant (Ficus elastic)
The rubber plant, also called the weeping fig, is an excellent addition to any home. Its broad, deep green leaves spread gracefully across every bit of its allotted square footage and seem to welcome visitors to your home. Best of all, this happy little plant is a first-rate air cleaner and eats up tri-chloroethylene and more.
Because rubber plants are toxic, don’t place them in pet or child-accessible areas. Make sure the plant’s soil stays moist but not soaked, especially during growth. You might need to prune your rubber plant from time to time, as these plants tend to spread.
Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema) – Excellent Bedroom Plant
The Chinese evergreen is a lovely perennial that is found all over the Asian tropics. Its colorful leaves brighten any room it’s in, and it can survive periods of low maintenance without issue. And, it’ll clean your home’s air like nobody’s business and remove any benzene traces or other pollutants.
While the adult Chinese evergreen can tolerate partial drought and some neglect, you’ll want to keep a close eye on the plant during its initial growth. Allow the soil to dry completely between waterings. The Chinese evergreen should stay out of reach of pets and children in general and dogs in particular.
Peace Lilies (Spathiphyllum)
The peace lily is unsurpassed in its air-cleaning power. This innocuous-looking plant consumes many times its own weight in pollutants over a lifetime, and it can tackle even the most toxic environments. It also removes ammonia and other harmful agents from the air.
The peace lily is easy to maintain, but be sure to place it where pets and people can’t touch it, as its leaves are toxic and contact with its sap can result in intense skin irritation. Low light conditions inhibit peace lily blooms, so make sure to place the plant in areas with bright light.
Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) – The Perfect Air Purifying Plant
The Boston fern or sword fern, is a hardy plant that will brighten your home while it improves the air quality. This perennial plant does very well in hanging baskets and will cascade its soft green leaves down to the floor if left unpruned. The Boston fern is happy to clear away carbon monoxide and other hazards and is one of the best air purifying plants for the bedroom.
Keep your Boston fern in indirect sunlight. These plants enjoy water, so keep tabs to make sure it isn’t getting thirsty, and soak the plant about once a month. Keep your Boston fern in a cool location to keep it comfortable and content.
Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
The snake plant, also called mother-in-laws tongue, is a beautiful plant with long, pointed leaves. This plant is a fantastic choice for those who want their indoor air to be as fresh as possible and is known for releasing bursts of oxygen overnight as it cleans. It also removes benzene, formaldehyde, and a host of other deadly contaminants.
Because the snake plant has water-sensitive roots, take care not to overwater to avoid root rot and other issues. Keep the snake plant in bright light, but avoid direct sunlight. While the snake plant is less toxic than some plants, you should keep it away from small children or pets, too.
Aloe Vera (Aloe Vera)
Aloe vera isn’t just for your sunburned skin. The aloe vera plant is a wonderful addition to any home; it provides beauty and health benefits, and it also does an excellent job of clearing away bad odors and dangerous airborne toxins. Its small size makes this plant a favorite for out-of-the-way corners of your home, and its pleasant scent makes your home a more enjoyable place to be.
Make sure to give your aloe vera plants enough sunlight; they love bright light and can’t get enough of it. Take care not to overwater your aloe vera plants, as they prefer moist but not saturated soil.
Broad Lady Palm (Rhapis) – Beautiful Bedroom Plant
The broad lady palm is a species of fan palm native to Asia. It reaches about four feet in height, and it fills out into a bushy plant with attractive leaves. Place the broad lady palm in your home to soak up odors and air pollutants, and pair it with chrysanthemums or other colorful flowering plants for a fantastic aesthetic.
This plant provides both fresh air and beauty. Broad lady palms are houseplants that require low light, so keep them away from sunny spots in the house. Make sure to water your broad lady palm regularly, as it prefers humid conditions and will begin to suffer when it drys out.
We hope that you enjoyed this article. We want the best for our families, and that includes making sure that our homes are safe places to breathe. This guide helps you find the right plants to keep you and your loved ones feeling their best, and your home will look amazing, too. Take your first step toward breathing free with these fantastic, air purifying plants, and take control of your health!
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