With more of us confined to our homes most of the time, indoor air quality becomes an important issue. Here’s a list of five easy-to-care-for houseplants have the widest range of filtering out common household air toxins.
How do they work? When NASA researchers were looking for ways to detoxify the air in space stations, they began to evaluate plants. They discovered these plants, in particular, can cleanse indoor air of cancer-causing compounds like formaldehyde and benzene. Additional research has shown that soil microorganisms in potted plants can also help clean indoor air. These plants make a greener choice when compared to installing pricey household air-filtration systems–and they are beautiful!
Best of all, each requires only minimum care and you’ll find them readily available at most outdoor nurseries and larger home improvement stores. Quick tip: having at least two plants per 100 square feet of living space will increase the filtration benefits.
Snake Plant Also called Mother-in-law’s Tongue, this hearty plant filters a wide range of commonly found toxins in households–benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and ammonia. It grows in bright shade and requires only one watering per week. Super easy to care for!
The Peace Lily This plant filters a wide range of commonly found toxins in households including benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and ammonia. It is draught- tolerant, but thrives on regular weekly watering. It has beautiful white flowers. Though it’s generally found in a table-top size, larger varieties grow to 6-feet wide and high, and offer more filtering.
Spider Plant A popular, decorative, easy-to-grow houseplant that can clean your home’s air of formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene. As a hanging plant that likes to sprawl out, it’s a great choice for highlighting a dark corner or along the tops of cabinets or mantelpieces.
Parlor Palm and Lady Palm These are two slightly different palms with similar origin and maintenance needs. Because they originate in tropical zones, they enjoy high humidity levels as well as well-drained soil. Cool temperatures (below 60 degrees) should be avoided. Both filter the most commonly found toxins in households–benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and ammonia.
Cornstalk Plant This plant requires low light, but in a word of caution, it cannot tolerate warm settings (never higher than 90 degrees). It’s a tall plant and is often used to fill in room corners. It filters a wide range of commonly found toxins in households– benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and ammonia.