Houseplants That Work Like Air Filters
According to the EPA, people spend about 90% of their days indoors. Most of us assume that we’re safe when we’re inside; after all, there’s no serious risk of injury. However, there’s one peril to consider: air pollution.
The air within a home is about ten times more polluted than the air outdoors. Toxins such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene can cause serious health issues, leading many to look for ways to purify the air they breathe. Along with high-quality air filters, certain houseplants may improve air quality and improve health.
How Plants Provide Cleaner Air
The process by which plants purify indoor air is a remarkable one. Houseplants absorb air through their porous leaves, using it to aid in the conversion of light into food. Plants use carbon dioxide during the process of photosynthesis, but they also take in components that are hazardous to our health.
Now that we’ve provided a little background information on plants and air purification, we’ll list the best plants with which to supplement our air filters.
The Top 13 Plants to Use With Air Purification Systems
Almost every plant on Earth works to clean the air, making most a great addition to a high-quality filter. Some are better than others, though, and houseplants must be able to do more than strip the air of toxins. To work within the home, plants should be relatively small, easy to maintain, and safe for pets and children. With those requirements in mind, here are our 13 top houseplants for air purification.
The name itself sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Peace lilies are nice-looking plants that, because of their minimal water and light requirements, are easy to care for. These plants have a remarkable ability to remove toxins from the air, making them a very effective supplement for a home air filtration system.
Despite its name, peace lilies can be toxic when ingested. Therefore, they should be kept out of the reach of children and pets. When peace lilies get plenty of shade and weekly watering, they’ll filter your air for years to come.
With blooms in numerous colors, the garden mum or florist’s chrysanthemum is a popular home decoration. Thanks to their superior filtration processes, these flowers are also great at removing pollutants like toluene and ammonia. Those with sensitivities should avoid these plants, though, as they can trigger sunflower, daisy, and ragweed allergies.
Typically sold in hanging baskets, devil’s ivy is one of the most visually appealing houseplants you’ll ever see. Its small green leaves and evergreen vines are accented with cream colors, giving this plant a distinct appearance. Devil’s ivy is easy to maintain, though it does best in direct sunlight. It can also filter numerous airborne pollutants, making it a great option for indoor air purification.
These upright shrubs produce narrow cream colored, yellow, or green leaves, and when they’re mature, they usually produce orange berries and tiny white flowers. NASA has identified this plant’s ability to filter particles such as xylene, trichloroethylene, and benzene. Not only do red-edged dracaena plants look great, they need minimal care while filtering the air. Simply keep the soil damp and you’ll have cleaner air for years.
Sometimes referred to as “mother in law’s tongue”, snake plants are some of the easiest houseplants to maintain. Known to improve indoor air quality, snake plants are popular among homeowners who want cleaner air but lack the green thumb needed to care for most other houseplants. While these plants thrive in the light, they do just as well in darker settings. The snake plant’s versatility helps it stay alive even when it’s not receiving the best of care.
The term “aloe vera” has become a synonym for “healthy”, but some claims are more truthful than others. These plants are known to purify indoor air, and they grow fast while looking great on a table or a bookshelf. Aloe vera plants can flower indoors, but they need strong light and they take roughly four to six years to reach maturity.
These are some of the best plants for the filtration of formaldehyde, which is a common pollutant in homes. Bamboo palms can thrive in bright, full sun, so it’s best to put them near a glass door or a window. It’s important to keep in mind that their size gives them such powerful air purification abilities. A bamboo palm can grow up to 12 feet tall, so proper trimming is essential.
Also called European ivy, this common houseplant effectively filters formaldehyde, benzene, and other toxins from indoor air. As another benefit, there’s also proof that this kind of ivy may reduce the risk of mold growth in the home.
Though English ivy is often used outdoors, it makes an appealing, effective indoor planting as well. With proper watering, a steady temperature, and plenty of sunlight, English ivy removes airborne pollutants and maintains a healthier home.
If you’re new to the world of plant ownership, but you still want to breathe cleaner air, spider plants are a must-buy. These versatile plants thrive in indirect, bright sunlight, and they’ll grow shoots that turn into separate plants. This, along with the plant’s white roots that store moisture and food, makes spider plants great for absentminded homeowners.
Sometimes known as weeping figs, ficus trees are hardy plants that can be tree-like, leafy, small, big, or bushy. The main reason these plants are so popular is that they look elegant and shapely, but there’s one other benefit: they purify the air you breathe. Ficus plants can grow up to 10 feet tall and their leaves are typically green or cream colored, making them a visually compelling option.
Although they need lots of light and relatively high humidity, Boston ferns are easy to maintain and grow. They’ll filter the air throughout the home, but it’s important to check the soil regularly for moisture. The Boston fern’s complicated watering requirements make them a less effective choice for novice planters. With lush, full foliage, these ferns are equipped to remove toxins such as formaldehyde and xylene.
Shiny, large leaves are one of the rubber plant’s most distinctive traits. These hardy, tough plants can get quite tall, so they need enough space to grow. Belonging to the ficus family, the rubber plant is named for the rubbery liquid that oozes from a cut branch or leaf. The sap is quite messy, and it can irritate the eyes and skin, so it’s best to keep it away from children and pets.
Because these plants typically bloom around the holiday season, they’re known as Christmas cactus. In late November or early December, these houseplants produce large flowers that provide an attention-getting splash of bright color to any living room, office, or kitchen. It’s a cactus not because of its appearance or its habitat, but because it can store water for future use. These attributes make it a great plant for beginners.
Not only are philodendrons’ heart-shaped leaves beautiful, but they can make any indoor space look more elegant. These plants are easy to maintain; all they’ll need is a little indirect sunlight, moderately fertile soil, and regular watering. These qualities make philodendrons great beginner houseplants.
Philodendrons purify the air, removing toxins such as formaldehyde from the air. Though these pollutants are found in smoke, carpets, and adhesives, philodendrons can remove them completely.
Yet another great option for new plant owners, Chinese evergreen is easy to grow. These plants love soil with good drainage, so it’s important to water them properly and put them in a place with medium light. Chinese evergreen plants require little maintenance, needing fertilizer only twice per year.
A Chinese evergreen will remove formaldehyde, xylene, and other toxins from indoor air. Whether you’re in the office or at home, consider adding a plant or two.
These air-purifying flowering plants come in shades of pink, yellow, orange, or red. They’re strikingly pretty, and they never fail to add color to a home. Put them in direct sunlight, water them regularly, and keep the soil properly drained. Barberton daisies remove some of the most common airborne toxins found in household materials.
Dwarf Date Palms
These trees can grow up to six feet tall while living indoors without direct sunlight. Dwarf date palms effectively remove xylene from the air, which often comes from paints, wallpapers, floor coverings, and adhesives. These plants do best at temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes them an excellent addition to any home.
Air Filters and Houseplants: A Healthy Combo
When one or more of the houseplants on this list are combined with an air purification system and a high-quality air filter, you can breathe healthier, cleaner air throughout the year. Contact us today to find out more about our effective, reliable air filters.