5 Houseplants to Improve Your Home’s Air
I don’t like to think of myself as a murderer, but I’ve killed many houseplants over the years. Difficulty in growing plants indoors isn’t entirely our fault. Low light, uneven watering, and an arid environment contribute to plant fatality despite our efforts.
Written by Jackye Meinecke
Then breathe deeply.
However, research has proven it is worth the effort to grow houseplants. Scientists at NASA and numerous universities have proven plants detox your home environment, purify the air, increase mood and productivity, enhance concentration and memory, and reduce stress and fatigue. That’s a lot of work for a little bit of greenery.
Houseplants help rid the home of toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, carbon dioxide, and trichloroethylene, chemicals that off-gas from man-made materials used in a home. NASA studies indicate 15 to 18 plants in 6- to 8-inch-diameter pots will sufficiently improve the air in a 1,800-square-foot residential home. This translates to approximately one large or two smaller potted plants about every 100 square feet. Dozens of houseplants show up on lists to purify the air. I’ve selected five plants that are tougher than most in our environment. These plants thrive in low to bright light with moderate to low water and low to moderate fertilizer. They don’t require extra care such as constant misting or transplanting. Also, they are available locally and inexpensively. These plants are very forgiving of the treatment they receive in a busy household.
So fill your rooms with plants to create fresh air, a brighter mood and better productivity.
(Snake plant or Mother in Law’s Tongue)
A hardy succulent, snake plant is a great houseplant for beginners and can survive the toughest conditions. At night it absorbs carbon dioxide and releases, oxygen (a reversal of the process most plants undergo). It also rids air of formaldehyde and benzene.
Philodrendrons such as heartleaf and elephant ear, are some of the most common and popular houseplants, but can be toxic to children and pets. These plants clear the air of formaldehyde.
3. Golden Pothos
Pothos are rated one of the best houseplants for removing indoor air toxins. It clears formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, and carbon monoxide from the air and also removes odors.
4. Asparagus or Foxtail Ferns
These ferns are common and fast-growing houseplants. They feature fine needle-like leaves and arching stems that grow up to three feet long. This plant removes benzene, octane, and toluene.
5. Spider plants
Spider plants are among the easiest and toughest houseplants to grow, making them a great choice for beginners or forgetful owners. Spider plants have grassy leaves and arching stems that eventually grow into baby spider plants. They are extremely drought tolerant with fat roots that hold water.
Place a spider plant on a pedestal or in a hanging basket near a sunlit window and reap the benefits from fewer airborne formaldehyde, xylene, carbon monoxide, and benzene molecules. As an added bonus, this plant is also considered a safe houseplant if you have pets in the house.