What do NASA spaceships and your household have in common? The air inside it and how stale it can get when the windows are closed! So, dear OiB readers, I ask you: how do you purify your home’s air? For me, I rely on clean-air plants alongside other organic cleaners and purifiers. It is time to grow a green thumb and bring these plants that purify air into your home.
There was a discovery not too long ago by NASA through the Clean Air Study about several species of houseplants that draw formaldehyde and other toxins from the air.
- English Ivy (Hedera helix)
Ivy is a resilient little plant that does well in low or moderate light in a variety of temperatures. It happens to love small spaces, too. The dense foliage has superior formaldehyde and other contaminant absorption powers, so if you live in an urban zone, English Ivy is perfect for you. A couple pots around the house will do wonders!
- Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
Feathery leaves and stunning fronds make the Boston fern an ever popular plant to keep indoors. I think they look splendid in hanging baskets in the kitchen or bedroom. Best of all, the Boston Fern is up in the purification rankings. But do note that ferns do not like dry air and can be challenging without constant humidity.
- Peace Lily (spathiphyllum)
Though these plants do not get too big, they are tremendous for ridding the air of pollutants like ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene. Keep your peace lilies in a shady spot and maintain a damp soil. In the summertime, you will be gifted with fragrant blossoms. If you have a pollen allergy, though, you may want to rethink the peace lily.
- Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
Also called “mother-in-law’s tongue,” this plant with dagger-shaped leaves thrives without much light or care. During the nighttime hours, the snake plant will consume carbon dioxide and release pure oxygen. Recommended for bedrooms. Snake plant also rids the air of benzene and formaldehyde.
Lucky bamboo is just one example of the over 40 different dracaena species out there. They are hardy plants with wide leaves in multiple colors. Whether you place them in low light or high, or in humid climates, dracaena hold up well. If you have curious animals, especially cats, do be careful. Dracaena is toxic when digested.
NASA also made a statement about where you should position these household plants and how many you need per square footing. You will want at least two houseplants in 10-12 in (25-30 cm) pots per 100 square feet (9.3 square meters) of space. So if you live in an 18m2 apartment, you need 4 to 5 houseplants.
Not only do plants seriously liven up the space, they improve the quality of the air you breathe. You will feel more refreshed instantly. Now that you know what plants clean the air, pick up a few the next time you pass the local florist. With springtime right around the corner, there is no better time to go green!
What plants do you have at home?