Originally posted on Good Air Geeks. Used with permission.
One of the most significant environmental problems in the United States is indoor air pollutants, according to federal scientists. Believe it or not, your indoor air quality has just as much of an effect on you as the outdoor air quality does. The effects of the pollutants we find indoors can range from short term effects to long term effects. Your symptoms can range from mild-eye and throat irritation, to severe-cancer and respiratory disease. If you are exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide, there’s the risk of death.
Fortunately, rather than spending thousands of dollars on fancy machines and home improvements to try to keep your indoor air quality up to par, there’s an even simpler solution-a houseplant! You read that right. A houseplant can help improve your indoor air quality to give you a healthier living environment. Check out this list!
1. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is one of the best plants you could keep in your bedroom. It’s one of the most powerful plant air purifiers that exist. It’s highly effective when it comes to clearing the air from benzene and formaldehyde. Not only that, but it’s also great for absorbing CO2 levels that the darkness creates. You need to keep it in direct sunlight in order for it to perform the best. It’s also ideal for soothing scars, burns, and inflammation.
2. Snake Plant
Also known as “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, this houseplant provides quite a bit of oxygen to indoor environments, especially at night. It can help to reduce eye irritation, headaches, respiratory symptoms, and the need for ventilation. These plants are also very resilient, so you can leave them for long periods of time without care.
The Eucalyptus plant has been used for centuries to cure many kinds of ailments. They are a tad hard to find for a houseplant, but if you do, the leaves of it can raise healthy fluids in the air passages of your body. The leaves are filled with tannins, which is what helps with this process. Just by breathing in the scent from this plant, it can help to lower congestion issues and keep colds at bay.
4. Areca Palm
The Areca palm is another common household plant. It helps filter the air around you and it can add moisture to the surrounding atmosphere. It also has the amazing ability to purify trichloroethylene, benzene, and formaldehyde. You can also substitute it as an air humidifier if you don’t have a regular dehumidifier. These plants like bright sunlight, but not too much as it can scorch the leaves. You should also not overwater them and they live better in moderate temperatures.
The Dracaena comes in an outstanding 40 different varieties, unfortunately, if you have cats or dogs, you cannot have this plant because it’s toxic to them if eaten. On the plus side, if you don’t have cats or dogs, this plant is ideal for removing benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and trichloroethylene. The Corn Plant version of this is great for removing cigarette smoke from your home.
6. Boston Fern
This pretty fern is ideal for removing formaldehyde and xylene. It’s best when used in a room that’s relatively cool with high humidity and indirect light. It needs to stay moist to survive as well. Check it daily to see if it needs a drink and you should soak it once a month.
7. Peace Lily
These plants are much smaller than many of the other plants on the list, but don’t let that fool you. These beautiful plants are great for cleaning the air and they’re easy to grow. This plant removes ammonia, formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. They do let off some pollen and a floral scent, so you may want to avoid having too many of them in one room.
The Ficus is quite the large plant. If grown indoors, they can reach 10 feet tall. This plant is very low maintenance, but it packs a punch when it comes to its air-cleaning abilities. It can remove trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, and benzene. These plants love the bright, indirect sunlight.
9. Garden Mum
NASA spent quite a bit of time researching the ability of these plants. These colorful flowers are very common in gardens and can be seen at almost every garden store in the world. They are great for clearing the air of benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and ammonia. Once they reach full bloom, you can transport them outside if you would like.
10. English Ivy
The English Ivy is the number one best air purifying houseplant, according to NASA. In a 2005 experiment, the English Ivy removed 94% of airborne feces and a whopping 78% of mold in the air in just 12 hours. It also has the ability to improve allergy and asthma symptoms and it absorbs formaldehyde. These plants are easy to grow in moderate temperatures and medium sun exposure. These can be toxic if eaten by kids or pets.
This colorful plant can help filter benzene, which is commonly found in detergents, plastic, paint, and glues. These plants are also great for treating high blood pressure, headache, dizziness, swelling, fever, cold, type 2 diabetes, and even chest pain. These plants need a lot of sunlight to grow indoors, so make sure you place them in an area where there’s sun in the winter. Keep the soil damp at all times.
12. African Violets
These purple flowers have an array of benefits. Just looking at these plants can help stimulate adrenaline release and can increase the flow of oxygen to your brain. In turn, this helps you relax. These are very easy to care for and they like indirect sunlight.
13. Heart Leaf Philodendron
This climbing vine is excellent when it comes to removing formaldehyde from the home. These are very easy to care for although toxic to kids and pets. If you plan to keep this in your home, keep it out of reach of them.
14. Lady Palm Plant
This unique plant has the ability to get rid of all indoor air toxins in your home. It has also been very effective in getting rid of cancer causing chemicals in the house, such as formaldehyde. This is a very toxic chemical and this plant can rid your home of it and help your lungs.
15. Bamboo Palm
Also known as the reed palm, this plant is rather small and loves shady indoor spaces. It also has the ability to grown small flowers and red berries. This plant filters out trichloroethylene and benzene. It’s great for using around furniture that may offgas formaldehyde. It grows to about 5-7 feet tall and loves humidity with bright, indirect light.
And there you have it, a list of 15 of the most effective plants for ridding your home of indoor air pollutants. These plants and flowers have the amazing ability to keep your home fresh and smelling great. You would not believe how many dangerous toxins are floating around the house. Just one of these plants can keep those toxins away and your lungs clean and clear. If you enjoyed this list, feel free to share it with your friends and family.
Gavin Wilson is the director of content over at goodairgeeks.com. He lives with his wife, his dog (Mr. Peanut Butter), and his "attack cat" (Bojack!). He is a nature lover and cares deeply about the environment. He hopes to help make a cleaner and greener Earth with this website.