10 Houseplants that Purify your Air Naturally

Category: Odor Removal and Control

Bringing plotted plants into a living space to liven it up is a trick that’s been used by interior designers for years, but did you know that our leafy friends are also powerful filters that purify the air around us?

In fact, several studies have been conducted showing that certain plants can rid a room of up to 89% of harmful VOCs like formaldehyde and xylene.  If you think about the prices of some of those fancy air filtration systems out there, it’s a bit surprising that more of us don’t just purchase come plants instead.

If you or anyone in your family has allergies, smokes or just wants to breathe fresher, cleaner air in their homes, read on for 10 indoor plants that purify the air around as well as which specific pollutant each one targets and removes.

1)      Dendrobium & Phaeleonopsis Orchids

  1. Often have bad reputation for being finicky and difficult to grow, but the opposite is true
  2. Orchids love to be neglected and most people end up killing orchids with too much water and sunlight
  3. Rid air of xylene, a pollutant found in glues & paints
  4. Unlike other plants, orchids also respire and give off oxygen at night – great for bedrooms

2)      Palms

  1. Palm family of plants a.k.a. Arecaceae or Palmae – are extremely popular
  2. Hardy houseplants are easy to grow
  3. Specifically target and remove formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide (especially helpful if someone in the household smokes cigarettes)

3)      Peace Lilies

  1. Spathiphyllum – ideal plant if you love flowers, but don’t want to buy bouquets that die after a few days
  2. Thrive in the shade in temps below 55°F
  3. Remove toxins like acetone, ammonia, benzene, ethyl acetate, formaldehyde, methyl alcohol, trichloroethylene and xylene

4)      Ferns

  1. Favored for soft, feathery leaves
  2. Helps rid air of pollutants like toluene and xylene, which are found in many paints, nail polishes, and glues

5)      Schefflera

  1. Easily recognizable because of glossy, sturdy-looking oval leaves that almost look fake
  2. Hardy and long-lasting as long as keep leaves dust free and wipe down once in awhile
  3. Soak up nasty toxins like benzene, formaldehyde and toluene – also good for households with smokers

6)      Anthuriums

  1. Make lovely gifts for exotic-looking blooms
  2. Large, dark leaves suck up ammonia, formaldehyde, toluene and xylene
  3. Good for offices – near/around copiers, printers or adhesives

7)      Song of India (Dracaena Reflexa)

  1. Easy to identify, with green, lime and yellow leaves
  2. Easy to grow in both high and low light
  3. Absorb formaldehyde, toluene and xylene

8)      Pothos

  1. Characterized by golden heart-shaped leaves and are extremely popular in North America
  2. Hardy plant that can survive lower light and colder temps
  3. Great for offices and homes
  4. Rids air of carbon monoxide and formaldehyde

9)      Massangeana Cane

  1. May be hard to pronounce, but easy to love
  2. Native to Africa, wild look for decoration, but sucks up formaldehyde from the air

10)  Philodendrons

  1. Easy to care for that need very little attention
  2. Rid air of xylene, a toxin in many glues and leathers

LivGreen Magazine – November 9, 2012

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