Many studies have shown that growing plants in the home has been shown to reduce stress, improve concentration, reduce blood pressure and produce a feeling of well-being. But those are not the only health benefits plants provide. According to research by NASA, many houseplants improve indoor air quality, too. That means by choosing wisely, you can reap the benefits of improved air quality while boosting your sense of comfort, too. Check out these amazing plants that remove toxins from the air.
Philodendrons are known to remove indoor toxins, particularly formaldehyde, from the air. Formaldehyde is often present in cleaning products, particle board and carpeting. Try these varieties of philodendrons for an easy-to-grow houseplant that serves double duty as an air cleaner.
- Spadeleaf Philodendron (Philodendron domesticum)
- Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron oxycardium)
- Redleaf Philodendron (Philodendron erubescens)
- Elephant Ear Philodendron (Philodendron domesticum or Philodendron tuxla)
Grow philodendrons in an all-purpose potting mixture that is kept evenly moist. They thrive in low-light and require little care. They are often staked to allow the vine to grow upward, but they can be allowed to vine naturally, trailing over the edges of the pot. WARNING: Philodendron plants can be toxic to small children and pets.
Sansevierias includes several varieties that are effective in removing toxins from the air and improving indoor air quality. They produce stiff leaves that may reach 3 to 4 feet, depending on the variety. Try these types:
- Snake Plant: This variety has green bands on the tall upright leaves.
- Mother-in-Law’s Tongue: This variety has a yellow border on the leaves.
These tough plants will survive in nearly any light and can withstand neglect. They prefer bright light and will even adapt to full sun, but will also thrive in low light with only indirect light. They prefer loose, sandy soil that is allowed to dry between waterings.
Pothos is often confused with philodendrons because they have similarly shaped leaves. These remarkable plants remove ozone, benzene, carbon monoxide and formaldehyde from the air. Try these varieties of pothos to help keep the air clean in your home.
- Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
- Marble Queen (Epipremnum aureum)
- Satin Pothos ( Epipremnum pictum)
These vining plants are ideal for hanging baskets or placed on a plant stand where the vines are allowed to cascade over the sides. They thrive in nearly any light, other than complete darkness, but prefer indirect light or light sun. If your pothos plant’s leaves lose their variegation and turn solid green, this means it is not getting enough light. WARNING: Pothos can be toxic to cats and small children. They will make them sick but are not fatal.
Lovely spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum), also known as airplane plants, come in three basic varieties and all will help clean the air in your home. Spider plants remove carbon monoxide and other toxins.
Spider plants thrive in relatively low-light conditions but prefer a bit of sun. Grow them in hanging baskets so the arching leaves fall gracefully over the sides creating a waterfall of color. When watered regularly (once a week) and provided with adequate light, spider plants will reward you with cascades of tiny white blooms and an abundance of babies (dangling clusters of leaves).
Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum) are easy-to-grow and can even be grown in a vase of water. These delightful plants are powerhouses at removing toxins from the air. In fact, they made the top of the NASA list because they remove all three of the toxins in their tests. Peace lilies remove trichloroethylene, formaldehyde and benzene and have been shown effective in combating toluene and xylene, too.