Indoor Plants : improve in-house air quality

Plants help clean indoor air, which is typically far more polluted than outdoor air. Find out what common toxins these plants can filter out of the air in your home.

 

1) Areca palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)
The best performer at removing airborne toxins, it also releases moisture into the air to regulate humidity, and is attractive to look at. It’s also effective at removing salt from soil. It is easy to take care of and very resistant to pests. Enjoys semi-sun, temperatures between 65-75 degrees.
Helps Purify: Airborne Toxins
2) Bamboo Palm
It can grow to 6 feet and is more resistant to pests than the areca palm. It is also more effective than the areca and the lady palm at removing airborne chemicals. Also an excellent humidifier. Enjoys semi-sun and 60-75 degree temperatures, and not less than 50 degrees.
Helps Purify: Airborne Chemicals
3) Rubber plant (Ficus robusta)
The rubber plant, named for the appearance of its leaves, is known for being a plant that requires little light and can tolerate lower temperatures than the previously mentioned plants. It is especially effective at removing the ubiquitous chemical formaldehyde from the air. It can grow to 8 feet. Enjoys semi-sun to semi-shade and 60-80 degree temperatures, and as low as 40 degrees for short periods.
Helps Purify: (ubiquitous chemical) Formaldehyde
4) Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii)
The dwarf date palm can reach a maximum height of about 6 feet and grows slowly. It thrives without much light and can survive for decades. It is very effective at removing xylene from the air, which can come from caulking, adhesives, floor coverings, wall coverings, paints and particle board. Enjoys 60-75 degrees temperatures, but not below 50 degrees.
Helps Purify: Xylene
5) Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata “Bostoniensis,” )
The Boston fern grows lush foliage but does not flower. This plant is best grown in a hanging basket or on a pedestal. It is highly effective at removing chemicals and humidifying. It should be misted regularly. Enjoys 65-75 degrees, and 50-65 at night.
Helps Purify: Chemicals and Humidifying
6) Aloe Vera
This easy-to-grow, sun-loving succulent helps clear formaldehyde and benzene, which can be a byproduct of chemical-based cleaners, paints and more. Aloe is a smart choice for a sunny kitchen window. Beyond its air-clearing abilities, the gel inside an aloe plant can help heal cuts and burns.
Helps Purify: Formaldehyde and Benzene
7) Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Even if you tend to neglect houseplants, you’ll have a hard time killing this resilient plant. With lots of rich foliage and tiny white flowers, the spider plant battles benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene, a solvent used in the leather, rubber and printing industries.
Helps Purify: Formaldehyde, Benzene, Carbon Monoxide and Xylene.
8) Gerber daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
This bright, flowering plant is effective at removing trichloroethylene, which you may bring home with your dry cleaning. It’s also good for filtering out the benzene that comes with inks. Add one to your laundry room or bedroom.
Helps Purify:  Trichloroethylene and Benzene
9) Mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)
This plant is one of the best for filtering out formaldehyde, which is common in cleaning products, toilet paper, tissues and personal care products. Put one in your bathroom — it’ll thrive with low light and steamy humid conditions while helping filter out air pollutants.
Helps Purify: Formaldehyde
10) Golden pothos (Scindapsus aures)
Another powerful plant for tackling formaldehyde, this fast-growing vine will create a cascade of green from a hanging basket. Consider it for your garage since car exhaust is filled with formaldehyde.
Helps Purify: Formaldehyde
11) Chrysanthemum (Chrysantheium morifolium)
The colorful flowers of a mum can do a lot more than brighten a home office or living room; the blooms also help filter out benzene, which is commonly found in glue, paint, plastics and detergent. This plant loves bright light, and to encourage buds to open, you’ll need to find a spot near an open window with direct sunlight.
Helps Purify: Benzene
12) Red-edged dracaena (Dracaena marginata)
The red edges of this easy dracaena bring a pop of color, and the shrub can grow to reach your ceiling. This plant is best for removing xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde, which can be introduced to indoor air through lacquers, varnishes and gasoline.
Helps Purify: Xylene, Trichloroethylene and Formaldehyde
13) Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)
A weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) in your living room can help filter out pollutants that typically accompany carpeting and furniture such as formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene. Caring for a ficus can be tricky, but once you get the watering and light conditions right, they will last a long time.
Helps Purify: Xylene, Trichloroethylene and Formaldehyde
14) Azalea (Rhododendron simsii)
Bring this beautiful flowering shrub into your home to combat formaldehyde from sources such as plywood or foam insulation. Because azalea does best in cool areas around 60 to 65 degrees, it’s a good option for improving indoor air in your basement if you can find a bright spot.
Helps Purify: Formaldehyde
15) English ivy (Hedera helix)
A study found that the plant reduces airborne fecal-matter particles. It has also been shown to filter out formaldehyde found in some household cleaning products.
Helps Purify: Formaldehyde
16) Warneck Dracaena (Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckii’)
Combat pollutants associated with varnishes and oils with this dracaena. The Warneckii grows inside easily, even without direct sunlight. With striped leaves forming clusters atop a thin stem, this houseplant can be striking, especially if it reaches its potential height of 12 feet.
Helps Purify: Combat Pollutants
17) Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema crispum ‘Deborah’)
This easy-to-care-for plant can help filter out a variety of air pollutants and begins to remove more toxins as time and exposure continues. Even with low light, it will produce blooms and red berries.
Helps Purify: Air Pollutants
18) Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii)
Also known as the reed palm, this small palm thrives in shady indoor spaces and often produces flowers and small berries. It tops the list of plants best for filtering out both benzene and trichloroethylene. It’s also a good choice for placing around furniture that could be off-gassing formaldehyde.
Helps Purify:  Trichloroethylene and Benzene

19) Heart leaf philodendron (Philodendron oxycardium)

This climbing vine plant isn’t a good option if you have kids or pets — it’s toxic when eaten, but it’s a workhorse for removing all kinds of VOCs. Philodendrons are particularly good at battling formaldehyde from sources like particleboard.

Helps Purify: Formaldehyde

20) Peace lily (Spathiphyllum)

Shade and weekly watering are all the peace lily needs to survive and produce blooms. It topped NASA’s list for removing all three of most common VOCs — formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene. It can also combat toluene and xylene. Helps Purify: Toluene and Xylene

Posted on May 13, 2013, in ARTICLES, PLANT / TREE and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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