Clean Air Plants

The modern houseplant: No longer an underwhelming rubber plant that takes a part time job to keep alive. Here’s five species that will not only add a natural touch to any room in the house, but will work for you, 24 hours a day, 4 seasons a year, sparing your household's air.

How does a plant improve indoor air quality? Plants are natural air filters producing CO2 and clearing the air of harmful toxins such as volatile organic compounds (found in modern building supplies and furnishings), combustion compounds, and asthma triggers such as mold, dust mites, dander and pollen. Their leaves, roots and stems all take part in filtration. 

No room for indoor pots? Plants are very accomodating. Try out the corner on a desk, the center of a coffee table, window sill or book shelf. Vertical gardens are another way to go about creating gardening space. We love the Hanging Planter by K+R for a ceiling option.

Spider Plant – try it if you weren’t blessed with a “green” thumb

 

Image source: plantshavefeelings.blogspot.com

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.

Snake Plant – try it if you never thought to garden in the bathroom

 

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Also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, 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.

Weeping Fig – try it if you are more advanced or want a growing statement piece

 

A ficus 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.

Bamboo palm – try one in the living room

Image source: wkfplants.com

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. They’re also a good choice for placing around furniture that could be off-gassing formaldehyde.

Aloe – try it in the kitchen; repot it as a house-warming gift

 

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.

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