Houseplants are good for more than just home décor. According to a study done by NASA, houseplants can have a major effect on indoor air quality. Plants absorb pollutants and convert harmful toxins from the air into compounds that are beneficial to them. Air contaminants can lead to unpleasant symptoms including headaches and itchy eyes. Add one or more of these air-purifying houseplants to your home in order to decrease the risks of polluted indoor air.
Weeping figs can remove trichloroethylene, benzene, and formaldehyde from the air. These plants are native to Southeast Asia, and they can grow up to 10 feet long. Weeping Figs aren’t the easiest plants to care for, but they can be forgiving and are usually able to be revitalized after they initially show signs of dying if given the proper care. Weeping Figs thrive in bright, consistent, indirect light. They need time to adjust when moved to a new location, so it’s best to keep yours in the same spot if possible.
Aloe Vera clears formaldehyde and benzene from the air. These succulents love the sunshine and do best on a windowsill with plenty of direct sunlight. You’ll only need to water your Aloe Vera plant about every three weeks. In order to avoid root rot, make sure the soil is dry before watering. Aloe Vera plants are loved not only for their air purifying properties but their healing abilities as well—the inside of the plant has been known to soothe burns and irritation.
In NASA’s study of air-purifying houseplants, the plant that proved to be most effective at purifying the air was the Florist’s Mum. The plant removes ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene from the air. Mums are a great inexpensive option that are readily available and easy to find at any garden store, making them a popular choice for indoor and outdoor gardeners.
Rubber plants have a reputation for being one of the easiest houseplants to maintain. rubber plants remove formaldehyde from the air and require minimal indirect light. Due to their large size (rubber plants can grow up to 50 feet), they’re typically placed in living rooms, though they can be an aesthetically pleasing addition to any corner of your apartment. It’s important to note that rubber plants can be toxic, so choose another option if you’re a pet owner.
Boston Ferns have been found to be extremely good at removing formaldehyde from the air. They thrive in highly humid environments with indirect light. To assist with their need for humidity, it’s recommended that you spritz your Boston Fern with water about once a week. They can also help add humidity to your apartment, so they’re a great choice for someone who suffers from dry skin or eyes.