10 Fabulous Houseplants that
Work as Living Air Purifiers
By Alka Sharma, published at
Often people do not understand why they feel sick on a regular basis and why
we develop symptoms that worsen over time. We hardly know that inside our
house, various toxins are
present at any time: toluene, xylene, ethyl
acetate, methylene, acetone and chloroform, none of which are healthy.
Among other toxins present, three are of major concern: benzene,
trichloroethylene and formaldehyde, which could lead to serious health
problems like asthma, cancer and various allergies.
In recent years, scientists at NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors
of America (ALCA) have discovered that there are various houseplants that
keep our household air
clean and pure and balance indoor humidity. Not only
do these plants absorb pollutants, they also scrub harmful gases out of the
air and help fight pollution. How incredible!
Let's visit a gallery of a few of these beneficial types of houseplants,
which can take good care of indoor pollution.
10. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)Photo: madnzany
A beautiful houseplant with long grassy leaves, the spider plant is also a
rapidly growing plant. This elegant plant is great at removing poisonous
gases as well as other impurities like formaldehyde and xylene. For better
effect, it should be kept in the kitchen or near the fireplace as these are
the places where carbon monooxide accumulates a lot.
9. Boston fern (Nephrolepsis exaltata bostoniensis)Photo: greyloch
An exotic plant that has gracefully arching fronds and frilly leaves, the
Boston fern also acts as a natural humidifier. Boston ferns grow better in
filtered sunlight and in humid conditions. By releasing moisture into the
air, they remove nasty air pollutants such as benzene, formaldehyde and
xylene, and provide clean air inside the home.
8. English Ivy (Hedera helix)Photo: The
Despite its poisonous leaves, English Ivy is a very popular houseplant and
best suitable for patients with asthma and allergic conditions. Easy to grow
in bright sunlight, the plant has the amazing capability of removing
benzene, formaldehyde as well as off-gassing various chemicals released by
synthetic materials. So, it keeps the inside air non-toxic. With its
ground-covering property, the plant often serves well in landscaping.
7. Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)Photo: bfishadow
This very sensitive plant with feathery fronds is best known as a
humidifier. Therefore, it is best in places where winters can get quite
brutal. Though the plant grows slowly and needs year-round care, it can be
kept anywhere in the house, especially next to newly varnished furniture or
in carpeted areas. The areca palm helps remove deadly toxins like
formaldehyde and xylene.
6. Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)Photo: fra-NCIS
Also known as Devil’s Ivy or Silver Vine, the Golden Pothos is a highly
invasive plant. With evergreen leaves and progressive stems, this hardy
plant easily overtakes its surrounding area. Yet it is also very efficient
in removing indoor pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene and xylene. But,
care should be taken as the plant is toxic to small animals such as dogs and
cats, and even kids.
5. Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis)Photo: tjmwatson
We all know that aloe vera is present in many skin care products. Not only
does it help with skin burns but also with filtering various gas emissions
from dangerously toxic materials. Claimed to possess tons of medicinal
properties, this incredible plant can also be grown as an ornamental plant.
4. Chinese Evergreen (aglaonema modestum)Photo: featherguy
An excellent air-purifier plant, Chinese evergreen is a herbaceous perennial
plant. A very common houseplant with shiny, green leaves that have
interesting markings on them, it grows even better with less water and
minimum light. It can filter out airborne toxins such as benzene and
3. Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)Photo: Carl
Widely used as an ornamental plant, the snake plant is an evergreen
perennial plant that is tolerant of irregular watering and less lightning.
Scientists at NASA have found out that this plant has the amazing capability
to absorb formaldehyde, nitrogen oxides and a variety of other chemicals
present in the air.
2. Marginata (Dracaena marginata)Photo: bryan_chan
One cannot ignore the beauty of Marginata, a plant that has glossy thin
leaves with red edges. It is a very famous, slow-growing flowering
houseplant with very few growing requirements. It removes not only
formaldehyde and benzene from the air, but is also capable of filtering
other toxins present there. However, proper care should be taken while
placing the plant inside, as it could be poisonous to dogs.
1. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)Photo: Raul654
Our top houseplant is the peace lily, best known for reducing harmful indoor
toxins that may cause cancer. An easy-to-care-for houseplant, the peace lily
is a great pollution fighter and air-purifier. It helps in removing benzene
and formaldehyde present in the house. No doubt this plant is recommended
for homes that meet the term ‘sick building syndrome’.
Life on Earth depends on plants, whether directly or indirectly. We can’t
ignore the fact that plants do keep the air clean and pollution free by
absorbing the excess of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. To know more about
the list of air-filtering plants, prepared by scientists at NASA, visit here.
"We feel that future results will provide an even stronger argument that
common indoor landscaping plants can be a very effective part of a system
used to provide pollution free homes and work places", says Dr. Bill
Wolverton, former senior research scientist at NASA's John C. Stennis Space
Today, we can see the effect of global warming and pollution on human health
as well as on plants. Why not visit a nearby nursery today and decorate your
house with some life-saver plants?