Healthy Houseplants – Clean Air Superstars!

by Michelle on December 18, 2017

Winter keeps us all indoors (both at home and at work) more than we might like sometimes, and with that comes air that might not be so great to breathe consistently.  And considering that even the air outdoors is frequently deemed “unhealthy” it’s important to do all we can to help out our lungs.  Changing air filters on heating and cooling units is vital to having clean air to breathe, but you can also enhance the air quality indoors even further with a few powerhouse plants that also look quite nice as well.

Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOC’s are potentially harmful pollutants that come from paint, furniture, printers, dry-cleaned clothes, and other household products.  They’re frequently in buildings, whether old or new, in rather high concentrations (sometimes nearly 100 times more than outdoors), and can cause dizziness, allergies, and breathing problems.  Using plants to purify the air (technically known as biofiltration, or phytoremediation) makes certain plants part of what NASA calls “nature’s life support system”.

Here is a list of 10 houseplants you might consider using:

  1. Bromeliad: removes acetone the most but is the “superstar” at removing 6 of the 8 VOC’s; an “around-the-clock” air purifier that works both day & night, prefers bright light without direct sun exposure, prefers humidity, and keep it moist but not soggy (with adequate drainage), fertilizing sparingly.
  2. Spider Plant: removes formaldehyde and xylene; one of the easiest houseplants to grow and loves bright, indirect sunlight.
  3. Draceana: removes benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene; comes in more than 40 different varieties but is toxic to cats & dogs when eaten so use caution.
  4. Ficus: removes benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene; grows 2-10 feet tall and loves bright, indirect sunlight.
  5. Jade Plant: removes toluene; flourishes in medium light at room temperature, and allow the soil to dry between watering.
  6. Peace Lily: removes ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene; blooms fragrant flowers throughout the summer, and grows best in shady areas.
  7. Boston Fern: removes formaldehyde and xylene; needs to stay moist, prefers high humidity & indirect sunlight.
  8. Snake Plant: removes benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene; one of the hardiest houseplants requiring occasional watering, prefers dries conditions, and some sun.
  9. Bamboo Palm: removes benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene; thrives in full sun or bright light, and grows 4-12 feet high.
  10. Aloe Vera: removes formaldehyde; allow for proper drainage (doesn’t thrive in standing water), and the leaves hold a fluid used for everything from wound healing to anti-inflammatory uses.

Besides being aesthetically pleasing, plants can do a lot for our health as well.  If possible, try incorporating a few of these air purifying superstars into your environment and “breathe ease” knowing how hard they’re working for your well being!









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