Looking for a simple way to improve your indoor air quality? House plants are the answer. So often we forget that the environment has the natural ability to clean itself. Many common houseplants act as an air filter, removing toxins from the air we breathe. They are known to produce oxygen from CO2 and they absorb toxins including benzene (gasoline, inks, oils, paints, plastics, and rubber), formaldehyde and/or trichloroethylene (printing inks, paints, lacquers, varnishes, and adhesives).
A few years back NASA scientists studied nineteen different plants over a two year span to see which did the best job cleaning the air. They found that some house plants were better than others. The NASA studies recommend that you use 15 to 18 good-sized houseplants in 6 to 8-inch diameter containers to improve air quality in an average 1,800 square foot house. The more they grow the better job they’ll do for you.
My slightly brown thumb has been working hard to keep 7 indoor plants alive for a few years. I wish I could tell you that I always remember to water them and that I talk to them when I’m bored, but I don’t. My 7 plants are low maintenance and thriving.
If you’re like me and your thumb isn’t the slightest bit green, it’s still worth investing in a few house plants to help remove the toxins from your indoor air. Take this list with you and add a few plants to the spaces you spend the most time indoors- your office and/or your home. When it’s time to buy a gift for your children’s caregivers, a plant makes the perfect present.
Top 10 Houseplants that Clean the Air from the NASA Studies
- Bamboo Palm – Chamaedorea Seifritzii
- Chinese Evergreen – Aglaonema Modestum
- English Ivy Hedera Helix
- Gerbera Daisy Gerbera Jamesonii
- Janet Craig – Dracaena “Janet Craig”
- Marginata -Dracaena Marginata
- Mass cane/Corn Plant – Dracaena Massangeana
- Mother-in-Law’s Tongue Sansevieria Laurentii
- Pot Mum – Chrysantheium morifolium
- Peace Lily – Spathiphyllum
I have a peace lily and I’ll be investing in a few more plants from the list. Do you have indoor houseplants?
[Day lily photo used under Creative Commons from Koshy Koshy/Flickr]