Six Plants to Clean the Air in Your Home

Six Plants to Clean the Air in Your Home

As a counterpoint to our series on houseplants that are toxic or otherwise potentially harmful, we have put together a list of plants that are GREAT to keep in your home.  By filtering out some toxic chemicals and  producing a ton of oxygen, these plants have the ability to improve the air quality in your home (which is usually far more polluted than the air outside your home, believe it or not).

NASA (yup, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration), has rated these plants as the best for improving air quality.  We added a few that have more recently been shown to improve the air inside your home or office.

According to NASA’s report, a house of approximately 1800 sq ft would need somewhere around 15-18 good size (waist high or so) plants throughout the house in order to maximize their ability to improve the air quality.  Figure for about one plant per 100 square feet.  Here is a list of the best plants to keep around, and where to put them.

 

#1.  The Snake Plant

Sansevieria trifasciata

220px-Snake_plant

Also known as ‘Mother-In-Laws-Tongue’, the Snake Plant does well in low or dimly lit places and is pretty tough.  These guys filter out bad stuff like formaldehyde (common in cleaning products), but also produce oxygen at night.  Set a few of these in your  bedroom for a good boost of fresh air while you are sleeping.

 

#2 The Money Plant (Golden pothos)

Epipremnum aureum

money plants

Sorry, no.  It does not produce legal tender of any kind.  What it does do, is clean all sorts of junk from the air, as well as convert CO2 into oxygen like its going out of style.

The Money Plant is great for removing formaldehyde from the air, and since exhaust from your car is pretty heavy with formaldehyde, consider hanging a few of these up in your garage or near the entrance.  It’s also not going to complain much about the shade in there, since it doesn’t need much direct sun anyway.

This one can also be toxic if eaten by animals or children.  If you are planning on hosting any children or animals as guests or permanent additions, this one will need to move out.

 

#3. Areca Palm

Dypsis lutescens

areca palm

This is another one that is great at converting CO2 into oxygen.  Aside from watering, the leaves may need to be wiped off every now and then, but this palm well pay you back tenfold in clean air.  Perfectly placed in that corner in your living room next to your couch.

 

#4 Spider Plant

Chlorophytum comosum

spider plant

If you know someone notorious for killing plants, then this is the one for them.  Tough and resilient in all sorts of conditions, the Spider Plant is so low-maintenance that just about anyone can keep it alive.  These little plants are great for cleaning the air, and are super easy to multiply.  Just getting a small one from your local nursery (or even from a friend) can result on several good sized plants in almost no time at all. Hang it up by the window,  or place on a bookshelf or a side-table… just about anywhere.

 

#5 English Ivy

Hedera helix

english-ivy

This one is a little tricky.  On one hand, this particular air-cleaning plant is said to be better than some when it comes to cleaning airborne fecal matter particles, which is gross but also pretty awesome.  On the other hand however, it’s also toxic to cats.  If you have any kitties running around in your home, it might be best to avoid this one.  If you aren’t a cat person, then go right ahead.

The English Ivy is best kept as a hanging plant, which allows its leaves to hang down and grow naturally.

 

#6 Golden Pothos

Epipremnum aureum

golden-pothos1

Another viney plant that usually is hung up, the Golden Pothos is great for removing formaldehyde from the air.  Since exhaust from your car is pretty heavy with formaldehyde, consider hanging a few of these up in your garage or near the entrance.  It’s also not going to complain much about the shade in there, since it doesn’t need much direct sun anyway.

This one can also be toxic if eaten by animals or children.  If you are planning on hosting any children or animals as guests or permanent additions, this one will need to move out.

***

Please note, that this is not a complete list.  There are several other plants mentioned in NASA’s report, as well as several other that recently have been shown to be great at improving the air quality.  We didn’t have the time to list all of them, but remember: if you are planning on getting houseplants for any reason its VERY IMPORTANT to take the time to research each plant to make sure its not going to be harmful to anyone, or anything that also lives in your home.

 

Thanks for reading!

~The Greencare Team

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