As per the Clean Air Study (source: https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19930073077.pdf), which was conducted by NASA a few decades ago during the 1980s, there are lots of plants that when kept indoor have the ability to remove various toxins from air and improve air quality. The furniture, carpets, paints, household cleaning products and even office equipment are some of those things in your home that release small quantity of toxins in the air, which generally include but are not limited to formaldehyde and benzene. Following are ten such plants which you can grow in pots not just to enhance the beauty of your home but also to improve indoor air quality.
Chrysanthemums offer big, beautiful, colorful flowers. The best way is to hang them in pots near windows because they grow well in direct sunlight. The reason NASA has approved it as a plant to improve indoor quality lies in its ability to filter out benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene and ammonia that are generally found in glue products, plastics, paints and detergents. These plants are easily available in almost every floral shop or nursery. They come in a variety of colors. However, if eaten, they can be toxic. So, keep them at a higher place and make sure they are not accessible to pets and children.
2. Chinese Evergreen:
The great thing about Chinese Evergreen is that it does not require much maintenance. The tiny red berries that it produces do not just look very beautiful, but they also have the ability to purify the air by removing certain toxins like benzene and formaldehyde that are generally found in household cleaning products, especially the ones that are chemical-based. If you choose this plant for your home, you are advised to keep it for several years because the longer they stay at one place, the better they clean the air quality around them. However, these plants should also be kept out of children’s or pets’ reach.
3. African Violets:
As the name suggests, African violets produce purplish flowers. They are so beautiful to look at that just gazing them for some time can stimulate adrenaline release, which eventually helps you to feel relax. Besides reducing your stress level, they also purify your indoor air quality. Since they do not depend much on direct sunlight and can grow even in places that have access only to artificial light, you can keep these plants anywhere in your home as per your choice. However, it is better if you put them at a place where they get at least indirect sunlight.
Eucalyptus plants have been very popular since ancient ages because of their ability to help in the treatment of a wide array of ailments. Its leaves, in particular, contain tannins, which removes toxins from the air and thus improve the indoor air quality. You will feel fresh sitting in a room where a eucalyptus plant is kept nearby. If you have cold, inhaling its scents will make you feel better because they help in reducing congestion problems. The problem is that, not every floral shop or nursery keeps this plant, but if you happen to find one, you should definitely think about planting it as an indoor plant in your home.
5. Heart Leaf Philodendron:
If you do not have children or small pets in your home, you must consider adding the heart leaf philodendron to your home because it can remove heavy toxins from air, such as formaldehyde, which are mostly found in particle board. But, since these plants soak such heavy toxin, they themselves become toxic. If eaten, they can be harmful for your health. That is why you should avoid having this plant in your home if you have children or small pets. If you still want to have it, make sure you plant them at a very high place which is not accessible to your pets or children. In general, they are great for purifying air quality and the good thing is that they require very little maintenance.
6. English Ivy:
If you have pets in your home, English Ivy plant is perfect for you. This plant has the ability to minimize the quantity of airborne fecal matter, which can otherwise be harmful for your pets. However, here again, you should keep these plants at a higher place because they can also be harmful if eaten. As an air purifying indoor plant, it is great. It can also soak toxins that are commonly released by carpets, furniture and chemical-based cleaning products. In addition to that, it even soaks traces of benzene and other toxic chemicals that are usually found in office equipment.
7. Boston Fern:
Boston ferns do not just purify your indoor air quality but they also offer an array of health benefits and look very attractive. They can add a unique contrast to your home’s appearance. A great idea is to hang them in baskets all around your home. They help in removing traces of heavy toxins, such as formaldehyde. Also, they work as a wonderful natural humidifier and help in restoring moisture in the air. So, they can be great in winter, especially if you tend to develop dry skin in cold weather. Unlike many other NASA-approved plants to improve indoor air quality, Boston Ferns need a lot of care. You must water them regularly and keep them at a place where they get access to plenty of direct sunlight.
8. Kimberley Queen Fern:
Though the Kimberley queen ferns originated in Australia, they are easily available worldwide and grow well at all places. They reduce indoor air pollution by removing certain toxins, which include xylene, toluene and formaldehyde. They themselves however are non-toxic plants, which makes them safe for pets and children as well. Though these plants do not need direct sunlight, but they grow well in bright, indirect sunlight. Also, they require moderate watering. Too little or too much watering, both are not good for them.
9. Barberton Daisy:
Barberton daisy produces colorful flowers, such as orange, pink, yellow and red. They are non-toxic, but as per NASA clean air study, they have excellent ability to absorb harmful toxins, such as trichloroethylene, formaldehyde and benzene.
Dendrobiums grow well during summer and take rest in winter. They offer beautiful flowers and purify air by absorbing certain toxins, such as xylene and toluene. Their unique looking flowers can add a great contrast to your home and enhance its beauty.
All these plants are excellent in improving air quality. But, since many of them can be toxic when eaten, you must put such plants at a higher place that are out of children’s or pet’s reach.