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Top 7 Air-Purifying Indoor Plants
For a Healthy Home

Blog Title Shape
May 14, 2024

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Can plants really clean the air in your home? A study conducted by NASA seems to provide some pretty compelling evidence that the answer is yes! The NASA study started when the organization needed to find a way to clean the air in space stations. The study found that some air-purifying indoor plants eliminate significant amounts of benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.

If you didn’t realize you had stuff like that floating around in your home, you’re not alone. Those three scarysounding compounds are found in paint, drywall, cosmetics, detergents, and furniture. And they can be harmful at high levels. But don’t reach for the hazmat suit just yet. Most homes have relatively safe levels of these chemicals. But it’s easy to bring even those levels down with plants that clean the air

How Do Air-Purifying Plants Work?

Air-purifying indoor plants work around the clock by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen through photosynthesis. Houseplants require water, sunlight, and carbon dioxide in the air to achieve photosynthesis. Stomata kickstarts photosynthesis, allowing the plant to take in carbon dioxide through its limbs, leaves, and roots. During the Stomata phase, plants that clean the air also absorb and neutralize toxins from the air, a process called phytoremediation.

Benefits of Air-Purifying Plants in Your Home

In addition to their physical health benefits, air-filtering plants have been shown to improve mental health as well. Research indicates that houseplants help reduce negative emotions like fatigue, anxiety, and depression. Caring for indoor plants is an excellent way to practice mindfulness and relieve stress. Houseplants can also help with sound dampening and humidity control, along with being beautiful decorative elements. 

The Best Houseplants for Clean Air

From flowering plants to decorative palms, there are many choices for every taste. Here are seven of the most effective and beautiful air-purifying indoor plants ideal for any room.  

1. Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Mother-in-law’s tongue has long, tongue-like leaves that grow vertically with slight, curving twists. NASA studies reveal that the mother-in-law’s tongue is one of the most effective plants that clean the air. The air-purifying house plant also converts CO2 into oxygen at night, making it an excellent bedroom plant choice. Sansevieria is a very resilient house plant species and can go weeks without water and tolerates low light well

2. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum

Native to Asia, the money plant derives its name from its traditional use as a wealth and prosperity booster in Chinese culture. It is also a powerful air purifier that neutralizes the harmful chemicals emitted by synthetics in paint and carpet. The plant grows long vines reaching up to 40 feet and works best in indirect light with frequent watering. Be warned that it can be toxic to pets and children, so growing it in a suspended pot is recommended

3. Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)

The areca palm is a hardy houseplant from the exotic land of Madagascar. Palms purify the air and reduce levels of benzene and formaldehyde. Areca palms like bright, filtered light and need frequent watering. These palms grow fast and can reach 20 feet, but keeping them in smaller pots can limit the vertical growth. Indoor palms are also natural humidifiers that can produce a liter of ambient water daily, making them perfect for dry climates. Using naturally humidifying plants for indoor air purification can greatly benefit people with allergies or breathing issues.

4. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

The peace lily is an evergreen houseplant native to Southeast Asia and the Americas. The plant features beautiful dark green leaves and white flowers, making it one of the best plants for air purification and decorating. The plant does well in indirect light and may get leaf burn if left in direct sunlight. Their big, broad leaves can grow to three feet, making them a perfect floor plant. This natural air purifier doesn’t need much watera good watering about every four days will keep it thriving. If you find the leaves are drooping, you’ll know it’s time to water a peace lily.

5. Dracaena (Dracaena fragrans)

Dracaenas are native to parts of Asia and Central America and feature about 40 varieties in various shapes and colors. These air-cleaning plants can survive in direct, indirect, or even low-light conditions. It can grow to about 50 feet outdoors but can easily be trimmed to six feet indoors. Dracaenas don’t need a lot of water, so keep the soil moist, and you’ll have a healthy, aircleaning machine. Because dracaenas can be large, they produce plenty of oxygen and significantly reduce levels of benzene, formaldehyde, and other airborne toxins

6. Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum indicum)

Chrysanthemums, also known as mums, are flowering plants native to East Asia and northeastern Europe. The blooms of the garden mum resemble pompons and come in red, orange, yellow, white, and lavender. Mums need lots of sun, can grow 2–4 feet tall, and need watering about every two days. Chrysanthemums only work as air-purification plants when the flowers are in bloom. The flowers absorb toxins like benzene, ammonia, and formaldehyde and can be toxic to pets. 

7. Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)

Gerbera daisies are flowering plants native to South Africa with colorful blooms that range from two to five inches in diameter. Varieties include pink, yellow, salmon, orange, and many other brilliant colors. They grow best in sandy soil and full sun and can be moved outdoors in warm weather. The air-purifying flowers bloom in late spring and early summer as long as the plant is watered and drained regularly. Watering Gerbera daisies weekly should suffice in warm weather, but they need far less water in winter. 

The Maids®: Your Partner for a Healthier, Happier Home

Just as these houseplants clean the air, our proprietary 22-Step Cleaning Process cleans your entire home. Our popular house cleaning services rely on equipment like commercial-grade vacuums with HEPA filtration to capture up to 99 percent of airborne pollutants. Because The Maids is one of the only residential cleaners to clean for health, we remove more dirt, dust, and germs than traditional cleaners. Discover the joys of a healthy home when you get your free customized quote today.

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