Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you would agree with the statement that plants add a lush and vibrant dynamic to any dull, uninspiring room. The verdant green leaves of a plant immediately add a dash of color and life to any space making it cozy and homely. And for our generation, which spends a better part of their day or even their lives indoors, hunched over a screen or flopped over the couch, this is a smart and eco-friendly way of bringing the outdoors in.
But what if I were to tell you that some of these common houseplants go a little further in their benevolence by providing us with clean air. Surprised to read that? Yes, it’s quite true.
In 1989, the world-renowned space agency, NASA conducted a research study to find out which plants could help in expunging toxins out of the air (1).
Perhaps, now more than ever, we need this research to help us deal with pollutants such as benzene, formaldehyde, xylene which are ever present in our houses due to their presence in items such as paint, cleaning, and furniture polish. So get ready to make way for clean and healthy air in your houses and a healthier you by planting these plants-
1. Spider Plant
A great little addition to your tiny houseplant collection, this indefatigable plant is quite easy to grow which makes it a great choice for first-time plant parents. It requires bright but indirect sunlight, so keep it in a place where you get filtered sunlight.
It removes xylene and formaldehyde from the air.
2. Peace Lily
This rather exotic-looking plant is sure to be an element of grace and poise wherever you choose to keep it. A flowering plant, it gives beautiful, fragrant flowers all year long. Regarding its maintenance, you should keep it in a shady spot, and water it frequently to keep its soil moist. Take care not to overwater it though.
It filters ammonia, benzene, among other pollutants.
3. Bamboo Palm
If you have a sunny spot in your balcony or room, then reserve it for this superstar. Also, you have to give them room to grow as they can grow up to 12 feet high.
These arresting green giants free your air of toxins such as trichloroethylene, benzene, etc.
4. Weeping Fig
Don’t go by its name, there is nothing sad about its supreme air-cleaning abilities. A low-maintenance plant, it needs indirect sunlight and a cool temperature. Keep watering it frequently, but give it enough time to the soil to dry in between the watering. You can keep it in the balcony during colder months and bring it inside when it becomes warm outside.
It can remove toxins like formaldehyde and benzene.
5. Boston Fern
This one doesn’t need a lot of sunlight to grow, so be sure to keep in a place which gets indirect sunlight and has high humidity. Though it doesn’t require a lot of upkeep, be sure to keep its soil moist.
It clears toxins such as xylene and formaldehyde from the air.
6. Snake Plant
It takes its name from its unique appearance, though much like its eponymous reptile, it’s a very hardy organism. It is the plant for someone who has an unsuccessful past with houseplants. It needs to watered occasionally, and it thrives in drier condition with some sun.
It can remove all four toxins (benzene, trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, and xylene) from the air.
7. Areca Palm
You’ve seen this elegant, giant plant in and around you. Commonly used as a decorative plant in hotels and offices, this elegant palm with its delicate fronds gives off a very tropical vibe. This makes it a perfect addition for your living room or dining hall. It is easy to maintain, though it requires frequent watering. However, you should allow the soil to dry between the watering. It also resists pest infestations quite well.
It can remove xylene, carbon monoxide, among others from the air.
8. Aloe Vera
We saved the best for last. This multipurpose heavyweight is known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory capabilities, which makes it a common ingredient in many skincare home remedies (2). Though it doesn’t require any special care to grow this plant, be sure to water it occasionally so that it does not dry out.
It can easily remove formaldehyde and benzene, from the air.
We end our list here. We are sure it gave you enough reasons to dirty your hands in the mud and bring these green guests home. If you were unsuccessful in your green endeavors in the past, we would advise you pick one which doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. Also, share your opinions about which one you liked best and why in our comments section.
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