The air quality inside your home may not cross your mind as much as the air quality outside, but it is undoubtedly just as important. Poor air quality in your home can cause headaches, sore throat, and other common but annoying irritations.
Fortunately, scientists at NASA have conducted research and experiments on these issues. One of the most promising solutions found were the cleansing and purifying properties in houseplants!
No matter how ventilated your home or apartment may seem, pollutants from outside like car exhaust can still make their way inside and become trapped. These pollutants along with the chemical release of cleaning products combine and linger in your air. A simple and affordable way to combat these pollutants is adding some houseplants into your living space!
- Plants cleanse the air by simply doing what they are designed to do; create oxygen. Through photosynthesis, plants draw in the dirty carbon dioxide in the air and releases oxygen. This process helps get rid of the three main indoor pollutants: formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. The research done by NASA helped reveal six specific houseplants that help remove up to 90% of these toxins, making your air cleaner and healthier to breath.
- Peace Lily plants are one of the most common houseplants on NASA’s list, and one of the most beautiful. Their big white blooms accent their dark green leaves, making them a great design component in your home. Peace Lily plants effectively remove all three of the main indoor pollutants, and they also remove ammonia from the air as well.
- Snake Plants or “Mother-In-Law’s Tongue” is known for being one of the easiest houseplants to maintain. This is due to their preference for drier conditions and low light. Snake Plants effectively remove all three main pollutants from the air, as well as another toxin called xylene. Put a Snake Plant in your bedroom! By improving indoor air quality and emitting oxygen at night, the Snake Plant can help you sleep!
- Aloe Vera is a very famous plant because of its wide variety of uses. The clear liquid inside the leaves have been proven to be great for basic medicinal uses, such as an anti-inflammatory or as an antibiotic. In the NASA studies, Aloe Vera was shown to also be effective at removing formaldehyde from their air. Caring for an Aloe Vera plant calls for allowing about the top inch or two of the soil to dry out in-between watering. Aloe is great in your bedroom due to its air cleaning and oxygen emitting abilities.
- Ficus Trees are rapidly making their way into popularity within recent years because they come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, making them a great design focal point. Like the others, Ficus trees remove all three of the main toxins. Keep your Ficus in bright, indirect light and let the soil dry out in between watering. This plant is perfect for your sunroom or bright kitchen.
- Golden Pothos has beautiful marbled, heart-shaped leaves and is super easy to care for. Place a Pothos in your bedroom, bathroom, or family room to purify the air to aid with sleep and well-being. Pothos thrive in low light and once a week watering. This ivy-like plant makes a beautiful hanging basket and you can easily clip the vines to keep it manicured.
- Dracaena plants come in as many as 40 different varieties, making them popular for both home and office due to their versatility. Like Snake Plants, Dracaena plants also remove all three toxins as well as xylene from your air.
To naturally clean your air, help with sleep, and offer an overall feeling of well-being, NASA recommend between 15 and 18 air-purifying plants in an 1800 square foot home, with a few of these in each bedroom.
For more information, please ask one of our knowledgeable staff members at The Family Tree Garden Center.
Blog by Lindsey Meade