Once winter comes, we’re all going to be spending a lot of time indoors. These houseplants not only add some much needed greenery to your day, but they also help improve your indoor air quality.
Plants save lives. In the '80s, NASA began research to study which plants helped purify the air in space facilities. With this knowledge in hand, we started filtering the air inside our own homes. Because citizens of industrialized nations spend up to 90% of their time indoors, air purification ranks as a top priority.
So how do you arm yourself against harmful pollutants inside your home or workplace? Indoor plants, that's how. Here are a select few of these life-saving houseplants that'll not only add life to your domain, but also filter the air that you breathe.
1. Aloe Vera
Aloe functions as a multi-use First Aid kit. Not only does it clear the air of formaldehyde and benzene (commonly found in chemical-based cleaners), but the gel inside of it helps heal cuts, scrapes and burns. This quaint succulent loves the sun and adds character to any corner of your home.
2. Spider Plant
A spider plant is an easily grown, pet-safe, air filter. It's on the front lines against formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide and xylene (found in solvents, cleaning agents and paint thinners). Winter heating or housing the plant in an undersized pot for too long causes the tips to brown. Trim the tips, use a humidifier or move it into a larger pot to keep it healthy.
3. Gerber Daisy
If you're an avid fan of dry cleaning, you need a Gerber Daisy in your home. Non-organic dry cleaners use chemicals linked to cancer, liver and nervous system damage. Gerber Daisy's trichloroethylene-fighting properties keep the air inside your laundry room and bedroom clean and pure. Not to mention, the bright orange flower is a real eye-popping statement piece.
4. Snake Plant
Snake plants thrive under low-light and humid conditions. They also clear the air of formaldehyde found in toilet paper and other body care products, making it perfect for bathroom decor.
This lush houseplant thrives under low-lighting or no lighting. This quick-growing plant's foliage waterfalls down from it's roots making it an ideal hanging plant. Hang it in your garage to reduce the formaldehyde that comes from car exhaust.
With direct sunlight, chrysanthemum buds open up revealing eye-catching colors. Its benzene-filtering properties also stack up perfectly against the benzene found in plastics and glues.
This brightly-colored flowering shrub flourishes in cooler temperatures (60 to 65 degrees), perfect for basements. It does require a bit of sunlight however. The Azalea's claim to fame is its minimization of formaldehyde.
8. Bamboo Palm
The bamboo palm ranks high on its effectiveness in reducing benzene and trichloroethylene. Best placed under some shade, it pairs well against furniture that gives off chemicals like formaldehyde.
9. Peace Lily
NASA ranks this plant as the best for fighting the three most common harmful organic compounds (formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene). If that wasn't enough, it also filters against toluene and xylene. This low-maintenance plant only needs shade and weekly watering to thrive.
If you're at all concerned about your well-being, your saving grace comes in the form of houseplants. They do so much for us, all they require is some minor routine maintenance, a small price to pay for clean air.