There’s something you should know about the air quality in your home: it probably isn’t very good. And — scary information disclaimer — indoor air pollutants are ranked among the top five environmental threats to public health, according to Greatist. But fear not, because NASA has already come up with a simple solution: just fill your house with plants.
Hold on, I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably thinking, “But everything green that I touch ends up dying!” or “I don’t have time to take care of a plant!”
Thankfully, there are a number of air-cleaning plants that won’t die on you very easily and that require a minimal amount of care. Here are nine of those awesome air-purifying houseplants that will help keep clean the air in your home, decreasing your risk of headaches, dizziness and eye, ear and throat irritation.
1. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera plants are not only easy to care for, but you can actually use them in your home. The leaves hold an anti-inflammatory, wound-healing fluid, according to Greatist.
The fluid contains enzymes, amino acids, and other compounds that have antibacterial qualities. This super plant also removes formaldehyde from the air around you.
2. Garden Mum
When NASA researched what plants are best at purifying the air, garden mums took the cake. They remove ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene from indoor air, according to Greatist.
Another huge plus: they’re relatively inexpensive and easy to find, so you won’t have to search for them.
3. Spider Plant
Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds. Spider plants might be kind of unusual looking, but they have amazing air-cleaning qualities, according to Greatist.
It removes formaldehyde and xylene from the air, and it’s one of the easiest houseplants to grow. Today recommends keeping them in medium to bright lighting, because warmer temperatures are their favorite.
You won’t have any trouble finding a Dracaena plant that fits your lifestyle or living space, because there are more than 40 different kinds of them.
This plant removes benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene from the air, which makes it almost as effective as a garden mum. But, beware pet owners, because this plant is toxic to dogs and cats.
Pothos is a no-joke air-cleaning plant, because it doesn’t just clean the air. You read that right. Pothos can absorb and strip toxins like formaldehyde from materials in your home like the carpet, according to Today.
Pothos are also very versatile when it comes to how you would like to display them. You can place them in a hanging basket or help them into becoming a climbing plant with a trellis or whatever object you would like.
6. English Ivy
NASA listed English ivy as the number one best air-filtering house plant because it’s the most effective at absorbing formaldehyde, according to the Huffington Post.
English ivy is also super adaptable. You can grow it as a floor plant or you can put it in a hanging basket.
7. Rubber Tree
The rubber tree is fourth on NASA’s list of good formaldehyde removers, and it’s super easy to care for.
It can thrive in dim lighting and cooler climates, according to the Huffington Post. Unfortunately, the rubber tree can be harmful to pets, so be careful if you have animals around.
8. Ficus/Weeping Fig
The ficus is an awesome tree originally from southeast Asia. When you grow it indoors, it usually grows to be between two and 10 feet tall, according to Greatist.
So be prepared! Ficus removes benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from the air.
9. Peace Lily
Peace lilies are both beautiful and low maintenance, and, to top it all off, they help you breathe easier.
Peace lilies can remove ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from the air, according to Greatist.
It’s important to note that, because peace lilies have flowers, they do produce some pollen and floral scents into the air. This means you might not want to get a bunch of them and group them together, and you’ll definitely want to avoid them if you have severe allergies.
Photo by Aaron Gustafson