You probably already knew that all plants release oxygen through photosynthesis, but did you know that there are some plants that are practically A students in this area? We kid you not. Scientists – the guys from NASA to be more specific – have found that some plants are better at purifying the air than others.
‘But what does that have to do with detoxing?’ you’re probably wondering. Well here’s the deal. Even with all your cleaning efforts, and even with the use of a man-made air-purifier, sometimes you just can’t get it all. And that’s where houseplants come in. They can absorb harmful toxins from the air, especially in enclosed spaces with little air flow. So as you do your best to implement the steps on our website and detox your home, consider adding air-cleaning houseplants to work around the clock so you don’t have to (work smarter, not harder).
When it comes to air-purifying, not all plants are created equal. For one, the non-flowering guys tend to do better in this exam. Also, if you’re going to have it inside, it’s got to fit into a pot. So here’s our list of favorites that you can add to your space to start the detoxing and improve air quality.
1. Aloe vera
This super plant isn’t just awesome for your insides. While aloe vera is an all-around miracle plant, with antibacterial, wound-healing properties and makes a great detox water, it also does wonders for the environment too. And the best part – minimal maintenance required.
Add this one to your space to eliminate: Formaldehyde
2. Chrysanthemums (affectionately called ‘Mums’)
Chrysanthemums are absolutely gorgeous plants when they bloom. And that’s also when they are most effective at ridding your space of toxins. Unlike most other plants on this list though, they will require more TLC so be prepared for frequent waterings and check-ins. After the blooms go, it may be a good idea to transplant or relocate them outdoors. As beautiful and cheery as these blooms are though, they are toxic to pets so if you have furry friends you may want to rethink the Mums.
Add this one to your space to eliminate: Formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, ammonia
3. Bamboo Palms
Bamboo Palms are rockstars at ridding a space of formaldehyde and require minimal TLC. They appreciate some sunlight so consider placing these in large pots on the floor near a glass door or large window. Placing it on the floor is fine as it’s great for pets and kids and will be a nice focal point as it grows, considering they can grow as tall as 12 feet.
Add this one to your space to eliminate: Formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide, xylene, chloroform
4. Snake Plant/Mother in Law’s Tongue
Of all the plants on our list, this one is probably the most resilient and absolute hardest to kill. (We’re tempted to make a joke about a plant called snake having mother-in-law’s tongue as an alias but we won’t.) If you’re horrible with plants and worry about committing plant homicide this one is for you. It will thrive well in dry conditions with minimal watering. Just be sure to give it some sun periodically.
Add this one to your space to eliminate: Benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene
5. Peace lily
This is the other one of the two flowering plants on our list and like the ‘mums’ it is also harmful to pets and children. So if you have furry ones or little ones around you can skip it. Otherwise, be prepared for beautiful flowers in the summer and ensure that you don’t overwater this beauty. It also loves the shade (with minimal sun exposure) so avoid putting it in direct sunlight.
Add this one to your space to eliminate: formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene, ammonia, and more
6. English Ivy
The English Ivy is another gorgeous green option for purifying the air in your home. It is great for hanging, which is wonderful since it is toxic if ingested and can cause dermatitis and other skin conditions if its sap gets on the skin. To keep it out of reach of pets and children consider hanging in a pot from the ceiling where it will flourish. This one loves a little of both worlds so ensure you give it a balance of sunlight and shade.
Add this one to your space to eliminate: Benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and more
Dracaenas come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and colors, so if you decide to go with this plant you’re sure to find one that speaks to your taste and style. Be sure not to overwater as that’s one way to guarantee its death. While it’s a beauty to look at it’s not great for pets so that’s something else to consider if you happen to have them around.
Add this one to your space to eliminate: Formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, benzene, trichloroethylene
8. Spider plant
If you’re looking for a low maintenance and easy to care for houseplant, you may want to give the Spider Plant a try. They grow quickly and are huge fans of bright light so be sure to put them somewhere where they can enjoy the sun. They’re also another great option for hanging if your space allows it, and what’s more, you never have to worry about the pets or kids with this one as its perfectly safe for them.
Add this one to your space to eliminate: Formaldehyde, xylene