Home Must Haves: 5 Plants That Purify the Air

english-ivy

Most people assume that the air floating around our homes is clean and fresh. That’s not always the case. When we perform activities as simple as installing new carpets or painting the walls, chemicals are released that pollute the air. Thankfully, there are some houseplants that act as efficient purifiers. Here at Gracious Gardening, we’ve compiled a list of the best air-cleaning plants.

1. English Ivy. The English Ivy is the most effective plant at absorbing formaldehyde, also known as the most common indoor pollutant. This is thanks to its dense foliage. The English Ivy is easy to grow and very adaptable, since you can use it as a hanging or floor plant. To achieve its maximum growth, the English Ivy should be stored in medium sunlight and moderate temperatures.

2. Peace Lily. As one of the few air purifiers that flower, the Peace Lily gets rid of all the VOC benzene found in the air. In case you didn’t know, VOC benzene is a carcinogen found in items like paints, furniture wax and polishes. It also sucks up acetone, which electronics, adhesives and certain cleaners release. This plant grows well in low light but requires watering once a week.

3. Lady Palm. The Lady Palm works at eliminating ammonia, which is harmful to the respiratory system. This chemical is often found in cleaners, textiles and dyes. Lady Palms are tree-like species that add charm to any room in the house.

4. Boston Fern. Similar to the English Ivy, the Boston Fern is great at removing formaldehyde found in the air, thanks to items like glue and wood products. This plant can also get rid of toxic metals like mercury and arsenic from soil. The Boston Fern can be a bit difficult to maintain because of its constant need for humidity and moisture.

5. Snake Plant. The Snake Plant helps clean the air by lowering carbon dioxide. At night, the plant absorbs it and releases oxygen. The sharp-leafed plant also removes formaldehyde and benzene from the environment.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

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