In many parts of the world, science and technology are helping build a greener and more eco-friendly environment. One of the best and easiest ways of to join this movement is to choose air purifying plants for your home or office. Think about it, plants are biodegradable, renewable, and create fresh oxygen in your home or office.
Air purifying plants work best in small living or work spaces. Especially very compact areas that prohibit a larger air purifying appliance. Beyond that, they produce no ozone while treating the air. As we’ve mentioned elsewhere, ozone can irritate your throat and lungs. The added bonus, of course, is that plants make a perfect addition to the decor of any business or household. Air purifying plants spruce up the ambiance while cleansing the air in an incredibly eco-friendly way.
About Air Purifying Plants
Studies show that certain household plants create significant air quality improvements when placed around your home. People generally know the benefits of plants in terms of absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. However, there are dozens of wonderful air purifying plants which are even more impactful when trying to reduce pollutants in your home or office.
Many of these plants thrive in sunny areas such as your kitchen or terrace while others prefer shady spots like your living room, bathroom or even office cubicle. Most are considered easy to care for though some require a bit more of a green thumb. When choosing which plant to invest in, you will want to think of variables such as whether or not you have sensitive skin, pets, or even energetic children who might want to play with a pretty plant hanging around the house. Side effects to sensitive skin include dermatitis, burning, swelling or inflammation. Animals may vomit, salivate or experience dilated pupils. Effects on humans can range from burning and swelling of lips, to vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea, though only if ingested. While there is a lot to think about in the picking process and dozens of potential options, all air purifying plants help eliminate pollutants, enhance the quality of air, and ultimately improve your home.
Aloe Vera is a relatively common houseplant with many great remedies. Most people know that the gel from the Aloe Vera plant contains vitamins, enzymes and amino acids which provide a variety of health benefits and can help heal cuts and burns. What most people don’t know is that Aloe Vera also helps remove toxins from the air by absorbing benzene, formaldehyde and carbon monoxide. When there is an excess of chemicals in the air, the leaves of the Aloe Vera plant produce brown spots. It not only helps reduce pollutants but has a built-in warning system monitoring the toxin level in your home or office.
Aloe Vera is an easy-to-grow, sun-loving plant so a window spot in the kitchen is the perfect place for this lush piece of greenery. The only downside is that it can be mildly toxic to animals, so it is not always the best plant to own if you have wily pets on the loose.
- Aids in removing formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide
- Good for skin, cuts and burns
- Leaves get brown spots when there is too much toxin in the air
- Toxic to most pets including: cats, dogs and horses
Spider Plant – A pet friendly air purifying house plant
One of the most valuable plants to consider having in your home is the Spider plant. The Spider Plant removes various pollutants from the air including benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene, which is a solvent found in materials like leather and rubber. Many of these toxins are also found in household cleaning products like glue and paint removers. It is an extremely resilient plant and easy to take care of.
The Spider plant prefers direct sunlight and looks great in a hanging pot. Since it is non-toxic to kids, it won’t be a hazard for your children if they end up swinging or knocking it over. It is also drought tolerant, so it’s a good option for people with a forgetful streak. Spider plants are extremely easy to regrow. Just cut off one of the end “spiders” or “spiderettes” and replant.
- Aids in removing formaldehyde and xylene
- Drought tolerant
- Grows well indoors
- Safe for children and pets
- Reproduces easily
- Over-fertilization of this plant can make leaves turn brown
The English Ivy is an adaptable plant that is easy to grow in moderate temperatures and medium light. It is a climbing wall plant so it will look beautiful around the windows of your kitchen or scurrying up your terrace wall. Like many of the other choices, this plant is most effective in absorbing formaldehyde and benzene from the air. However, English Ivy is also capable of removing other toxins and allergens, making it perfect for people in need of a seasonal allergy savior. Research shows that this house plant greatly reduces mold, mold spores and airborne feces from the surrounding air, further assisting allergy sufferers. For those with sensitive skin, it may cause dermatitis so make sure not to spend too much time directly handling it.
- Aids in removing benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene
- Removes toxins from air
- Removes allergens from air
- Easy to maintain
- Toxic to animals and small children
- Outdoors in gardens it is considered an invasive plant
- May cause dermatitis in humans
The Snake Plant, also called the “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue” is a great plant for beginning plant-lovers. If you’re new to the plant world and think you might have a black rather than a green thumb, this is a good place to start. The Snake Plant requires low maintenance, low sunlight and infrequent watering. Thus, making it very robust and consequently difficult to kill.
The Snake Plant filters out trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene and xylene from its surroundings. The Snake Plant is a great air purifier to keep in your bedroom because it absorbs most of its CO2 at night, producing oxygen and assisting in creating optimal breathing conditions. You can easily keep it on your window sill so as to enjoy the air as well as the scenery.
- Aids in removing benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene
- Produces Oxygen at night
- Great for beginning plant-lovers
- Not safe for pets
There are many varieties of Dracaena in all shapes and sizes, but the Red-Edged Dracaena reigns supreme when it comes to air purification. This is another great plant for aspiring green thumbs who haven’t yet learned all of the ins and outs of gardening. It’s important to keep the plant’s soil damp but without overwatering. Dracaenas love bright but indirect light so you don’t have to worry about keeping them saturated in sunshine. They grow slowly but can sprout up to almost 15 feet tall. Once again, these particular plants are usually toxic to animals like dogs and cats but are able to remove a plethora of pollutants from the air. With their spiky leaves and red border, they add a lovely flourish to drab office space.
- Aid in removing benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene
- Good for beginning plant-owners
- Easy to take care of
- Not friendly to animals
- Grow very slowly
The Golden Pothos, also called Devil’s Ivy, is most recognizable due to its golden and heart-shaped leaves. It is extraordinarily easy to take care of particularly because it can survive or even thrive with lower amounts of light and in cold but moist temperatures. In addition to its distinctive leaves, Golden Pothos is typically found in hanging plants and can grow up to 8 feet long. Unfortunately, like so many of the other wonderful purifiers, it is generally toxic to animals so you will want to keep it in a secure spot. Up on a nice tall shelf where its leaves can dangle freely below, the Golden Pothos will flourish.
- Aids in removing formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, benzene, carbon monoxide
- Tolerates low light and cold temperatures
- Easy to maintain
- Not safe for animals or children
- Can grow to be very long
The Peace Lily is one of the most renowned plants for air purification. It’s one of the smaller plants on the spectrum but still manages to produce a notable amount of pollen and scent. Therefore, it makes a great plant for smaller spaces in terms of size but may need to be rethought when considering inhabitants with allergies or how floral you would like your office to smell. Just like the Aloe Vera plant, the Peace Lily has a natural indicator, but this one is for water requirements. When the Lily needs rehydration, its leaves droop, making it an easy plant to maintain. It is considered one of the best in terms of ridding the air of primary pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene. However, it also goes on the list of plants which are toxic to animals and children, so you would want to keep this little gem out of reach.
- Aids in removing formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene, ammonia
- Small in size
- Easy to maintain
- Toxic to animals and children
- Produces lots of pollen and floral scent
Air purifying house plants are great. They are an inexpensive and natural way to purify the air in your home. There are abundant benefits with limited drawbacks. Adding one to your home is a smart, eco-friendly way to reduce airborne toxins.
Keep in mind that many of these air purifying plants are not safe for animals to ingest, but while the Spider Plant may be the least toxic, most of these houseplants will happily thrive if kept in the right environment and out of the reach of pets and kids. Whether it be the medicinal Aloe Vera, the heart-shaped Golden Pothos or the perfumed Peace Lily, each of these plants offer something useful and unique. When properly maintained and cared for, any one of these plants will provide a healthy improvement to your home or workplace. They also make a great air purifier companion.