With their ability to absorb airborne toxins and expel fresh oxygen, plants do a lot to keep the air clean and fresh. Though the average homeowner cannot grow enough plants to completely purify their indoor air, even a few houseplants have a helpful impact. The best houseplants for air quality tend to be ones that have low light requirements and a high cleaning capability. If you care about air purity, you may want to add one or more of these plants to your home decor.
Also referred to as devil’s ivy, money plant, or golden pothos, this plant starts out as a cluster of compact, heart-shaped leaves. However, with the right light, the pothos grows long tendrils of vines. This makes it ideal for draping over a mantel or hanging from a basket on the wall. The pothos’ wide, flat leaves easily pick up toxins like trichloroethylene and xylene.
Another great perk of this plant is its sturdiness. It does best in bright yet indirect light, and it only needs watering once a week. Just keep in mind that this plant is known for being a little invasive. Always keep it in containers away from other plants, or you might find yourself with more pothos than you need!
The snake plant gets its name from its long, flat leaves with variegated patterns in yellow, green, and white. It can help remove VOCs like benzene, xylene, and formaldehyde. A unique fact about this plant’s air purification abilities is that it keeps producing oxygen even at night. Therefore, it can be a great choice for the bedroom.
Also called a sansevieria or mother-in-law’s tongue plant, this is a favorite for its low-maintenance needs. Ideally, it should be watered once a week and placed in a room with a sunny window. However, it can survive just fine in a dimly lit room with just a couple of waterings each month.
If you love cheerful, bright colors, this may be the house plant for you. The gerbera daisy regularly produces large, colorful blooms in shades of red, pink, yellow, white, and orange. Even when it is not in bloom, its large, crinkled leaves produce high levels of oxygen. In addition to releasing oxygen, the gerbera daisy can also help remove chemicals like benzene.
For the most colorful blooms, the gerbera daisy benefits from bright sunlight. Consider placing it in a sunny windowsill to get the most impressive results. This plant does have higher moisture requirements, doing best when soil is constantly moist. This makes it work well for those who have a tendency to overwater their plants.
Dwarf Date Palm
If you want something truly impressive looking, consider the dwarf date palm. This mini palm tree grows up to a size of around five to eight feet, making it perfectly sized for inside. The large, feathery looking leaves each reach around six feet, and they can remove both xylene and formaldehyde from the air. Another perk is that female dwarf date palms produce edible fruit.
This plant does well inside since it has a compact root ball that does not require a large pot. It prefers a warm spot and grows best when in medium to high light. The main enemy of the dwarf date tree is overwatering, so you can usually just water it a few times a month.
To get the look of trendy succulents while still cleaning your air, try aloe vera. With its clustered rosettes of spiky leaves, this plant has a lovely, minimalistic look. Aloe does an excellent job of filtering out benzene and formaldehyde from the air. Another practical use for aloe is soothing burns and bug bites. Breaking off a plant and spreading the sap on the skin can help you heal more quickly from things like sunburns.
Aloe can go weeks without water, so it is an excellent choice if you tend to be a bit absentminded. However, aloe vera cannot sacrifice sunlight. It tends to wilt and brown when it is too far away from a light source. If possible, put it on a sunny windowsill with plenty of natural light.
The spider plant is a fun option because of its unique growing method. The plant sprouts miniature versions of itself on long stalks, and you can break off these stalks to grow a whole new plant. In addition to looking attractive with its long green and white leaves, the spider plant is also very reliable at cleaning away xylene and carbon monoxide. Unlike many houseplants, it is not toxic to either cats or dogs.
Spider plants can get as big as you will let them. Once they reach around one to two feet in height, they expand outwards to fill up the rest of their pot. This fast-growing plant thrives when you give it enough water and light. It prefers medium levels of light without direct sunlight. However, you can move it to dimmer areas as long as you are fine with the plant losing the striped pattern on its leaves.
Peace lilies are another flowering house plant that removes toxins like benzene and trichloroethylene. Unlike showier daisies, their blooms are fairly subtle. They regularly sprout pale green and white, trumpet-shaped flowers from long stalks. When not blooming, they still have attractively glossy, dark green leaves that can easily fill up a large space.
Peace lilies are a great addition to this list because they are so simple to care for. They can be placed in areas with low light. Some people even report these plants will grow in rooms without any windows at all! A weekly watering is all they need to thrive.
The rubber plant has been one of the trendiest house plants lately, due to its large, oval-shaped leaves. When placed in a large enough pot, this plant can reach up to 10 feet tall inside. In addition to an eye-catching look, this petite tree also has an impressive amount of purification abilities. Like most of the plants on this list, it can absorb and break down VOCs. It also has the uniquely helpful ability to eliminate mold spores and bacteria in the air.
The rubber plant can handle a small amount of neglect fairly well. They thrive in dry conditions, so you can let the soil dry out thoroughly between waterings. If you want an extremely tall plant, it is best to put it in brighter light. However, these plants also do very well in dim lighting.
Ultimately, house plants can be a great way to add a little more oxygen to your air, but they cannot purify the air on their own. If you want complete air purification, you may need to upgrade your HVAC system. Fahnestock HVAC of Wichita is here to help with all your air purifying needs. We also assist with a variety of other HVAC services including heating and cooling including repairs, installation, and maintenance. Give us a call today to schedule your next appointment.