You can’t even imagine how many gorgeous plant species can filter toxic chemicals in the air. To choose the right air purifying plant means to detoxify the air in your space - that’s total win-win. Not only will the flower delight you with its beauty but will also make your living conditions healthier.
Back in the 1980s, NASA conducted the Clean Air Study. There the list of air purifying plants has been prepared, with all their useful characteristics explained. Let’s dive into the most popular houseplants that will clean your furniture, household products, and materials from dust and toxins.
Toxins in the air
What toxic substances may the air contain?
- Formaldehyde. It is a colorless gas that is found in chipboard or fiberboard furniture, carpets, furniture upholstery, tobacco smoke and even plastic dishes. It can cause a strong allergic reaction, asthma or irritation of the mucous membranes.
- Benzene. It can cause the heartbeat and dizziness to increase. In some cases, benzene leads to damage of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Ammonia. Ammonia is a gas that affects the respiratory tract; thus causing sharp or dry coughs. In case of contact with the skin, severe burns and swelling occur.
- Trichlorethylene. A strong carcinogen found in chlorinated water, printer cartridges, paints, and varnishes. It causes irritation of the skin and mucous membranes, affects the liver, and kidneys. In high concentration, it can even provoke cancer.
- Xylene. It is often used in the production of various types of plastics, adhesives, and is found in tobacco smoke. It adversely affects the nervous system, circulatory system, causes irritation of the skin and mucous membranes.
These plants help fight the above mentioned harmful substances and reduce their concentration in the air up to 85%.
A wonderful green helper that appears in a room and becomes the "lungs" of that room. Since this is a perennial plant, with proper care it will serve you for a long time. Among all known plants, it is the chlorophytum that best removes formaldehyde and carbon monoxide from the air. Also, it gives off a lot of oxygen.
A delicate flower with shiny leaves and elegant white flowers. Not only is it aesthetic, but it ideally fights mold spores in the air, destroys formaldehyde and trichloroethylene, which are released from furniture or contained in household chemicals.
A very unpretentious plant that is popular, scientifically proven to have amazing air purifying properties. It absorbs nitrogen oxides and formaldehydes, which makes the air clean and safe.
In addition to its beauty, gerbera removes toxic and dangerous benzene from the air. In some cases, gerbera can even help improve sleep.
A favorite flower of many gardeners, has a colossal number of useful properties. This plant makes the air more humid, absorbs dust, kills fungi and microbes in the air. Begonia also fights the radiation of electrical appliances, with such extensive action.
This plant is familiar to everyone, especially to those who have frequent lung diseases. It destroys staphylococci, which cause various diseases. From walls and floors covered with paints and varnishes, toluene and xylene are released - toluene and xylene. Dieffenbachia copes very well with them.
A whimsical, but very beautiful plant. Presented by succulent shrubs and trees, it takes efforts to grow lush and spectacular foliage. Nevertheless, all the struggles are worth it, because the plant removes benzene and trichloroethylene from the air.
If someone smokes in the house, then this plant is simply necessary, because it absorbs tar and nicotine, neutralizing it then.
Often referred to as a house palm, it grows to a height of about two meters. If the air in the apartment is dry, Hamedorea can humidify it. In addition, it eliminates various substances from the air: formaldehyde, xylene, benzene and chloroform.
One of the most unpretentious shrubs that can be grown at home. It does not require special care, lighting or watering routine. Ivy has very useful properties for air purification, because it removes benzene. trichlorethylene and various allergens.
When grown at home, it is a small tree with dark green smooth leaves. It will grow well in rooms with diffused light. Ficus consumes carbon monoxide from the air and ‘fights’ trichlorethylene and formaldehyde.
A beautiful flower that has a wide range of shades: pink, purple, red or white. During the flowering period, it loves light and warmth, but in the cold season it prefers cool conditions. It secretes a substance - geraniol, which has antiviral and antibacterial effects. It is able to purify the air from staphylococcus and streptococcus.
Definitely one of the most beautiful ferns. It is very demanding, though; but at the same time it will please you with fast growth and splendor. Do not put Fern in the bedroom: in dark rooms, it begins to rapidly absorb oxygen. In all other respects, it possesses exceptional benefits. Fern destroys xylene in the air, which evaporates from plastics, adhesives and varnishes. Also, it attracts radiation from household appliances, which is good for the flower itself.
If grown at home, it is a small tree with white flowers. It contains phytoncide - the substance that reduces the rate of harmful microorganisms in the air by half. In some countries, Myrtle is grown in hospital wards and kindergartens, because it is very useful for improving air quality.
It is indeed unpretentious in care, loves being placed on the windowsill, without direct sunlight. Also, this plant secretes phytoncides, which strengthen human immunity and remove up to 90% of the emitted formaldehyde in the room.
As you can see, most of the plants described are not care-demanding and can tolerate even the ignorant care routine. Why not put several at home? One air-purifying plant is good, but may not be enough. Grouping of flowers increases the area of efficiency. It is generally accepted that at least one flower should be placed for every 10 square meters. Therefore, the spectrum of action will be more significant.