Add Indoor Houseplants to Purify the Air

June 18th, 2015
Ficus benjamina

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Did you know that some indoor houseplants actually help to purify the air? While they won’t purify the air as successfully as an air filter, they certainly can help. Adding one or a few of these plants to your home is an ideal choice, especially for allergy or asthma sufferers. Some plants or flowering plants may bother your allergies – but these indoor houseplants could be an ideal choice. Always check with your doctor before adding plants to your home if you are allergic to pollen or plants and flowers.

Most indoor plants are easy to care for. It is important to follow the instructions. Some indoor plants want lots of sunlight and others want indirect light. It is easier to follow the instructions than some might think, simply read the plastic tab that comes with most indoor houseplants that comes with your plant. It has an image of your plant with growing instructions. This tab will tell you exactly how to care for your plant. If uncertain, ask at the greenhouse or place where you purchase your plants.

Some of the most popular indoor plants for purifying the air include:

  • Philodendron
  • English Ivy
  • Spider Plant
  • Weeping Fig
  • Golden Pothos
  • Peace Lily
  • Bamboo or Reed Palm
  • Snake Plant
  • Red-Edged Dracaena

NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America conducted a study in the late 1980’s and these plants were among some of the most successful indoor plants to be found to purify the air. This study, conducted by Dr. B.C. Wolverton, Anne Johnson and Keith Bounds was originally done to help find ways to purify the air for the astronauts as they orbited in space stations. But we know you’ll agree that this study shows how you can help purify the air right in your home…not just as you glide past Mars in a space station!

Many know that plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen by using photosynthesis. This study discovered that indoor houseplants help to remove harmful elements including trichloroethylene, benzene and formaldehyde from the air we breathe. Both NASA and the ACLA spent two years on their study testing 19 different well known houseplants to see how successfully they removed air bound pollutants. From the 19 plants, 17 are “true” houseplants and two of them – the gerbera daisies and chrysanthemums are often used indoors as decorations during certain seasons.

The study went on to suggest that the typical home of less than 2,000 square feet should have 15 samples of these houseplants to improve air quality. The plants are best when grown in at least six inch containers or even larger containers.

It’s easy to add a few plants to your home and they look so nice. Choose one or a few varieties to compliment your home. Remember these plant care tips:

Under watering can be just as much a challenge as over-watering. Touch the soil and it should feel moist, like nourished soil outside does (not damp and not dry). Most indoor plants do well being watered twice a week, depending on size and variety.

Is your plant getting larger? It may be time to re-pot it. When your plant gets bigger, it needs a new home. Go to the greenhouse or plant store and buy a new pot and dish for your plant – don’t forget to buy soil to help repot your plant.

Does your plant have brown or crumbled leaves? Remove them gently and you’ll help your plant grow strong and healthy. Sometimes a plant gets too much sun – remove it from that much sunlight for the future.

Read more about the NASA study here:

2 Responses to “Add Indoor Houseplants to Purify the Air”

  1. That is very interesting I did not know about that. I think it is very important to have a good air quality but air filter are so expansive. Those plants will be great in my house!

  2. Indoor houseplants play very important role to purify the air. These houseplants are great for removing poisonous gases as well as other impurities like formaldehyde and xylene. I think these should be kept in the kitchen or near the fireplace.

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