In 1989, NASA’s landmark study, where the scientists claimed that there are certain indoor plants that purify the air. They found out this is the most natural way of getting rid of pollutants, unlike the expensive humidifiers.
Ideally, there are two ways these plants can purify the pollutants in the air. The first phenomenon is through photosynthesis, and the other one is respiration. Both ways, plants absorb the carbon dioxide, and let the oxygen out. Even though these indoor air purifying plants are slow, and not that effective, they surely do some changes indoors according to the Journal of Exposure Sciences & Environmental Epidemiology. And we must not forget the famous quote, “Little drops of water make a mighty ocean.”
In this modern and technology-driven era, the closed indoors with energy efficiency lacking air flow are subjected to reduce the quality of air. For instance, the paint on the walls contains common VOCs (xylene, ethyl acetate, benzene, and formaldehyde) that cause dizziness, asthma or other chronic respiratory diseases, runny nose, headaches, and more. Similarly, chemicals used in making the carpets can also contaminate the indoor air. Hence, planting the air purifying plants indoors is an awesome way. There is more than air purification, as plants can improve the individual’s mental health, and sleep cycle.
Finding indoor air purifying plants is quite easy these days. A lot of varieties also can be found of a single species. Another key thing that needs to be remembered is that if you’re a pet owner, or have children at home, then enquire whether the indoor plants are toxic or not. Some of the indoor plants can cause vomiting or severe irritation around the pet’s mouth.
Best Indoor Air Purifying Plants for Beginners:
1. Spider Plants:
Spider plants are one of the most easy to find air purifying indoor plants. The reason for such popularity is its nature as a low-maintenance plant, and top finds for beginners. These perennial flowering plants increase the levels of humidity in your space. Some of its essential requirements are indirect sun exposure as the direct sun can affect the leaves, even moisture, and water needs to be done once a week.
Absorbing toxins: Xylene, carbon monoxide, benzene, formaldehyde
Harmful: non-poisonous towards both humans and pets.
I have already made a proper guide on one of the variants of Dracaena which is about mass cane plants. Dracaenas are widely popular for having around 40 variants to choose from for house plants. This tropical beauty needs a good draining soil, and indirect sun or partial shade. Moreover, you need to know that they can grow as tall as 3 to 6 feet, so a good ceiling height would do justice to their growth.
Absorbing toxins: trichloroethylene, formaldehyde
Harmful: towards both humans and plants
3. Snake Plant (Mother-in-law’s tongue)
If you put a snake plant anywhere at home, be it bathroom, bedroom, or near the window, it will survive easily. Also, in case you forgot or neglected to water the snake plant, don’t worry it will still be alive. NASA considers the Mother-in-law’s tongue to be a good choice for the best indoor plants to purify air. Many plant experts say that the bedroom is the best place for snake plants as it allows absorbing carbon dioxide, and breathes out oxygen.
Absorbing toxins: trichloroethylene, benzene, nitrogen oxide, formaldehyde, xylene
Harmful: Towards both humans and pets
4. Garden Mum (Chrysanthemums):
When the flowers of a plant blossom, it is a delightful moment for all of us. Can’t we bring the same delight inside our home? Yeah, by simply planting the most effective and best indoor air purifying plants i.e. chrysanthemums. Locate the plant pot in an area where it easily has access to sunlight for 5-6 hours. The pot should be designed in such ways that exercise good air circulation, and drainage.
Absorbing toxins: formaldehyde, benzene, and ammonia
Harmful: towards dogs and cats
5. Areca Palm:
High humidity and a desirable amount of light are the necessary factors for letting the Areca palm plant thrive indoors. This indoor plant benefits in improving sleep, so, if you’re looking for more options, then do consider it. It looks outstanding in a landscape spot of your house, or office. Direct sunlight should be avoided for areca palm.
Absorbing toxins: Toluene, xylene, and formaldehyde
Harmful: Non-poisonous towards both pets and human
6. Money Plants:
Money plants are extremely popular, and you can see many plant lovers adore this plant for their versatility. The bushy nature of the plant helps it stand out so well indoors. They call it devil’s ivy because it won’t say goodbye to you ever. Moreover, once you buy it, there is no need to buy it again as it can be easily propagated.
Absorbing toxins: xylene, toluene, benzene, and carbon monoxide
Harmful: towards both humans and pets
Best Air Purifying Plants Indoors for Experienced Growers
1. Bamboo Palms:
Naturally, bamboo palms grow in the shade of dense forest. Therefore, a partial shade spot in your house will be suitable for bamboo palms. Most of plant lovers keep this indoor plant where it can easily grow 20 feet tall without feeling clumsy. You need to check the concentration of salt in your water, and the drainage of the pot. Other than that, you can absolutely control the size of bamboo palms by pruning.
Absorbing chemicals: Formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, toluene, and xylene
Harmful: Non-poisonous towards both humans, cats, and dogs
2. Peace Lily:
One of the few air-purifying plants, Peace Lily is also known especially for producing sweet-scented flowers. The green-colored and oval leaves of the plant have a glossy appearance which greatly brings out the contrast with the white flowers. Do you have an empty corner or a dark place that needs liveliness? Then, getting a peace lily plant will be a nice purchase.
Absorbing chemicals: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, ammonia, xylene and toluene
Harmful: Towards kids, dogs, and cat
3. Gerbera Daisy:
The beautiful and colorful flowers are the topmost reason for plant enthusiasts to get gerbera daisies. It is the delicate needs of these air-purifying plants that can be a little over for beginners. If you’re someone who loves to be around plants, then gerbera daisy is for you. Some of the essential requirements are regular watering, the right balance of sunlight, and an appropriate temperature.
You need to know that gerbera plants won’t bloom if they don’t get an adequate amount of direct light. In that case, get ready to shift their location.
Absorbing chemicals: Benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene
Harmful: Non-poisonous towards dogs, cats, horses, and human
4. Chinese Evergreen:
This drought-tolerant plant can get used to any conditions of the indoors. However, placing them in direct sunlight, and standing water are the major causes that affect Chinese evergreen. Choosing a location such as a bathroom, hallway, or office lobby can be an awesome pick due to the moist air. In spring, it blooms flowers that resemble the peace lily flowers.
Absorbing chemicals: Formaldehyde, and benzene
Harmful: towards, dogs, cats, and children
5. Aloe Vera:
Aloe vera may not look visually appealing but the benefits of this plant make it one of the best air purifier indoor plants. The uses of aloe vera plants start from healing dry skin and other skin issues to reducing blood sugar levels. Leaves of the aloe vera are the most important part of this succulent plant, and therefore you need to keep them away from the direct sunlight. Soil-touch testing is an ideal way to know if it needs watering.
Absorbing chemicals: Benzene, and formaldehyde
Harmful: mildly toxic towards domestic animals
6. Weeping Fig Tree:
The ficus tree or weeping fig tree is a fast-growing plant leading them to be as tall as 3 to 6 ft. Every once in a year, the indoor plant needs to be transferred to a new house (new pot). In its fast-growing season, the watering becomes regular whereas in the normal period (fall or winter), let its soil be dry. The Ficus tree shows its temperaments when you move it repeatedly to fulfill its requirements.
As it can grow up to 3 to 6 ft tall, in that case, pruning becomes highly necessary. This way, the indoor plant will not touch the ceiling.
Absorbing chemicals: formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene
Harmful: towards both humans and animals
7. Rubber Plant:
The striking feature of this indoor plant is its unique deep purple color leaves. A little distance from the window will be suitable as it is sensitive to temperature drop. At the same time, the plant can take a leggy look if the need for light is unmet.
Absorbing chemicals: formaldehyde
Harmful: towards domestic animals and humans
These best air purifying plants are all eye-catching and yet functional. Most of these indoor plants cater to the need for indirect light. Harsh lighting can burn the leaves and cause other diseases, therefore using the sheer curtain will filter the heat. Out of all these indoor plants, chrysanthemum is the highest-rated one for air purification by NASA’s study.