In the late 1980’s, NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America studied houseplants as a way to purify the air in space facilities. They found several plants that filter out common volatile organic compounds. Lucky for us, the plants can also help clean indoor air on Earth. Here is a list of our favorite houseplants.
Aloe Vera: This easy-to-grow, sun loving succulent helps clean formaldehyde and benzene, which can be a byproduct of chemical based cleaners, paints, and more. Aloe Vera will grow best in a sunny kitchen window.
Spider Plant: This is the plant of choice for those of us who lack a green thumb or forget to water plants. This resilient plant is difficult to kill, safe around your pets, and helps battle against benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and xylene, a solvent used in leather, rubber, and printing industries. Spider plants are very easy to grow, but thrive in cool-to average home temperatures and dry soil.
Gerber Daisy: This bright cheerful flower is effective at removing trichloroethylene, which you may bring home with your dry cleaning. It also is good for filtering out the benzene that comes with inks. Add one to your laundry room or bedroom, presuming you can give it enough light.
Snake Plant: Also known as mother-in-laws tongue, this plant is one of the best for filtering out formaldehyde, which is common in cleaning products, toilet papers, tissues, and personal care products. You may want to put a couple of these plants in your bedroom. They absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen at night.
Chrysanthemum: The colorful flower of a mum can do a lot more than brighten a home office or living room; the blooms also help filter out benzene, which is commonly found in glue, paint, plastics, and detergent. This plant loves bright light, so you’ll need to find a spot near a window for direct sunlight.
Azalea: This beautiful flowering shrub will help combat formaldehyde from sources such as plywood or foam insulation. Because Azaleas do best in cool areas, 60-65 degrees, they are a good option for improving indoor air in your basement, just make sure you have a spot with lots of direct sunlight!