Add any healthy foliage to a room or hallway and it instantly adds warmth and charm. But placing plants inside your home has many benefits beyond the aesthetic. It is now well documented, and by NASA no less, that plants have a powerful role to play in purifying air.

Chemicals found in polishes, paints, insect sprays as well as other allergens hover in our homes and can have adverse effects. But instead of investing in expensive air purifiers and filters, just be a little smarter in the plants you choose to keep indoors. If you care for them a little, these purifiers of nature will give you back manifold.

Spider Plant

 

This humble plant is commonly available and easy to look after. It is either green or variegated with white. The plant produces off-shoots with a new plant attached at the end, resembling the proverbial spider.

Spider plants like moderate to bright indirect sunlight and should be watered moderately. The plant has been identified by NASA as one of the most efficient air purifiers absorbing chemicals like benzene, formaldehyde and carbon monoxide

Aloe Vera

 

Is there anything that this plant doesn’t do? The benefits of aloe vera as a beauty aid have been well documented but it is an extremely efficient absorber of harmful chemicals like benzene as well.

Moreover, this is an extremely hardy plant and difficult for even the worst gardener to kill off. They need a good source of sunlight, so place the plant next to a bright window and water it only when the soil is dry. After watering, drain the tray under the pot as well.

Snake Plant

 

Also known as Mother-in-law’s Tongue, the long spike-like leaves of this plant will have you breathing easier in your home. It is recommended that this plant be placed in your bedroom since it actually gives out oxygen at night, besides filtering harmful chemicals.

Again, its is an inexpensive and hardy plant which needs little care. Place it in moderate sunlight and most importantly, do not overwater. The plant will rot if overwatered so water it only when the soil is quite dry.

Palms

 

Members of the palm family are popular for indoor use because of their aesthetic appeal. A bamboo plant adds instant glamour to any room. But this plant is more than just a pretty face and absorbs irritants like formaldehyde. The Areca palm or the Lady palm are the top two choices for air purifying purposes.

However, palms are more delicate and need a vigilant eye on them to remain healthy. They require moderate sunlight and have to be watered frequently, but not over watered.

Peace Lily

Peace Lilies are pretty and easy to care for. They are ideal indoor plants since they prefer a shady environment. They are extremely effective absorbers of chemicals like Benzene and Trichloroethylene. Peace Lilies also add moisture to the air and will have you breathing easier.

Rubber Plant

 

This is another ideal indoor plant since it prefers dim light and needs little watering. It is a hardy plant, quite tolerant of neglect but does a good job of absorbing those harmful chemicals.

Rubber plants were commonly seen in the seventies but seem to have fallen out of fashion. However, we would do well to revive the rubber plant trend.

English Ivy

 

Although named ‘English Ivy’, this plant does well in warmer climates as well. It grows aggressively in outdoor spaces and will quickly climb walls. Indoors, it will remain contained while sapping the air of chemicals and allergens.

It needs lots of sunlight though and a well watered and well-drained soil.

Although all these species have air purifying properties, only a healthy, thriving plant will be  able to do the job. A sickly plant will not be able to purify your home.

So when choosing which plants to bring indoors, pick the ones you are likely to be able to look after well. A healthy plant, of any species, is more beneficial than a sickly plant even one rated highly as a purifier.

Also, adding one small plant to a large space will not be particularly beneficial. You need to consider the size of the room and add more than one as needed.

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