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Our guide to must-have air purifying plants for your home

Adding household plants to our home and office environment can offer many benefits beyond beauty. Reducing carbon dioxide levels, keeping air temperatures down, increasing humidity and reducing airborne dust levels are just a few advantages to introducing greenery into your personal space. But did you know that plants can help you stay healthy in the winter months with air purifying properties that are backed by science?

According to a 1989 NASA study on Clean Air, certain common household plants are effective at removing benzene, formaldehyde and ammonia commonly found in the household items such as, paint, adhesives, paper bags, plastics and cleaners? These chemicals can have adverse effects such as watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; coughing; wheezing; nausea; and skin irritation just to name a few. 

The most effective air cleansers, according to Dr. B. C. Wolverton, are the Florist's Chrysanthemum and Peace Lily. These two plants help reduce your environment of trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, xylene and ammonia.

Listed below are just a few stylish common houseplants that are fairly easy to care for and provide the added benefit of clean oxygen. 

  1. Boston Fern; water moderately to heavy and give them moderate light

  2. Variegated Snake Plant; in full sun or a bright, partially shaded area and water about 1/4 cup of water every few weeks

  3. Dracaena; moderate light and low to moderate watering

  4. Spider Plant; water regularly and keeping them in indirect sunlight

  5. Peace Lily; keep out of direct sunlight, but in a well-lit area and keep the soil moist at all times, but do not overwater

Grab one for each room and start cleaning the air in your home today!

BC Wolverton; WL Douglas; K Bounds (July 1989). A study of interior landscape plants for indoor air pollution abatement (Report). NASA. NASA-TM-108061. How to Grow Your Own Fresh Air – TED 2009. An extension of the TED Talk.