Air Purifying House Plants

Published in Green Living Tips, Household tips on 13th April 2013

Besides using an Energy-Star certified air purifier to protect your loved ones from allergens and odours, a green solution will be to grow plants that can remove some of these harmful air-borne substances.

Below are 6 air-purifying house plants that can be grown to maintain the cleanliness of your indoor air.

Bamboo PalmBamboo Palm

It removes formaldehyde, which is a type of VOCs (volatile organic compounds), found in lacquer used for finishing competed furniture.

It has also been mentioned to be able to function as a natural humidifier.

Snake PlantSnake Plant

The snake plant (mother-in-law’s tongue) is a popular air purifying house plants because of its ability to grow under low light levels and irregular watering frequency. It has also been shown in studies by NASA3 to be able to absorb nitrogen oxides and formaldehyde.

Areca palmAreca Palm

The areca palm is a flowering plant that is native to Madagascar. It is one of the best air purifying plants for general air cleanliness, with its ability to remove chemicals like xylene and toluene from the air, and ability to function as a natural humidifier.

Other names for this plant are butterfly palm and golden cane palm.

Spider PlantSpider Plant

The spider plant is a great house plant that can help in removing carbon monoxide2 and nitrogen dioxide2. These gases are present due to incomplete combustion and usage of butane stoves for cooking.

It has also been proven to be one of those effective in the removal of formaldehyde in contaminated air1.

Gerbera DaisiesGerbera Daisy

This plant, which is named after the German botanist Traugott Gerber, has striking flowers able to remove air-borne benzene.

Besides benzene, it is also able to absorb carbon dioxide and emit more oxygen during night-time so improving your sleep. Therefore, it is a perfect plant to place in your bedroom.

Golden PothosGolden Pothos

The golden pothos or devil’s ivy is a fast-growing evergreen vine that can be grown as a hanging pot plant. It has also been shown to be another useful plant in removing formaldehyde from contaminated air1.

Like the spider plant, the golden pothos can remove carbon monoxide2 and nitrogen dioxide2 gases as well.

Therefore, a good location to grow this air purifying house plant will be your garage, as all the above gases can be found in your car exhaust.

To conclude, one easy way to live a green lifestyle is to grow these air purifying house plants. You do not need power to maintain the cleanliness of your surrounding air.  

References

1) Wolverton et al. (1984). Foliage plants for removing indoor air pollutants from energy-efficient homes. Economic Botany.38(2):pp. 224-228.   

 (Download the journal here)

2) Wolverton et al. (1985). Foliage plants for indoor removal of the primary combustion gases carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. Journal of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences

(Download the journal here)

3) https://archive.org/etails/nasa_techdoc_19930072988 (Last accessed 04/02/2015)