Americans spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, where concentrations of pollutants can be five times stronger than outside. Therefore, it’s essential to make sure the air we breathe in our homes and workplaces is as clean as possible.
Although some rely on air purifying machines, these tend to be expensive and increase energy consumption. But, thankfully, there is an affordable and eco-friendly way to improve your indoor air quality- plants!
In the 1980s, NASA found that plants absorb toxins from the air, especially indoors. Since then, scientists have studied the best indoor plants for air quality since some are better than others.
What’s more, plants have other therapeutic benefits, such as increasing your mood and concentration ability. Many people even find they are less stressed or tired when near houseplants. But, to get the most benefit, you’ll need a few houseplants in every room of the house.
But, what are the best plants for indoor air quality? To find out, keep reading as we share the answer and give some expert tips on caring for each!
1. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
Scientists say that the peace lily is the best plant for cleaning the air since it can absorb a wide range of chemicals. Moreover, it’s low maintenance, making it a good choice for beginners who want to get plants for indoor air quality. However, it’s not the best choice for those with small children or pets since it’s toxic when ingested.
For best results, find your peace lily a bright spot in the house that doesn’t receive full sun, and water it when the top inch of the soil starts to dry out.
2. Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)
Most experts recommend placing snake plants in the bedroom since they release oxygen at night, which helps you breathe better when you’re asleep. And, they are great at removing chemicals from the air, including formaldehyde (a chemical in building materials and glues) and trichloroethylene (a chemical in refrigerants and degreasers).
Moreover, snake plants are extremely easy to care for, making them ideal for people with busy schedules. Since it’s in the succulent family, you can let the soil dry out, but be careful not to overwater it as this can cause root rot.
And, like most plants, it’s toxic when ingested. So, be sure to keep it out of reach of pets and kids.
3. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)
If you’re looking for a non-toxic plant that’s easy to care for, the spider plant is your best bet! It’s resilient and looks beautiful, especially as it grows dozens of “baby” plants that you can replant or leave trailing.
Despite being so easy to care for, the spider plant does a great job at removing carbon monoxide and xylene (a chemical in rubber and ink) from the air.
4. Weeping Fig (Ficus Benjamina)
Weeping figs are great at filtering out formaldehyde, toluene (a chemical in paint thinners), and xylene.
Like most plants, weeping figs like indirect sunlight and only need watering when the soil begins to dry out. But, they don’t like change! So, once you find the perfect location free from drafts, it’ll be happiest if you don’t move it.
5. Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum)
The pothos is one of the most common and hassle-free houseplants, known for trailing and climbing. It has large leaves and grows fast while purifying your home from carbon monoxide, benzene, and formaldehyde.
If you want to keep your pothos plant happy, place it in a bright spot with plenty of humidity, such as the bathroom or kitchen. And, water it about once a week.
6. Kentia Palm (Howea Forsteriana)
If you’re looking for a larger plant that can purify your air from chemicals like formaldehyde while decorating an elegant space, the kentia palm is a great choice!
It is resilient and even tolerates shaded spaces. But, let the top layer of soil dry out before giving it a drink, and if the tips of the palm start to brown, you should increase the watering frequency.
7. Rubber Plant (Ficus Elastica)
The rubber plant is one that NASA recommends for cleaning the air, so you can be sure it’s effective. Moreover, it has a unique look and comes in various colors, including pink, green, white, and black.
The rubber plant is easy to care for, but it doesn’t like to be overwatered. And, if you want it to grow quickly, give it plenty of bright light. Of course, you should keep rubber plants away from pets since they are toxic.
8. Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron Scandens)
There are dozens of philodendron varieties, but the heartleaf is one of the most affordable and common types. It has vibrant green leaves in a heart shape, and it trails as it grows. But, most importantly, it removes formaldehyde from your home’s air.
Give your philodendron indirect light for best results, and water it once a week during colder months and twice a week during summer. And, if you would like to experiment with other philodendrons, you can ask professionals, such as Phillips Interior Plants, for recommendations.
9. Rattlesnake Plant (Calathea Lancifolia)
If you like unique plants with beautifully patterned foliage, calatheas are an excellent choice. However, they are more challenging to care for than other plants. In addition, they like indirect sun, warmth, and plenty of humidity, so make sure you have the right environment at home before purchasing them.
Of all types of calatheas, the rattlesnake plant is one of the easiest to care for, so we recommend starting with this one. But, no matter which variety you choose, calatheas are great indoor plants for air quality!
Decorate Your Home with the Best Indoor Plants for Air Quality
Now that you know all the benefits of having indoor plants, it’s time to visit your local greenhouse or find a reputable plant shop online.
Of course, you should select the best indoor plants for air quality from this list! Then, follow the care instructions we outlined so they can thrive and filter your air quality for years to come!
Did you enjoy learning about the best indoor plants? If so, be sure to browse more of our posts related to gardening!