How the benefits of these 6 remarkable air-purifying indoor plants will help you to remove toxins
How to use the benefits of the top 6 air-purifying house plants to help you to remove toxins and to nurture your home and office
Have you ever heard of the benefits of air-purifying indoor plants? “Air-purifying indoor plants ?”, I hear you thinking,
In this blog post, you will learn all about what the benefits of air-purifying indoor plants are. I will tell you also the most convenient place where you could get air-purifying indoor plants for your home and office.
At this time of the year, people get inside their homes and close the windows and doors of their homes to keep themselves warm. And so they lock all sorts of pollutants inside too. This is where air-purifying plants may come in handy.
“What are air-purifying plants and what do air-purifying plants do?” you might wonder.
Well, if you have a few spare moments I will uncover the magic these plants can do for you. In this blog post, you will learn things as what is better for improving indoor air quality: a plant or an air purifier. I will also talk about the best air-purifying plants and where can you get these.
So, shall we?:-)
Do plants clean the air?
People believe plants can clean air. There are also some scientific studies which support this belief. One scientific study of NASA has shown that indoor plants can clean the air in a closed environment. They discovered that plants not only absorb carbon dioxide, but also other so-called volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). Benzene (found in plastics, fabrics, pesticides and cigarette smoke) and formaldehyde (in cosmetics, dish detergents, fabric softener and carpet cleaner) are just a few of these pollutants. The air-purifying indoor plants can filter these from the air and let you enjoy the clean air in your home and office.
What are air-purifying plants and what do air-purifying plants do?
In general, all plants have the quality to absorb carbon dioxide from the air. After it has been through their “green lungs” it comes back as oxygen. Simple science, me and I guess you also have learned this during our biology lessons at school :-). You also know about the lungs of our planet Earth, the Amazon forest, right? And you have heard about the destruction of the Amazon. Sure you do, but, this is another topic.
Let’s go back to the benefits of air-purifying indoor plants. These plants are a few common indoor plants which remove toxic agents from the air naturally.
Do air-purifying plants really work?
According to Kamal Meattle, Indian CEO and environmental activist the benefits of air-purifying indoor plants help improve people’s health and performance. They help to reduce eye irritation, lower incidence of respiratory issues and leads to fewer headaches and less asthma.
There are certain conditions of course such as the number of the plants per square meter, how big the leaves of the plants are, etc.
The most famous scientific study saying that air-purifying indoor plants do really work is the NASA Clean Air Study.
This is a very logical question. What should you choose if you wish to have cleaner air in your home or office?
Well, first, they both work on a different principle.
Plants use phytoremediation to absorb pollutants and an air purifier uses filters or static electricity. Plants require little maintenance and no electricity. For an air purifier, you will need electricity and regular cleaning. Moreover, an air purifier would not catch many VOC’s from the air and an air-purifying plant can filter a bigger variety of pollutants.
So, it is up to you and the situation in the space you want to clear up. You can use both if you choose.
What plants are best for improving indoor air quality?
The NASA Clean Air Study has made a selection of top 10 houseplant air cleaners. But, the plants of the NASA Clean Air Study are not the only indoor air-purifying plants out there. Several succulents have air-purifying qualities too.
Best air-purifying plants according to NASA:
Why the air-purifying indoor plants are important to homes and offices?
This question doesn’t need research-based evidence I think. I assume all of you will agree that clean air is as important outdoors as indoors. And if you could brighten your indoor space with a few air-purifying plants you could only benefit from this.
What are the benefits of the best air-purifying indoor plants for your home?
As it’s the indoor place where you probably spend the most time of the day you would like to design your very own space in there. Besides the personal touch you give your home you certainly want it to be a clean living environment for you and your loved ones. So, which air purifying plants would do the job? Well, there are luckily plenty to choose from.
If you go back to the NASA study I have mentioned earlier you will find a list of more than thirty plants. You will find information on the toxicity of each plant. They also explain which pollutants each of these plants removes from the air.
Is Snake plant the best air-purifying plant?
“The Snake plant?”- I hear you asking. What the heck is a snake plant? This was my question too when I heard about it for the first time. And the funny thing is that I do have such a plant at home. I have three of them standing already for years on my windowsill. And I didn’t know they are doing such a wonderful job at home. Since I know this already I give them some extra water every week, just kidding. These guys are soo… strong and easy-going, really!
What are the top three indoor air-purifying plants as recommended by NASA?
Let’s go back to the Snake plant. Is this the best air purifying plant? It seems that the Snake plant became very popular because of the NASA study of 1989. NASA has identified the Mother in law’s tongue or the Snake plant as one of the top reducers of pollution of indoor air. According to the NASA researchers, Mother-in-law’s tongue works for cleaning benzene and formaldehyde which are common ingredients of cleaning products, hygiene, and personal care products. Mother-in-law’s tongue filters trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene indoors too. According to the NASA Clean Air Study, the Snake plant doesn’t work only on reducing ammonia. So, apparently, it reduces four out of all five air pollutants in the air at your home and office.
Is Aloe plant a good air-purifier?
This is easy to grow and sun-loving succulent with healing properties. People use Aloe Vera plants for more than 6000 years. People use Aloe Vera for skin conditions, to heal wounds, to stimulate their immunity and a lot more. The question is does the Aloe Vera plant also clean the air from VOC or volatile organic compounds?
People believe it does, but oftentimes just a belief is not enough. That is why let us go back to the famous NASA study to have a look at their list. And yes, they say Aloe Vera purifies the indoor air by cleaning benzene and formaldehyde.
Are Mother-in-law’s Tongue plants bad for Feng Shui despite their air-purifying qualities?
Are there plants which are bad for the Feng Shui in your space?
In my Feng Shui blog post you can read what Feng Shui is all about. It is about shape, placement and design of your home or office space. From this point of view, Mother-in-law’s Tongue with its pointy leaves is not good.
On the other side according to Feng Shui, the plant can bring protective energy into your place. As long as it is in good condition (not dull and dry) and it is placed on the right place it will do its job.
Should I keep air-purifying indoor plants in my bedroom at night?
That’s a good question. Some people believe that plants could be harmful in your bedroom at night. This could be true for some plants to some extent. Plants just as people also breathe and at night they produce some carbon dioxide. But, how much this is, depends of course on the quantity of the plants in your bedroom.
But as we are talking about the benefits of the air-purifying indoor plants here the situation is different.
Why? It is because Mother-in-law’s tongue (the Snake plant) converts carbon dioxide into oxygen at night.
Another good guy the Aloe Vera releases oxygen at night too.
Which are the best air purifying plants for the office?
I would say that here depends on many things which plant you would choose for your working space. Would you go for beauty, or you choose the easy goers, or maybe all you care about is efficiency?
Snake plant (also called Mother-in-law’s Tongue)
He is the champion when it is about the number of toxins it filters. The Snake plant is extremely easy to take care of and it easily withstands when you are neglecting it for some time J. Your Snake plant will forgive you if you forget to water it before you go on vacation. It will also handle it if you put it in someplace away from the window.
This indoor plant filters two if the pollutants of the indoor air. It removes benzenes and formaldehyde. It is not such a picky plant. Aloe Vera needs little water and a bit of sunlight to survive.
One more easy-going plant for your office. Do you know why it’s called Spider plant? Because of its looks:-) The plant is growing a whole bunch of spider-like plants which dangle from the mother plant. That’s why.
This greenie thrives best in a bit cooler surroundings between 15 – 22 degree Celsius. Water moderately and leave the soil to dry between two waterings. The Spider plant doesn’t like direct light.
Not only nice-looking but Peace Lilly seems a real powerhouse according to NASA’s Clean Air Study. Peace Lilly checks all the boxes when you look at the toxins it removes from the indoor air. It cleans not only benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene but xylene, toluene and ammonia too!
In contrast to the first two air-purifying low-effort-care plants, Peace Lilly can be a bit tricky. I must admit that I don‘t have a Peace Lilly at home. There are rumours it could be rather temperamental at times and requires some more love and care. This plant prefers the shady corners at your home and office and the soil should be kept moist.
Anyway, looking at the benefits you get from having a Peace Lilly in your home and office it is worth the effort, don’t you think?
The name of this charming-looking plant translates into “female dragon”. Red-edged Dracaena comes in more than forty varieties. The NASA study identifies that the “dragon” plant can filter four out of five groups of the toxins which hang in the air in your home and office.
If you have a dog or a cat in your office you should keep in mind that the Dracaena is a toxic plant. You could check the toxicity of all of the plants I am talking about in NASA’s Clean Air Study.
And last but not least, taking care of a Dracaena is easy. Water it, keep the soil moist but not soggy. Place your plant (s) in bright filtered light, like behind a sheer curtain on a sunny window seal.
The Money plant is one more very graceful and nice-looking indoor plant. Due to his air-purifying properties, the Money plant is a good choice to get a plant or two for in your office.
According to Feng Shui, the Money Plant is one of the best plants to purify the air from synthetic pollutants coming from furniture and cleaning solutions.
Moreover, Feng Shui says that if you put a Money plant in front of each sharp corner or angle it will help you reduce anxiety and strategies
They recommend that you keep one plant next to each computer, television or Wi-Fi router.
How do I take care of my air-purifying plants?
As you already know most of the air-purifying indoor plants are fairly easy-going. All they need is good rich soil, a bit of water and not too much direct sunlight. And a bit of love 🙂 That’s it.
Are the best air-purifying indoor plants child safe?
Now you know that if you adopt a few air-purifying indoor plants you’ll get a bunch of benefits at your home or your office.
If you consider getting a few of these greenies into your home and you have small kids it is wise to think about their safety. Some of these plants may be completely harmless for your kids and others are toxic. I would tell you to be better safe than sorry and take care that your plants stay out of reach of your little ones.
Are the best air-purifying indoor plants also pet safe?
In this case, I would also follow the logic of what I said above. But if you wish you may consult NASA’s Clean Air Study and check if your air-purifying plant is toxic or not for your pets.
Where do you get air-purifying plants?
You can get an air-purifying plant at any decent garden centre near your home or office. If you don’t know any you may go to Google and search for “garden centre”. Google will show you nearby garden centres with its address, opening hours, phone numbers, etc.
Can you get air-purifying indoor plants online?
If you prefer to buy your air-purifying indoor plants and succulents online there are plenty of online stores. The companies offering plants online have sophisticated packaging, storage and logistics. They could deliver a plant from one corner of the world to another. There are many local online stores sell air-purifying indoor plants for your home or office and deliver these to your doorstep.
How many air-purifying plants do you need indoors to purify the air, and how do you test this?
Kamal Meattle is an Indian environmental activist and CEO. He has been allergic to polluted air. In his brilliant TED Talk on “How to grow fresh air”, you can learn how he has solved his problem by growing these three kinds of air-purifying plants.
- Areca Plant in the living room converts CO2 into oxygen during the day.
- Mother-in-Law’s Tongue in the bedroom converts CO2 into oxygen during the night.
- Money Plant removes benzenes, formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.
According to Kamal Meattle, in your office, you need approximately six air-purifying plants per person to meet your daily needs for fresh, clean and highly oxygenated air.
The bottom line
So, how do you think, is it worth it to adopt a few air-purifying plants and let them shine in your home and office?
I have two nice green Aloe Vera plants and three Mother in Law’s tongues making faces at my windowsill. And honestly, after writing this blog article I would gladly get few Peace Lily’s and maybe one or two Money plants.
It is easy to bring some more joy and clean air in your home and office, right?
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