It is a common technique to introduce plants to your home to fill up empty spaces and add some colour to dull interiors. However, in this blog post, we want you to discover what goes on behind the scenes- aka the “air filtering battles”.
But first, let’s explore what toxic chemicals are we breathing indoors on a daily basis and where are they coming from? Some of the most common ones are:
- Ammonia from air sprays
- Trichloroethylene from industrial work used for renovation purposes
- Xylene and toluene from a variety of consumer and household products
- Formaldehyde from emissions and preservatives in consumer products
The following 8 indoor plants are not only beautiful, but are also warriors in disguise, battling toxic chemicals that can put our lungs and health at high risk.
- Aloe Vera
While walking through the beauty creams isle, you can’t but notice “aloe vera” written on at least one out of every 5 creams. It’s no secret that aloe vera has several healing properties for the skin, yet many are not aware of its ability to improve air-quality. The easy-to-grow plant clears the air from benzene and formaldehyde that can be emitted from products like cleaning supplies.
- Spider Plant
You’d absolutely love the spider plant if you’re too lazy to take care of anything but yourself or if you have pets wandering around! While being safe for pets, the tough spider plant fights indoor pollutants like xylene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and benzene.
- Peace Lily
So it’s not that you’re lazy, but just that your mind has many tabs open simultaneously? A peace lily will let you know it’s thirsty when you forget to water it through its telltale droop. This warrior battles 5 common volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are benzene, trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, xylene and toluene. However, for it to win the battles, you need to arm it with low shade.
- Snake Plant
Does the word “photosynthesis” recall any memories? How about “respiration”? Yup! You got it right. A shout-out to all the moms who were patiently helping us memorize our 4th grade science lesson! The snake plant is safe and known to be releasing oxygen during the night, by boosting oxygen levels high in your bedroom.
How about “formaldehyde”? Any memories? Okay… this probably wasn’t in your science book, anyway. Formaldehyde is a chemical present in your bathroom which is common in personal care products, tissues, toilet paper and cleaning products. Also, if you’re looking for a plant that filters out the air in your dark and humid bathroom, snake plant is the most suitable.
- Red-Edged Dracaena
Are you staring at that empty sun-filled corner in your dining room? Make it a home for your new red-edged dracaena which battles a number of toxins including trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, and xylene. But be patient with it, it might take its time to grow however, it can be up to 4 m tall!
- Heart Leaf Philodendron
Looking for a low-maintenance lifetime companion? The heart leaf philodendron does not ask for much and won’t let you down. It’s toxic if eaten, yet is good at fighting all sorts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are emitted in the form of gas from certain solids and liquids.
- Bamboo Palm
Are you a fan of flowers and small berries? Listen up then, this plant takes care of filtering out the air from trichloroethylene and benzene with an 8.4 purifying score, according to NASA scientists. How to take care of it? Keep it in humid and bright spots but not under direct sunlight, well-water it but don’t overdo it.
Last but not least, the number one best air-filtering indoor plant ranked by NASA scientists, The English Ivy grows in moderate temperatures and sunlight. However, make sure you place it in moist soil and expose it to at least 4 hours of direct sunlight per day.