Pure and fresh air is gradually becoming a luxury, with environmental pollution rapidly depleting the quality of air, both outdoors and indoors. Major cities are plagued with smog and other pollutants from vehicles, power plants, and factories. While masks and other protection means can provide us relief when we step outside, caution is also required for indoors.
While air purifiers are the most popular appliance for purifying indoor air, indoor plants are a much more, nominal, environment-friendly, cost-effective, and simpler option. Adding greenery inside the house is always beneficial, apart from adding aesthetic value to the living space, they are a source of freshness and vibrancy.
Here are a few medicinal plants that purify air that help purify indoor air;
#1. Devil’s Ivy or pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
Otherwise known as pothos or golden pothos, the devil’s ivy is very easy to grow indoor. It is a houseplant that fights off common household toxins. It adds instant color to any room with cascading tendrils and grows well in water, pots, and hanging baskets.
The plant has also been proven harder to kill than being kept alive. There is also a belief that pothos can help relieve eye irritation due to its air filtering qualities. A pothos plant can also be gazed at to relieve eye strain from hours of staring at a screen.
Toxins removed: xylene, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.
#2. Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii)
Dwarf or Pygmy palms are the babies of the palm family. They are relatively easy to grow in partial shade; they can grow up to 6 to 10 feet with their fronds reaching 6 feet too. They are excellent air purifiers. Formaldehyde and xylene are the toxins removed by dwarf date palm.
#3. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
Also known as a spathiphyllum, is an easy and undemanding plant to look after. It requires a low cost of maintenance. Their glossy green leaves make a perfect addition to any room especially those spots with low light. They should be provided with weekly watering and fertilized with a slow-release fertilizer during spring to promote growth and those glorious white flowers.
Peace lilies are said to purify the air by as much as 60%, which means that these are a great choice if you are concerned about keeping things fresh. They are also reportedly great to have in the bathroom because they help in controlling mildew. It is very important to ensure the correct type of lily is planted because some lilies contain a good amount of pollen, which may be dangerous for people with allergies.
Toxins removed by peace lily are benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene.
#4. Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum morifolium)
Chrysanthemums also known as disbud or mums are not only a great addition to a floral arrangement but they look great in the home and are considered to be one of the best air purifiers around.
They are among the very difficult air purifiers to grow but the result is beautiful with colorful blooms. They require good airflow, bright indirect sunlight, and watering with warm water only to thrive well. Ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene are the toxins removed by chrysanthemums.
#5. Rubber plants (Ficus elastic)
These burgundy evergreen trees originated from India, they are a very hardy plant that loves bright, filtered light and weekly watering during summer and fortnightly watering during winter.
Rubber plants can grow in a small pot or be encouraged to grow into a large indoor tree in pots or straight in the ground. Xylene, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene are the toxins remove by rubber plants.
#6. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata v. Bostoniesis)
This easy-to-grow fern is noted for its sword-shaped fronds which makes it perfect for a hanging basket or pedestal. The Boston fern thrives in humid environments and requires consistent moisture.
The plants must be kept happy with regular misting, moist soil and they should be positioned in a place that doesn’t get indirect sunlight preferably near windows, balconies, and patios. During winter, the fronds should be cut back by around 2-inches to help regenerate and grow new fronds in the warmer months.
Toxins removed: formaldehyde and xylene.
#7. Snake Plant/Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata)
Snake Plant otherwise known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue is a succulent plant that can grow up to two meters high. It requires a low cost of maintenance. It is a plant that is hardy and still manages to survive even when neglected.
The plants should be placed somewhere tolerating bright and direct light for a couple of hours a day. Care should be taken so as not to overwater them as they thrive well in dry conditions. The twisted leaves of a snake plant help to absorb toxins in the air. They also release a bunch of oxygen into the air, which is good for anyone who may require an indoor boost.
Toxins removed by snake plants are; formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, benzene, and xylene.
#8. Aloe Vera (Aloe vera or A. barbadensis)
Aloe Vera is not just known for its anti-inflammatory properties in repairing wounds and helping with sunburn but it turned out to be a great air purifier too. They survive in warm well-lit rooms. They develop brown spots on their leaves when the number of harmful chemicals applied to them is too much.
When tested, aloe vera was excellent at eliminating volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, present in the air. These chemicals can be released from cleaning supplies and even furniture.
Research states that aloe vera, in particular, helped the most in removing benzene and formaldehyde from the air. Aloe vera does not cost much money and they require little care when it comes to maintenance. Formaldehyde is the toxin removed by aloe vera.