I’ve always been fond of plants in my home, I feel like they make the space feel more calming and give off a great vibe. But not all house plants are created equal. Some are meant to just sit pretty, while others are hard at work removing multiple toxins and purifying your home’s air.
You may already have a few of these purifying plants in your home because of their unique look and easy-to-care-for persona. And some of these plants are right on trend, if trendy house plants are your thing.
NASA conducted a study of several different house plants to determine how much of each toxin they remove. They put a healthy plant of several different species in a confined chamber with controlled temperature and several common household toxins for a 24 hour period, then collected the data on how much of each toxin was removed (parts per million). (read more on that here)
The study was successful and quite amazing. The prize really goes to these remarkable plants that can combat out polluted air. It’ll really make you think about which plants you want to be sleeping next to.
I’ll give you a quick run-down of the five toxins these amazing plants are made to remove.
Toxins Lurking in Your Home
If there’s one thing that each of these toxins have in common, it’s that they’re extremely common! It’s pretty likely that even if you are very conscious of the products you have in your home, you still have some amount of these chemicals floating around.
Found in printing inks, paints, lacquers, varnishes, adhesives, and paint strippers.
Found in paper bags, wax paper, facial tissue, paper towel, napkins, particle board, plywood paneling and synthetic fibers.
Used to make plastic resins, synthetic fibers, rubber lubricants, dyes, detergents, drugs and pesticides. Also found in tobacco smoke, vehicle exhaust, glue, paint and furniture wax.
Found in printing, rubber, leather and paint industries, tobacco smoke and vehicle exhaust.
Found in window cleaners, floor waxes, smelling salts and fertilizers.
Plants that Purify the Air
Aloe Vera is a multi-purpose plant, not only does it remove formaldehyde from the air, it contains a soothing gel in its stems that helps with burns. The aloe vera loves a sunny location and doesn’t need much water to keep it happy.
Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea Seifrizii)
The Bamboo Palm is excellent at removing formaldehyde and xylene pollutants in your home. Not only that but it actually adds moisture to the air, so keep this one around in those dry months. The Bamboo Palm does fine in shady spaces so it would be great in a bedroom or hallway.
Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata)
Boston Ferns are subtropical plants that need humidity to thrive, so it would happy as a bathroom dweller. The Boston Fern is stellar at purifying the air of formaldehyde, and looking pretty while doing it.
Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema Modestum)
This plant comes in a variety of colors and leaf patters and is easy to grow and keep happy. It can become quite bushy, so reserve this guy a nice big spot. The Chinese Evergreen specializes in removal of formaldehyde and benzene pollutants in your home.
Devils Ivy | Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum)
This is a cascading plant that has multicolored leaves that are toxic if consumed, so make sure this is out of reach of pets and children. The Devils Ivy is perfect for removing formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene toxins from you home.
English Ivy (Hedera Helix)
Another cascading plant with quite the resume. The English Ivy can remove formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, and trichloroethylene pollutants from you home. It’s also a great plant to have around if you suffer from asthma.
Gerber Daisy (Gerbera Jamesoii)
Not only does this plant make a great centerpiece with its colorful flowers, but it also removes benzene from the air and absorbs carbon dioxide, helping to purify your home. According to NASA’s study, the Gerber Daisy removes up to 50% of formaldehyde, 67% of benzene, and 35% of trichloroethylene when tested in a confined chamber over a 24 hour period.
Mass Cane | Corn Cane (Dracaena Massangeana)
Also known as the “Corn Plant”, the Mass Cane’s leaves are toxic if consumed, so keep this plant out of reach of little hands or furry noses. NASA’s study found Mass Cane to remove 70% of formaldehyde, 21% of benzene, and 12% of trichloroethylene in a confined chamber.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
The Peace Lily also possesses toxic leaves which are unsafe to consume, but the payoff is cleaner air and beautiful white blooms. The Peace Lily can remove formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, benzene and xylene pollutants from your home.
Pot Mum (Chrysanthemum Morifolium)
Mums make a great flowering plant indoors and out. They are an easy to grow plant that blooms in several colors, and can rid your space of toxins such as trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, and ammonia.
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Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)
These are unique looking plants that are easy to grow for those of us without a green thumb. They make a great statement piece, and also make a great air purifier. The snake plant specializes in removal of formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, benzene and xylene.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)
The spider plant is a completely fool proof plant (even I can keep it alive) and isn’t picky when it comes to how much sunlight it gets. It gives you a ton of warning if you forget to water it, changing from a vivid green to a pale, sickly green before it actually dies. And when you water it, within hours it’s back to the vibrant green again.
When it comes to toxin removal, the spider plant is a champ removing formaldehyde from the air.
Weeping Fig (Ficus Benjamina)
The weeping fig would love that sunny spot in your kitchen, but don’t mistake it for salad greens, the leaves on this bad boy are toxic. But beyond that, the Weeping Fig can purify your home of pollutants like formaldehyde and xylene.
Next time you need a home décor overhaul, try adding a few of these humble plants to your design. I love that lots of these plants are easy to care for (my specialty) and totally chic. You’ll be sure to find something that fits your style.
And a special thanks to all the fabulous Instagram photographers who took such great photos of their houseplants!
Do some of these plants already call your house their home? Which is your favorite? I’m loving the snake plant!