Clear the Air with Plants

Get a breath of fresh air without having to leave your home by placing air-cleansing plants around your house!  Indoor projects, such as painting, installing carpets or even simply cleaning, unfortunately often release toxins into the air in your home.  Three of the biggest offenders found in most homes include formaldehyde , benzene and trichloroethylene.

Luckily, nature has a way of cleaning up after us!!  The following plants are known to have air cleansing properties.  Displaying any of the these plants will not only bring a natural touch of beauty into your home, but will also lead to cleaner air and a healthier environment!

English Ivy (Hedera helix)

English Ivy filters all three of the big offenders listed above!  An excellent climber, English Ivy is best potted with a stake that allows the vine to climb, or in a hanging basket that allows the vines to grow over the sides.  This plant thrives in small spaces with little sunlight, and it is very easy to care for!  Simply water as needed to keep the soil consistently moist!

Ivy Plants

English Ivy

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Peace lilies are one of the best plants when it comes to air filtration!  In addition to removing formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene, this air purifier also combats toluene, xylene and ammonia!  A low light location is ideal for this plant and weekly watering will keep it in tip-top shape!  Be careful not to overwater your peace lily – this is the most common mistake made with regard to its care.  Your plant will let you know when it is thirsty as the leaves will begin to look droopy.  Give it a little drink and it will perk right back up!

Peace Lily

Peace Lily

Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Bostoniensis’)

The Boston fern works particularly well in removing formaldehyde from the air.  This plant, however, requires a little special attention!  Boston ferns need a cool environment with high humidity and indirect light.  Humidity is very important in the life of your Boston fern,  To maintain the correct humidity levels for your plant, try to lightly mist your plant at least once or twice a week, particularly in the dryer winter months!  When it comes to watering, maintain damp soil – do not let the soil dry out. Create the best environment for your Boston fern and you may enjoy it for years to come!

Boston Fern

Boston Fern

Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

In addition to helping lower carbon dioxide, the snake plant rids air of formaldehyde and benzene. Also knows as ‘mother-in-law’s tongue,’ snake plants are survivors!!  This sharp-leafed plant thrives in a low light environment.  When watering, drench soil thoroughly and then allow it to become moderately dry before watering again. Rot from overwatering is the most common problem people face with snake plants, so be sure that yours has proper drainage!

Snake Plant

Snake Plant

Golden Pothos ( Epipremnum aureum ‘Wilcoxii’)

Not only does Pothos tackle formaldehyde, the most prevalent toxin in most homes, it also targets benzene and carbon monoxide! This resilient vine is a great plant for the first time gardener!  It can handle different light conditions, varied watering conditions and is resistant to pests! However, indirect or bright-diffused light is best for your pothos, and when it comes to watering, moderately moist soil is preferred.

A versatile plant, Pothos looks great potted as a hanging basket allowing its greens to cascade down the sides or potted with a stake to support its long vines.  It can also be trained to climb a trellis for a beautiful display!  Consider making a home for your pothos near your garage entryway where fumes from your car may sneak indoors!



Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum ‘Variegata’)

Spider plants are great for battling benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene. Another excellent option for the novice gardener, spider plants are easy to grow and reproduce! Perhaps what they are best known for are the ‘plantlets’ that form on their long stalks.  These plantlets can be left dangling from the mother plant or you can remove them, repot them and grow them! They prefer indirect or bright-diffused light and moderately moist soil, so water the plant thoroughly when just the soil surface is dry to the touch!

spider plant

Spider Plant

Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis)

This sun-loving plant helps to clear formaldehyde and benzene from the air. The first thing to remember when taking care of your aloe vera plant is that it is a succulent, and as such has specific care conditions!  Your aloe plants needs lots of light and lots of drainage! It is best to pot your aloe with a cactus potting soil mix, which allows for more drainage in the soil. Aloe cannot tolerate standing water, so drainage in both the soil and in your container is very important! In between waterings, the aloe should be allowed to completely dry.  An added plus to owning an Aloe Vera plant is the medicinal use that it serves. The gel inside the leaves is often used to treat cuts and burns!

Aloe Vera Plant

Aloe Vera

Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea erumpens)

The bamboo palm tops the list for filtering out benzene and trichloroethylene. This is a very undemanding plant that thrives in a low-light environment.  When the surface of the soil is dry, water this plant thoroughly. Again, the main thing to look out for with this plant is that it has sufficient drainage as it does not like to sit in water.

Bamboo Palm

Bamboo Palm