Saturday, February 16, 2013

Houseplants for Improving Indoor Air Quality.

I have always loved the idea of filling my home with greenery. Since moving in with the boyfriend last summer, I have been purchasing all these various houseplants. Considering neither of us know that much about houseplants, we've been really lucky and haven't had any die on us. *knock on wood*

A few weeks after buying a spider and snake plant, I found out from my mom that both work as living air purifiers. Really? Who knew! To learn more about beneficial houseplants, I stumbled upon this great article from the mother nature network website ( about fifteen houseplants for improving indoor air quality.

I have yet to find all fifteen plants in my local garden shop, but I thought I would share eight of my favorite plants and their benefits.

1. Bamboo palm. This small palm tops the list of plants best for filtering out both benzene and trichloroethylene. They’re also a good choice for placing around furniture that could be off-gassing formaldehyde. 
2. Aloe. This easy-to-grow, sun-loving succulent helps clear formaldehyde and benzene, which can be a byproduct of chemical-based cleaners, paints and more. Aloe is a smart choice for a sunny kitchen window. Beyond its air-clearing abilities, the gel inside an aloe plant can help heal cuts and burns. 
3. Spider plant. With lots of rich foliage and tiny white flowers, the spider plant battles benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene, a solvent used in the leather, rubber and printing industries. 
4. Gerber daisy. This bright, flowering plant is effective at removing trichloroethylene, which you may bring home with your dry cleaning. It’s also good for filtering out the benzene that comes with inks. 
5. Snake plant. This plant is one of the best for filtering out formaldehyde, which is common in cleaning products, toilet paper, tissues and personal care products. Put one in your bathroom — it’ll thrive with low light and steamy humid conditions while helping filter out air pollutants. 
6. Chrysanthemum. The colorful flowers of a mum can do a lot more than brighten a home office or living room; the blooms also help filter out benzene, which is commonly found in glue, paint, plastics and detergent.  
7. Chinese evergreen. This easy-to-care-for plant can help filter out a variety of air pollutants and begins to remove more toxins as time and exposure continues.  
8. Peace lily. Shade and weekly watering are all the peace lily needs to survive and produce blooms. It topped NASA’s list for removing all three of most common VOCs — formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene. It can also combat toluene and xylene.

Quite often people, aka me, do not understand why they don't feel well, and why they develop symptoms that worsen over time. Inside our homes, various toxins are present at any time and can lead to serious health problems, such as asthma and allergies -- interesting...I happen to have both. By keeping these beneficial houseplants in our homes, they assist in keeping our household air clean and pure, and balance indoor humidity. These plants not only absorb pollutants, they also absorb harmful gases out of the air and help fight pollution. Frigging amazing if you ask me!

If you want to read more about these plants, you can read the full article here. What do you think? Do you have houseplants in your home? 


  1. The aloe sounds like a really good idea for me!

  2. I used to have house plants and when I moved I had to give them away. I've had one since but it died & haven't had any for a while. Thanks for the reminder that I need some plants in my life :)

    1. No problem -- you should get a spider plant, its super easy to maintain!