Making your home more “green” can feel like just more to-dos on your list. And, right now, who really wants to be juggling even one more thing? Thankfully, “greening” up your home doesn’t have to be hard. And, actually, some things are actually a lot of fun, like adding air purifying plants to your indoor space. Not only do plants transform the look of your home, but certain ones are wonderful for actually making the air cleaner to breathe. Plus, once you get the hang of watering and caring for them, you might actually look forward to tending to these new green members of your family.
Here are ten of the best plants for air purification and why we love having them in our homes…
1. Snake Plant. Known to help you sleep better because it produces extra oxygen at night, this pretty succulent also filters the air, removing harmful things like formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, toluene, and trichloroethylene. In order to keep your snake plant happy, remember to not overwater it — it likes its roots on the drier side, which is perfect for our New Mexico climate (and great for forgetful houseplant owners, too)!
2. Bamboo Palm. Known for its ability to remove benzene and formaldehyde from the air in your home, bamboo palms need part sun/part shade in order to thrive indoors.
3. Spider Plant. Incredibly hardy, spider plants work quietly to remove toxins from the air in your home, including carbon monoxide and xylene. Another huge benefit of spider plants is that they are non-toxic to animals, making them a safe choice if you have four-legged family members.
4. Dragon Tree. One of the many reasons people choose to have dragon trees in their home, aside from being visually attractive, is that they clear out pollutants, including trichloroethylene and xylene. Dragon trees can grow up to 8 feet tall over several years, so if you’re planning on having it in your home for a long time make sure you place it in a room with high ceilings and good sunlight.
5. Aloe Vera. Most people know that aloe vera can be used to treat burns (and also makes a delicious healthy drink), but many don’t know that the plants themselves are great at purifying air, especially when it comes to removing formaldehyde and benzene (which is often found in non eco-friendly home cleaning products). A succulent, aloe vera needs plenty of sun and not a lot of water.
6. Mass Cane. Another plant known for removing formaldehyde from the air, mass cane ranges in colors, from green to yellow, and can be grown as either a tree or shrub in your home. Formaldehyde typically sneaks into homes via cigarette smoke, new manufactured wood flooring and furniture, certain fabrics (like permanent press used on curtains and furniture), and a variety of household items, including glues and paints.
7. Broad Lady Palm. One of the few houseplants known to tackle ammonia levels (which are typically increased by toxic cleaning products), broad lady palm loves more humid environments, making them an ideal candidate for bathroom foliage (especially in our dry Albuquerque climate). Consider starting a plant from seed or buying a smaller plant (not full-grown) in order to save money.
8. Rubber Tree. A wonderful plant for increasing oxygen levels in your home, rubber trees also absorb and break down harmful chemicals in the air. To take proper care of rubber trees, you’ll need to make sure they drain well and are watered regularly.
9. Weeping Fig. Known and appreciated for their looks, weeping fig plants also get to work in your home, clearing the air of formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene. To make sure your weeping fig is being cared for properly, place it in bright, indirect light and away from drafty doors and windows as much as possible.
10. Lemon Button Fern. Excellent air purifiers, lemon button ferns need indirect sunlight to grow their best. Unlike some ferns, this variety is relatively drought tolerant, although keeping the air humid will help it look its best.
We love adding houseplants to our home, especially when we know that they’re doing more than just looking pretty. What are some of the other ways you are making your home “greener”? We at Sandia Green Clean would love to know! Leave a comment below and share your best green home ideas!