Indoor air pollution, caused from synthetic building materials, mold, cleaning products, upholstery, and artificial scents can emit a variety of toxins in the air we breathe daily. Researchers are finding ways to reduce pollutants and improve air quality; some solutions are as simple as the everyday houseplant.
One large, or two smaller plants every 100 square feet can significantly improve air quality in our workplaces or homes.
Leslie Gregg, Co-Owner and Creative Director at The Market at Grelen in Somerset agrees that indoor plants can reduce toxins, boost oxygen levels and help maintain humidity. “In addition, living plants add aesthetic beauty to any interior space."
Below are six of the top producers:
- Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) – ideal for the novice plant owner because the plants are easy to take care of and remove small amounts of formaldehyde and xylene from our homes. They prefer bright, indirect sunlight and weekly watering.
- Snake Plant/Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata) – low maintenance and offers appealing vertical growth from 1-6 feet. Also, it tends to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen at night, making it ideal bedroom greenery. The snake plant was recommended by a NASA study as one of the top oxygen producing plants and requires little water.
- Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifritzii) – thriving in indoor spaces, this plant may grow to more than10 feet and is pet friendly. It best filters trichloroethylene and benzene but doesn’t thrive if overwatered.
- Aloe Vera – the aloe plant has been known for years for its burn-healing gel within the leaves, a combination of anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Also, aloe is known to help rid our homes from benzene (found in some chemical cleaners and paint).
- Weeping Fig (Fiscus benjamina) – reducing pollutants like benzene and formaldehyde, this fig loves indirect sunlight and requires infrequent watering, making it an easy keeper. Also, in warmer months this plant can easily be moved outside for decorative purposes.
- Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) – often a beautiful gift, the peace lily offers much more than condolences. By reducing levels of mold spores, this lily is likely to help keep mildew to a minimum. The lily makes it known when it needs watered but be careful not to overwater. Peace lilies thrive in bright, indirect light. Be careful of allergies, blooms may contribute to pollen or scents in your home.