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Plants That Purify the Air

Updated: Feb 11, 2021

As modern humans, we spend a good portion of our lives indoors, whether we’re working in an office, hanging out with friends or simply relaxing at home. Unfortunately, indoor environments are more dangerous to your health and well-being than you might think. It’s not your electrical outlets or toolkits that you should be afraid of, though it’s your air.

While it might be hard to believe, stagnant air in your home and office is perfect for pollutants to build up and thrive. In fact, the problem is so bad that it’s ranked as one of the top risks to public health today. Fortunately, you can take steps to improve the air quality in your residential or office building by simply purchasing indoor plants.

Why Buy Plants to Purify the Air?

When you think about air filtration, you probably think about a fancy industrial system that costs thousands of dollars rather than a humble plant. We often underestimate how powerful our green friends can be, but they are certainly effective at what they do.

In numerous studies conducted across the globe, several varieties of plants significantly improved the air quality of indoor environments by removing carcinogenic toxins from the air, including formaldehyde, xylene and even components of cigarette smoke. Even better, they do it more cost-effectively than a fancy industrial system ever could.

So, how do plants filter the air? It’s all part of their system of photosynthesis. As plants take in carbon dioxide, they also pull in other particulates from the air. All of these particulates are processed down by the plant and by the microorganisms in the plant’s potting soil until all that is released is clean oxygen. As a result, your interior space gets more oxygen, less carbon dioxide and fewer toxic particulates. All of these factors bring a host of benefits from improved health and concentration to better overall mood.

Best Plants to Purify Your Air

Although keeping plants indoors may be daunting, especially for those with a ‘black thumb,’ most air-filtering plants are relatively easy to care for, with minimal watering or sunlight needs. We’ve listed some of the most popular ones used by residential and commercial buildings across the United States. These include:

  • Boston ferns: Boston ferns are excellent at removing formaldehyde and exhaust fumes from the air. Though these plants tend to be more finicky than others, with certain humidity, fertilization and watering needs, they’re essential if your office or home is attached to a garage or regularly exposed to formaldehyde and exhaust fumes.

  • Palm trees: Palm trees are great for formaldehyde and carbon monoxide filtration, and they’re extremely easy to maintain and care for ‘ especially the dwarf date palm. The areca palm, parlor palm and bamboo palm are also excellent air filtering palms, with easy care instructions and a comfortable temperature range.

  • Rubber plants: Rubber plants are a great choice for any area with limited light that needs a little bit of air filtration. Another great formaldehyde filter, rubber plants require a bit of maintenance and watering but are easy to care for overall.

  • English ivy: When grown outdoors, this plant will easily tear up your home’s exterior. When brought indoors, it can be an air filtration powerhouse! This climbing ivy is an excellent topiary that is easy to grow, requires only occasional watering and is great at filtering out formaldehyde.

  • Peace lily: This blooming plant is a beautiful addition to your home’s interior, and it’s also a powerful air filtering plant. Removing formaldehyde and other carcinogens with ease, this plant handles low light conditions well and is great for improving humidity. Just remember to keep it away from pets and children, as its leaves are poisonous.

  • Golden pothos: While one of the least powerful air filtering plants on this list, the pothos is extremely easy to take care of, handling a lot of neglect and abuse with no problem. It is still a great air filtering plant, removing carbon monoxide and formaldehyde from the air.

  • Gerbera daisies: These popular flowers are another great choice for removing formaldehyde from the air. While they don’t handle lower temperatures as well as non-flowering varieties, these plants bring plenty of beauty to your natural air filtration system.

  • Ferns: These feathery-leaved plants are excellent at removing air pollutants commonly found in paints and polishes, and their more humble appearance makes them a great backdrop for other plants.

  • Orchids: Many people think that orchids are finicky plants, but in reality, they are easy to grow indoors. They require only low levels of light and occasional watering, and if treated right, they can efficiently remove pollutants emitted by paint and glue from the air.

  • Dracaena: Dracaena, also called ‘song of India’ comes in over 40 varieties, all of which have beautiful, wide, variegated leaves. They’re also effective at absorbing formaldehyde and other toxins commonly associated with cleaning products and paints.

  • Aloe vera: Relatively small and easy to care for, aloe vera is one of the most versatile plants on this list. On top of it being an effective air filtering plant, it also contains a gel in its leaves that helps heal wounds like cuts and burns and has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

This list is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to air filtering plants. Talk to Plant Escape today to learn about more options available to you so that you can find the best plants for a healthier indoor environment.

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Plant Escape is a professional Plantscaping service in Denver, providing plant design and maintenance for residential and commercial locations in and around the Denver area. For over 40 years, we’ve provided excellent design and caretaking services to our clients, and we can do the same for you. Contact us today for a free consultation and estimate at 303.584.0496.

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