NASA lists top 17 plants as the best indoor air purifier from toxins and pollutants


Most urban homeowners invest their hard-earned money on expensive air filters and purifiers just to breath in a whiff of fresh air and to eliminate contaminants like tobacco smoke from their homes. However, not many people know that green plants can do just the same as an air purifier in filtering air indoors. Some of them are proven better at filtering out pollutants and toxins. They are cheaper as well.

In their Clean Air Study, NASA set out to find the best methods to clean the air in space stations and they found the following plants are effective at removing benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and ammonia from the air. These toxins are known to cause several health problems like headaches and eye irritation.

Dr. B. C. Wolverton, who conducted the study 27 years ago found that The Florist’s Mom and Peace Lily are the heavy-weight champions when it comes to removing irritants and toxins from indoor air.

There are 15 other houseplants that are effective for filtering harmful pollutants from indoor air. Check out the list below:

1. Boston Fern

This plant prefers to clean the air from a cool location with high humidity and indirect light. They are also relatively easy to grow but they need to stay constantly moist.

Pollutants removed: formaldehyde and xylene

2. Bamboo Palm

For a house that receives a lot of natural lights, the Bamboo Palm are the best as they thrive in sunlight or bright light. They can also grow as tall as 1.2 to 3.6 meters high, making them an exciting indoor plant.

Pollutants removed: formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene

3. Peace Lily

This plant is easy to grow and will flower much for the summer. They need to be in a shady spot away from direct sunlight and kept moist without overwatering.

However, do take note that their flowers, like other flowers, contribute to some pollen and floral scents to the air so it may be best to avoid having a room full of them.

Pollutants removed: ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene

4. Flamingo Lily

With their vibrant colors, Flamingo Lilies are an elegant addition to your home interior. They need to be kept moist and require bright light.

Pollutants removed: formaldehyde, toluene, xylene and ammonia

5. Cornstalk Draceana

The Cornstalk Draceana enjoys bright and indirect light but they can also tolerate low-light conditions. They are low-maintenance compared to other indoor plants as they do not always need moist soil. Always avoid from overwatering them.

Pollutants removed: trychloroethylene, formaldehyde and benzene

6. Kimberley Queen Fern

Compared to the Boston Fern, this type of fern grow leaves that shoot more upright. They also need to be kept moist.

Pollutants removed: formaldehyde and xylene

7. Weeping Fig

The Weeping Fig loves bright light and they do not like to be relocated frequently. It is also important to let the top a few inches from its soil to dry out between waterings.

Pollutants removed: formaldehyde and xylene

8. Variegated Snake Plant

It is considered the top choice for indoor gardening as they can adapt themselves to various light conditions and handle dry soil well. The soil needs to be dried out in between waterings. It can survive for long periods without water making it a low-maintenance plant.

Pollutants removed: formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, benzene and xylene

9. English Ivy

This trailing plant is perfect for hanging baskets and high places. Moist soil and bright light are essential to for the growth of the English Ivy.

Pollutants removed: benzene, formaldehyde, xylene and trichloroethylene

10. Barberton Daisy

This beautiful flowering plant would make a colorful indoor addition to your home. As they can be grown indoors, their flowers can bloom any time of the year and lasts for about 4 to 6 weeks.

Pollutants removed: formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, benzene

11. Devil’s Ivy

This plant is easy to care but they need regular watering. Always keep the soil moist but not overflowing with water.

Pollutants removed: benzene, formaldehyde and xylene

12. Spider Plant

This is an indoor climbing plant that sprout spider-shaped plantlets as they grow. They enjoy bright and indirect light as well as well-drained soil.

Pollutants removed: formaldehyde and xylene

13. Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum or the Florist’s Mom is popular and inexpensive indoor plant. They can be put outdoor once they have finished blooming. Their flowers can also be brewed into a tea.

Pollutants removed: ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene

14. Dwarf Date Palm

This plant is a great choice for indoor plant and they thrive in moist soil.

Pollutants removed: formaldehyde and xylene

15. Chinese Evergreen

As its name ‘Evergreen’, it is easy to care, low-maintenance and only require low lighting. But you need to dry out the soil for a bit between waterings.

Pollutants removed: formaldehyde and benzene

16. Broadleaf Lady Palm

This plant loves regular waterings, moist soil, and bright indirect light.

Pollutants removed: xylene, ammonia and formaldehyde

17. Red-Edged Draceana

It does not need a lot of sunlight and will survive despite being watered sporadically. However, the soil should be well-drained because the plants’ roots are susceptible to root rot. Although not as tolerant of extreme temperatures as the spider plant, it will do well in temperatures ranging from 17 to 25 Celsius.

The bad side of this beautiful plant is that it is toxic to both cats and dogs.

Pollutants removed: formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene.

Which plant would you consider to put inside your house? Share your suggestions in the comment section.


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