When we consider Indoor Plants, it’s easy to bring air cleaning indoor plants into your home to keep you happy and healthy. Making the right decision can be tricky because there are so many tempting plants on offer. Some possess extra air purifying qualities. When you know which ones absorb harmful toxins, you can narrow down your wish list. At the same time, you can make your home more restful and inviting.
One well-known study regarding indoor plants and air quality was conducted by NASA in 1989. Scientists were studying natural ways to purify the air in enclosed spaces. This has led to further insight into how particular plants can benefit our homes.
1. MONEY PLANT – PILEA PEPEROMIOIDES as an INDOOR PLANT
The Chinese money plant is instantly recognizable with its flat, green circular leaves that can grow as big as 5in (15cm) across. This is one of the most effective indoor plants for air purification. They are particularly effective at reducing levels of harmful chemicals found in carpets, paints, glues and manmade fabrics.
This unusual plant is a member of the stinging nettle family. It can grow up to 16 inches (40 cm) high and loves a light spot, away from strong sunlight. You have to water it when the soil is dry to the touch. It should be fed monthly with a liquid feed during spring and summer.
This plant is largely unfussy. But these plants don’t like temperatures that dip below 50°F (10°C). Because of that, aim to keep them between a comfortable 55-86°F (13-30°C). You have to turn a Chinese money plant regularly to maintain a balanced and attractive shape. If it sheds its lower leaves, you don’t have to worry as this is entirely normal.
2. INDOOR PLANTS – WEEPING FIG – FICUS
These indoor trees are slow growing with a mass of glossy leaves. This plant is ideal for adding impact and interest to an empty corner. These are brilliant air cleaning indoor plants too. The Weeping Fig has the capacity to filter harmful formaldehyde, xylene and toluene and to replace them with oxygen. They are a great addition to busy kitchens, living areas and home offices.
They like a bright spot with plenty of space to spread their arching branches. This plant reaches from 3ft to 10ft (90-304cm). They are a little diva-ish though. Since they dislike being moved around or disturbed, they drop their leaves in protest. You have to carefully assess the perfect spot before homing your plant. They do tend to grow towards the light. Therefore, you need to turn the plant regularly to maintain a balanced, even shape.
For these plants a steady room temperature of around 60°F (16°C) is perfect. You need to avoid cold drafts and areas that dip below 55°F (13°C) as this will lead to leaf drop. As they hate sitting in puddles, over watering should be avoided. You should only water when the top inch of the compost is bone dry. Tepid water has to be used to avoid shocking the plant. Feed fortnightly with a liquid feed during spring and summer. Top up compost levels annually for mature plants. These plants can be toxic to some pets. Because of that reason, it is worth avoiding if you have curious pets.
3. SNAKE PLANT OR MOTHER IN LAW’S TONGUE for an INDOOR PLANT
As you may already know, it may not appear to be the most restful plant to have in a bedroom. But sansevieria is one of a few plants that continues to produce oxygen in near dark conditions. It’s also very effective at eliminating all chemicals that can often be found in synthetic carpets, glues, paint and other interior fittings like airborne formaldehyde, nitrogen oxide, benzene, xylene and trichloroethylene.
This plant is the perfect showstopper for a side table, windowsill or neat corner. It has twisting sword-like leaves and stripy markings. They are relatively slow growing, tough and extremely drought tolerant. They can cope with low light conditions. But they will grow faster in brighter positions.
This plant is native to West Africa. They can stay outside in HDSA zones 9-12. At the same time, they will die if left in temperatures below 50°F or exposed to frost. You can water once a week during spring and summer. But you do need to drop to once a month in fall and winter when the plant is dormant. Remember to give her leaves a light wipe to keep her pores free of dust.
4. ALOE VERA as an INDOOR PLANT
Aloe Vera is a superstar amongst indoor plants. It is not only striking to look at and blessed with healing properties, but it can help purify the air too. It is a great absorber of VOCs often found in newly laid flooring, paint and glue. It takes in carbon dioxide and produces oxygen at night making it ideal for bedrooms in particular.
The fleshly leaves store water. They can happily cope with less than regular watering. What they do need is constant warmth. They prefer room temperatures of 50-85°F. These natives of the Arabian Peninsula must be kept clear of cold drafts and frost. They can grow outside in HDSA zones of 8-11. In exposed or marginal areas, it may be better to plant in a pot and move inside and out as the temperatures dictate.
You can pot up with succulent and cacti compost. You need to feed it with a specialist liquid feed weekly during spring and summer.
5. INDOOR PLANTS – PEACE LILY
It has glossy tear shaped leaves and pure white flowers. The peace Lily is one of the most popular house plants. It is a great air cleaning indoor plant. Effortlessly chic, they radiate tranquility and simplicity. On the other hand, they also break down and neutralize toxic household gases like benzene, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide.
This plant reaches around 30in in height (75cm). It will thrive in temperatures 64-75°F (18-24°C). At the same time, they can cope with lows of 53°F (12°C). They love a humid and bright spot. But it should be away from direct light which can scorch the deep green leaves. These plants are particularly well suited to a steamy kitchen, bathroom or shower room.
They prefer moist soil. These plants will tell you when they are thirsty as the leaves will droop. You can pop it next to the shower for the occasional boost or mist with a water spray. They can be fed with a liquid feed fortnightly during spring and summer.
Click here to find more air-cleaning indoor plants: https://engineerinc.io/best-air-cleaning-indoor-plants/