Decorating With Plants - Plants That Purify The Air

Plants are a great way to add a splash of color to the indoors and when they do double duty as natural air purifiers it's an added bonus! We are all concerned about high levels of environmental pollutants in the air, but did you know that household cleaning agents and adhesives used to build your cabinetry also release harmful chemicals into the air in your home? One of the simplest ways to combat the levels of harmful gases in your home is to bring in specific plants that absorb them while using them as a part of your decor. 

Not only will your home look beautiful, these plants will help decrease risk factors associated with asthma, allergies and even cancer by reducing common household toxins.


Aloe Vera

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Our mothers and grandmothers have always advocated the benefits of the gel of the aloe leaf to soothe the skin, it turns out it can also soothe your lungs by cleaning the air in your home!

Aloe filters the air of pollutants like those found in common cleaning agents. If the chemical levels in the air become too high the leaves of the aloe will develop brown spots, an indicator to you that the air in your home is highly polluted. A sunny kitchen window is the ideal spot for an Aloe Vera plant.


Areca Palm 

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Areca Palms are well suited as indoor plants because they thrive in the shade. They are also a good choice as a decorative accent in a large room as they can grow quite tall. When placed next to furniture they serve to absorb formaldehyde, found in resins and adhesives, and also help to filter out benzene and trichloroethylene, all known carcinogens.

Areca palms can also act as a natural humidifier, and can actually be used to replace electrical humidifiers in cold weather conditions.


Fern

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Ferns are an ideal choice for lowlight indoor conditions. They like high humidity, and a potted fern is the perfect addition to bathroom decor. Ferns have lush green leafy fronds, they are both attractive and highly effective in removing formaldehyde which is found in synthetic carpeting, vinyl and even plastic grocery bags.


English Ivy

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Ivy grown in a pot on a pedestal and left to trail down looks especially pretty. This indoor plant thrives in low-light conditions and it's dense foliage is suited to absorbing formaldehyde but it's super power is cleansing the air of  mold  helping you to breathe healthier air especially if you are asthmatic or prone to allergies. A note of caution, the leaves of the ivy plant are poisonous.


Golden Pothos

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We commonly call this fast growing vine 'money plant'. The Golden Pothos is flexible enough to grow in a hanging basket, a pot or even in a bottle of water on your desk! It's pretty green leaves have a marbled effect that make it pleasing to the eye. Like other air purifying indoor plants it absorbs formaldehyde but it also targets carbon monoxide and benzene.


Snake Plant

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This plant is also known by the common name 'mother-in-law's tongue'! It is an unusual addition to the list because it absorbs carbon dioxide at night and releases oxygen, most plants do the reverse. Because of this it is a great addition to your bedroom, to help boost oxygen levels while you are asleep.


Peace Lily

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This is a rare flowering air purifying indoor plant which blooms year round. It's great at ridding the the air of benzene a volatile organic compound (VOC) commonly found in paint and wood polish. It also draws in acetone emitted by electronics, glues and cleaning agents.


Spider Plant

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This is a hardy plant that likes to grow in indirect sunlight. Spider plants look particularly beautiful in hanging baskets, producing long variegated leaves and wand-like stems of small white flowers. They are prolific, and many new plants can appear at the ends of stems and as such are a good choice for someone new to gardening. They also filter out formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and benzene.


Rubber Plant

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Rubber plants emit high levels of oxygen that helps to enrich and purify indoor air. They like bright, filtered light and infrequent watering making them ideal potted plants for indoor use. The plant produces aerial roots that can entwine around the trunk to produce interesting shapes. They are efficient at filtering out formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and carbon monoxide.


Experts recommend one plant per hundred square feet of indoor space for improved quality of air. So save yourself the expense of buying an expensive electronic air purifier and enlist Mother Nature's help instead!

Ranjita Bhandari

The Author

Home Concierge


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