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Top Houseplants for Clean Air in Your Home

Remember the American home from the 1970’s with beautiful green houseplants in macramé hanging planters? Well, the hippies of that generation were on to something beyond groovy home décor.

Did you know there can be up to 5x more pollutants in your home than outdoors? Sometimes referred to as a “sick” house, you may have substances in your home caused by paint, cleaners, air fresheners, and more that are causing your family to be unwell (even if you haven’t noticed symptoms yet).

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Houseplants naturally clean the air and some are better than others for ensuring you don’t get headaches, sore throats, breathing issues and other allergy symptoms. And some houseplants actually purify your air of toxic chemicals such as xylene, benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde that are rife in today’s household.

NASA conducted a Clean Air Study to find effective ways to detox the air in the space station. Their study provided a long list of common house plants that have excellent air purifying qualities.

We’ve pulled together a few of our favorites for beauty, ease of care, and of course their purifying powers. You can read the complete list here.

Boston Fern Houseplant

boston fern houseplant for clean air

Boston ferns thrive in low light and humid environments. They will thrive in your bathroom. They are extremely low maintenance as the moisture from your shower will hydrate the plant. Not only are they pretty, green, and decorative, according to NASA, the Boston fern helps remove xylene from the air as well as formaldehyde found in upholstery and air fresheners.

Chinese Evergreen Houseplant

chinese evergreen houseplant for clean air

This is an easy-to-care-for and sturdy plant. Consider a Chinese Evergreen for your living room, bedroom, or home office. They grow slowly in medium light and live for about 10 years. This plant is not recommended for households with small children or pets that might eat the toxic leaves, but they are beautiful and remove benzene from the air which is found in furniture wax and insect spray, according to NASA.

Devil’s Ivy Houseplant

devil's ivy houseplant for clean air

Devil’s ivy is considered one of the most effective indoor air purifiers from benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene which is found in paints and lacquers. Another easy-to-care for plant, Devil's Ivy is hardy and inexpensive. A great first-time plant for beginners. This plant can grow 6 feet long and in a variety of directions. In a hanging basket, it will trail downwards. You can also train it to climb a trellis or have it grow horizontally on a table top.

Flamingo Lily Houseplant

flamingo lily houseplant for clean air

Add some beautiful color to your home with a Flamingo Lily. This gorgeous evergreen has shiny, heart-shaped red flowers and per NASA, it removes airborne formaldehyde, ammonia, toluene and xylene. Unfortunatley, this one is also best to avoid if you have pets or kids that might eat the toxic plant.

You can read NASA's complete list here.

Yet another added benefit of having houseplants is that caring for them is deeply relaxing, calming, and restorative. Also, many people find green to be a very soothing color and houseplants are a beautiful way to bring a bit of nature indoors.

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