Cities with abnormal air pollution have always made headlines. A fast-growing population, space crisis, multiplication of petroleum-powered vehicles, smoking, use of non-vegetable paint, cleaning products and penetration of plastic into our daily lives have made the situation inevitable. Plants have many hats. They release oxygen and mop up carbon dioxide. They radiate positive energy and beautify the environment.
But many don’t know that plants also purify the air naturally and filter out toxins that linger in the air due to chemicals, paint, and plastic. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Clean Air Study was conducted in conjunction with the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA). The study found that certain common houseplants are a natural way to remove toxins.
Plant number 1. Peace Lily.
Peace lily or Spathiphyllum is the most common houseplant. Peace lilies have white flowers that bloom in early summer and then continue to bloom for the rest of the year. The soil should be kept moist without overwatering. Peace lilies enjoy medium to low light. According to NASA’s study, this plant removes the maximum amount of toxins. However, it is toxic to dogs and cats.
Lily can remove benzene, formaldehyde, trichlorethylene, xylene, toulene, ammonia.
Plant number 2. Florist Chrysanthemum.
Florist Chrysanthemum or Chrysanthemum morifolium is a perennial plant belonging to the family Asteraceae. Their vibrant colors radiate vibrancy and joy wherever it is grown. The “Festival of Happiness” in Japan celebrates the flower. They are also called “mothers” and begin to bloom in early fall. According to NASA’s research, this plant-like peace lily removes the maximum amount of toxins.
Florist Chrysanthemum can remove benzene, formaldehyde, trichlorethylene, xylene, toluene and ammonia.
Plant number 3. English ivy.
English ivy or Hedera helix is an evergreen climbing plant that can climb up to 20 to 30 meters on trees, walls and cliffs. It avoids exposure to direct sunlight and also provides a dense shelter and cooling effect in buildings in the summer. It is grown as an ornamental plant. It is toxic to dogs and cats.
English ivy can remove benzene, formaldehyde, trichlorethylene, xylene and toluene.
Plant number 4. Snake Plant.
Variegated snake plant or Sansevieria trifasciata from ‘Laurentii’, is also known as the mother tongue. It is a hardy houseplant. It grows straight and serpentine. It has yellow or silvery-white stripes on the leaf margins. It can tolerate low light and irregular water, but not water too much. It is toxic to dogs and cats
Snake Plant can remove benzene, formaldehyde, trichlorethylene, xylene and toluene.
Plant number 5. Devil’s Ivy (Money plant).
Devil’s ivy or Epipremnum aureum is also called “Money Plant” or “Golden Pothos”. This popular houseplant is easy to grow, and the stems behind are tall to grow. This plant does not die out quickly. The stems themselves become the roots in the ground. It is toxic to cats, dogs and horses. The beauty lies in the leaves with a failed yellow and green combination.
Devil’s lvy can remove benzene, formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.
Plant number 6. Flamingo Lily.
Flamingo Lily or Anthurium andraeanum is a flowering plant species belonging to the Araceae family. This beautiful plant can change the aesthetics of the room. It can be kept on the study table. It has beautiful waxy glossy heart-shaped flower bracts. It is toxic to cats and dogs.
Flamingo Lily can remove formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.
Plant number 7. Dracena.
This genus has more than 120 species of trees and shrubs under its belt. Some of its species have been investigated by NASA for air purifying effects. It can tolerate little water. They have long, wide leaves and are often found in offices and homes.
Dracena can remove benzene, formaldehyde, trichlorethylene, xylene and toluene.
Red-edged Dracaena or Dracaena marginata can purify benzene, formaldehyde, trichlorethylene, xylene, toluene. Cornstalk Dracaena or Dracaena fragrans ‘Massangeana’; and Janet Craig or Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig” can remove benzene, formaldehyde, trichlorethylene.
Plant number 8. Palm trees.
Palm trees belong to the Arecaceae family. It is widely cultivated. Every organization, at home, the school with a small open space gets palms in their landscape. About 2600 species are known to date. Not only do palms provide shade and aesthetic beauty, their foliage also helps purify the air. The NASA study included Dwarf date palm or Phoenix roebelenii; Areca palm or Dypsis lutescens; Bamboo palm or Chamaedorea Seifried and Broadleaf lady palm or Rhapis excels. Palms are generally not poisonous to pets.
Palm can remove formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.
Plant number 9. Boston Fern.
Boston fern or Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Bostoniensis’ is also called herringbone fern and tuberous fern. Ferns are generally 50 to 250 cm long and 6 to 15 cm wide. The edges look jagged. It is a hardy popular houseplant, often found in hanging baskets. It is not toxic to pets.
Boston firm can remove formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.
Plant number 10. Aloe Vera.
Aloe Vera has made its way home for its medicinal use. It has no stems or very short stems. The leaves are thick and fleshy. It is grown as an ornamental plant. It does not tolerate frost or snow. It is resistant to many insects and pests, but they are susceptible to mealybugs, spider mites and aphids. It is toxic to pets.
Aloe Vera can remove benzene, formaldehyde.
There are many other plants that help remove toxins. For example, Heartleaf Philodendron, Selloum Philodendron, Elephant Ear Philodendron and Rubber plant are effective against formaldehyde. Most of these plants are grown in homes and offices and are readily available on both physical and online shelves. Plants help reduce asthma and respiratory problems.