Winter is well on its way, and with it comes several concerns. The most glaring of which is heating your home, but there is a secondary concern that spawns from heating a home. During the winter it is only natural to close all the windows and seal the home from the frigid outdoor temperatures. It keeps the house warmer and reduces heating costs, however, when shutting your home off from the outside air, you force your family to breathe in the same recycled air over and over again. Sure, air filters are great for removing contaminants and dust from the air, but they can only do so much. Our job then becomes taking a bit of the load off our filters. One easy and aesthetic choice for improving air quality is to include a variety of house plants in your home.
There are a couple reasons to include plants in your home. The first and most obvious is that they look great! Plants add a splash of color and life to a rather dismal and barren winter landscape. Second, and the point of this article, they can remove rather hazardous chemicals in the air and keep everything fresh and clean.
5 Air-Purifying Plants
Golden Pothos (Scindapsus aures): Golden Pothos is also known as the Devil’s Ivy. It is a vine and thrives in indoor conditions, but can also be planted outdoors. It is perhaps the most effective plant at removing chemicals such as formeldahyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and benzene.
- Devils Ivy is incredibly easy to care for. Keep it in the shade away from direct sunlight and it should be fine.
- If it receives the appropriate amount of sunlight the leaves will be dark green, with more sunlight they can turn speckled or in extreme situations yellow or white.
- It can be trained to grow horizontally.
- It is very easy to propagate. Cut at least four leaves down on a long vine. Leave this in water for several weeks. As soon as roots begin to grow it can be planted again.
Aloe (Aloe vera): We’ve all heard of this plant. Its name is plastered on almost every sunscreen or burn cream bottle and chances are you’ve used it dozens of times on your own skin. However, keeping it in the home can also remove chemicals such as formaldehyde (one of the top five worst chemicals in your air) and benzene.
- An Aloe Vera plant has to be kept in a spot free of drafts that remains sunny and warm.
- It only requires minimal watering. Once every couple of weeks should do it.
- It can be toxic if ingested by small animals. Keep it away from dogs and cats.
Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii): This is a beautiful flower that originates in south Africa. It is bright orange in color and very effective at removing benzene and trichloroethylene from the air.
- Reproduces asexually so if you wish you can create more yourself with only one plant.
- Give it lots of sunlight to encourage blooming
- If conditions are right it can bloom all year round.
- Keep it slightly moist at all times, but not sitting in water.
Chrysanthemum (Chrysantheium morifolium): Also called Pot Mum,this plant is effective at removing all the major chemicals in the air. That list includes benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene and ammonia. This is just a wonderful flower for air quality.
- Toxic if eaten by dogs, cats and even horses.
- Comes in yellow, white, purple, or red
- Keep between 60-70 degrees F
Peace Lilly (Spathiphyllum): Another plant that is an absolute monster for air quality. It reduces concentrations of all the major chemicals. Benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene and ammonia are all snuffed out by the Peace Lilly. Not to mention, it is also beautiful.
- Toxic to cats
- Cleans best at one plant per 10 square meters.
- Needs little sunlight and thrives in shade.
- Water once a week
These plants will keep your home looking great and produce welcome oxygen for your indoor air. You can breathe knowing that these plants have your back soaking up those vicious chemicals and keeping your lungs clean. Plants are far easier to take care of than pets so there’s really no reason no to get one. Turn your thumb a little green and enjoy the benefits of these potted plants in your home.