Add plants to your home = longer life + more energy for…

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Air quality in parts of Romanian cities is not what it could be. Especially with the 2018 changes to import taxes of foreign cars. In 2017 for example, 80% more cars than the previous year were brought into the country with lower emission than current european standards, namely euro 1, 2 & 3 cars were flooded in. The result, the air that we breath is reduced in quality, leading to increased risk of illness, reduced health & life expectancy.

There are a great many causes to polluted air but energy use & production, factory emissions & traffic pollution are some of the worst offenders.

How can you combat this in the home?  With some carefully selected plants around the house.  Below are my recommended list of 12 plants that will improve your health. Some for the bedroom, some for the bathroom & some for the living room.

Benefits of plants around the home include:

  • Decorative
  • Reduced odors
  • Improved Zen
  • Better sleep
  • More energy
  • Better health
  • Reduced stress (according to Dutch researchers, plants reduce stress)
  • Removal of toxins, mold & VOCs

In this article, we look at 12 of the most popular plants for cleaning air around the home. These are available at stores in major cities such as Hornbach, Bricodepot, Ikea, Dedeman as well as the smaller specialist plant stores.

  1. Aloe Plant
  2. Chrysanthemums plants 
  3. Weeping Figs
  4. Peace Lily
  5. Rubber Tree
  6. Snake Plant
  7. Philodendron
  8. Bamboo Palm
  9. Spider Plant
  10. Golden Pothos
  11. Red-Edged Dracaena
  12. English Ivy

 

1/ Aloe Vera Plant

The gel of the Aloe plant has a number of healing properties. It soothes skin burns and cuts, and can also help to maintain the air quality in your home, showing warning marks or brown spots when the air quality contains too many harmful chemicals. The plant can help clear the air of pollutants found in chemical cleaning products. It is known to remove Mold & toxins. 2 plants cover an area of 60 square meters.  This plant grows best with lots of sun.

2/ Chrysanthemums

Florist’s chrysanthemums or “mums” are ranked the highest for air purification. They’re shown to eliminate common toxins as well as ammonia.

This flower only blooms for around six weeks per year but you can fertilize the pot again in the spring when new growth appears. However, without the flowers, it cannot purify the air. If you don’t want to wait, you might want to just get new flowers regularly rather than waiting for regrowth.

Plant care: Check the soil’s moisture every other day, and keep it damp.

Toxic to animals: Even though it has a friendly name, mums are toxic to both cats and dogs.

Eliminates: formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, ammonia

3/ Weeping Fig

Most commonly known as a Weeping Fig or Ficus tree, Ficus benjamina is popular houseplant that is also very effective at purifying the household air. According to NASA’s Clean Air Study, Ficus benjamina was effective at cleansing airborne formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.

This low-maintenance, evergreen plant grows well both inside and out. If you use it as a houseplant, place it in an area that has plenty of bright indirect natural light. If you place it directly in the sun, it’s possible that the leaves will burn.

Please note: this plant is poisonous to animals. If you have pets, especially dogs and cats, you may want to take extra precautions to make sure they do not ingest any part of this plant. If they do ingest Ficus benjamina, they will likely experience the following symptoms: vomiting, salivation, and oral irritation. Seek help from your veterinarian immediately.

Plant care: Water your spider plants two to three times a week but allow root to dry out.  Weeping Fig grows the best in warmer temperatures, typical of a home, as well as relative humidity levels above 50%.

Non-toxic: For children or animals who like to play with swinging things, this plant is safe.

Eliminates: formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.

4/ Peace Lily

The beautiful peace lily plant is a wonderful low-maintenance flower to keep in the home. Peace lilies do well in shade and cooler temperatures, and they can reduce the levels of a number of toxins in the air.

Plant care: Keep soil slightly moist. Peace lilies thrive in most lighting conditions, but too little light can prevent flowers from blooming.

Toxic to animals and humans: Despite its calming name, this beautiful plant is toxic to cats, dogs, and children. It’s best to keep this as an ornamental plant as it can cause burning, swelling, and skin irritation in adults.

Eliminates: formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene, ammonia, and more

5/ Rubber Tree

Rubber trees, originate from India mainly, & are good for cleaning the air and are one of the easiest plants to grow, as they thrive even in dim lighting and cooler climates. The low-maintenance plant is a powerful toxin eliminator and air purifier.

Plant care: Water moderately to keep the soil moist, especially in the winter. Prune the leaves and wipe them down to keep them looking pretty.

Toxic to animals: Rubber plants are toxic to cats and dogs.

Eliminates: carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and more

6/ Snake Plant

Snake plants need little light & water to survive, so they’re an easy choice for any corner of your home. The plant absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen during the night (while most plants do so during the day), so add one to your bedroom for a clean-air boost.

Plant care: Water moderately.

Toxic to animals: plants may be toxic to pets & children.

Eliminates: carbon dioxide, toxins

7/ Philodendron

The heart-shaped philodendron is a popular plant choice or indoor areas, as they’re easy to care for and can grow decorative vines. Like the English Ivy, they are particularly good at absorbing xylene. They can also last for many years when properly cared for. Grow with moderate water and some sunlight and they’ll be fine.

Plant care: Water well and then allow the top 50% of the soil to dry out before watering again. Yellow leaves indicate over-watering and brown leaves mean the plant needs more water.

Toxic to animalsAll philodendrons contain calcium saltboxes and are considered very poisonous plants with a #2 toxicity level.

8/ Bamboo Palm

The bamboo palm makes the list of top clean-air plants with high purifying performance. These need to be well-watered, in shade or indirect sunlight.

Plant care: Plenty of water regularly 

Non-toxic: Safe or children or animals.

Eliminates: benzene and trichloroethylene

9/ Spider Plant

One of the most common, easy to grow house plants, spider plants are decorative and also make the list of the best air-purifying plants. Spider plants are effective at combating pollutants including benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene.  Also known as air plants, spider plants grow quickly and look great in hanging baskets, especially in your work space. Sometimes they produce pretty white blossoms.

Spider plants have more than 200 species and many of them can survive a little neglect from us.

Plant care: Water your spider plants two to three times a week. 

Non-toxic: For children or animals who like to play with swinging things, this plant is safe.

Eliminates: formaldehyde, xylene

10/ Golden Pothos

The Golden Pothos or Epipremnum Aureum makes the list for its ability to remove formaldehyde from the air. Pothos also removes benzene and carbon monoxide from the air, which is a good reason for you to put one of these plants in your bedroom to make sure you have enough oxygen while you sleep.  In addition, some studies have found that Pothos can help eliminate odors.

Try adding it to your kitchen or living room as a hanging plant, as the leaves will grow down in cascading vines. They grow easily in cool temperatures will low levels of sunlight.

Plant care: Water when the soil is dry. You can trim the tendrils when the plant gets too big.

Toxic to animals & kids: Keep this plant out of reach for pets & children.

Eliminates: formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, benzene, carbon monoxide, and more

11/ Red-Edged Dracaena

This beautiful, vibrant plant can grow to be ceiling-height (15-foot dracaenas are comm

on), making it a great plant for decorating and filling up space.

Plant care: Water your plants two to three times a week. Grows best in sunlight.

Non-toxic: For children or animals who like to play with swinging things, this plant is safe.

Eliminates: VOCs, including benzene, trichloroethylene, toulene and xylene

12/ English Ivy

US Scientists listed the English Ivy as the number one best air-filtering houseplant, as it is the most effective plant when it comes to absorbing formaldehyde. It’s also incredibly easy to grow and adaptable — try it as a hanging or a floor plant. Grow in moderate temperatures and medium sunlight. It is mildly poisonous & causes dermatological problems for some when in contact with skin,  yet commonly used in medicine for breathing conditions and airway blockages

Plant care: Most English Ivy Plants die because they are over-watered. Allow the top 25-30% of the soil in an English Ivy Plant to dry out before watering. Crispy leaves on an English Ivy Plant indicate over-watering not under-watering.  English Ivy Plants like bright indirect light.  Very few houseplants should be placed in direct sun.  An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. In low light, the new leaves of an English Ivy Plant are smaller and further apart.

Non-toxic: For children or animals who like to play with swinging things, this plant is safe.

Eliminates: VOCs, including benzene, trichloroethylene, toulene and xylene

For a comprehensive guide to all plants, see this helpful resource.

If you are concerned about your pets or children eating dangerous plants, you might want to buy this guide to toxicity in plants online, or seek a similar resource for peace of mind.

1 COMMENT

  1. Absolutely great list. I have snake plant into my daughter’s bedroom and I think it has a great effect on air quality 🙂 I guess I am going to add from your list 😀

    keep it going!

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