After living in an apartment for a year and a half, I figured out that I was starving for some plant life. I wanted the air in my apartment to feel fresher and I wanted some greenery. And believe me, I was far from having a green thumb. But the deprivation fueled my fire. After failing to keep an embarrassing amount of plants alive, I think I’ve started to get the hang of it.
Now I love my indoor garden! Even though I typically choose my houseplants based on how easy they are to care for, I have no shortage of plants that both enhance my living space and actually clean the air. Keep in mind that even though all indoor plants have benefits for the air quality, some are better than others at removing toxins from the air. Here are some of my favorite houseplants that are also great air purifiers.
The snake plant is probably the most resilient plant I own. It’s also one of the easier plants to own as well. Going on vacation for a week and won’t be able to water it? No problem! Unlike most air-purifying plants, the snake plant does its work at night. Because of this, they are great to keep in your bedroom if you have a good spot for it.
Aloe plants can be a great addition to a sunny kitchen window. In addition to their air-purifying qualities, you can also use a cutting of the plant to help heal cuts and burns.
The schefflera plant has glossy, oval-shaped leaves. The standard plant can grow to be quite large, but if you have a smaller space, there are smaller versions called “schefflera petite.”
Palm trees are a great addition to your indoor garden because of the unique shape of the plant and leaves. Most air purifiers help remove formaldehyde from the air, but palms help reduce any carbon monoxide that’s in the air as well.
This air purifier is unique in that it’s a flowering plant. It’s also one of the best air-purifying plants around. It needs high light and it needs to be watered more frequently than the others, but it will do wonders for the air quality in your home and add a pop of color.
Caring for Air-Purifying Plants
The air purifiers listed here are not difficult to grow. They require lots of indirect sunlight, so try to place them near a window that gets a lot of light but little direct sunlight.
In my experience, air-purifying plants and succulents can bounce back from under-watering better than they can from being overwatered. To avoid overwatering, just feel the soil before you water the plants; if the soil doesn’t feel completely dry, hold off for another day or two. Additionally, all of these plants also prefer a more humid environment. So if you live in an area that has colder, drier winters, you might want to use a spray bottle to mist the leaves once a day.
Keep in mind that most of these plants are toxic to pets. To avoid injuring any of your furry friends, try to place your houseplants on a shelf, cart or plant stand.
When you can use plants to both clean the air and add some life to your home, why spend hundreds of dollars on an air-purifying machine? The rule of thumb for air-purifying plants is to have one plant per 100 square feet in your home. So mix and match with some of the plants that meet your needs best! What plants do you choose to enhance your home?