You only have to scan Instagram and Pinterest to see the just how popular indoor foliage and plant accessories have become over the past few years.
There had been a big shift in trends for wellness within the home and simply by adding greenery into your living space can help to lift your mood and provide you with a connection with the earth and nature. But do you know indoor plants can provide health benefits and enhance indoor air quality too?
You don’t have to create a wall to wall jungle to reap the benefits, even a small amount of foliage may improve indoor air quality. So why not add a few easy to care for plants to your home?
Given that people spend more time indoors than outside, working, sleeping, eating and relaxing, air quality matters. Indoor air can be stale and when the weather is cold it’s not always easy to open up your windows to refresh the air. Also thanks to synthetic furniture, paints, mould and cleaning products, chemicals and pollutants are silently pumped into the air. You probably didn’t know your furniture or flooring could emit gasses, but if it’s made of particle-board, it does. Paint on your walls and skirting boards can also release volatile organic compounds (VOCs), like formaldehyde.
We’re all exposed to some amount of indoor air pollution, and it’s likely not causing issues but with poor ventilation it could lead to complaints such as allergic attacks, asthma, fatigue, headaches and tickly coughs.
So how can plants help improve the situation? All plants release oxygen through photosynthesis, but some special species have built-in air-filtering systems too. Purifying indoor plants reduce levels of CO2 and increase relative humidity so act like a natural humidifier. There’s no denying you would need a vast amount of plants to drastically impact VOC levels, but even adding a few indoor plants could still improve your air quality.
Here are six plants that can help you get clean indoor air.
This easy to care for plant also performed well in the NASA test, the large leaves allow it to draw in large amounts of contaminants, making it efficient at cleaning the air. The rubber plant combines carbon dioxide with hydrogen broken down from water taken in by the roots and then releases oxygen into the air through the leaves. Place in a brightly lit spot and don’t over water.
Peace lily plants are relatively small so they’re ideal for compact spaces and the white flower makes it an attractive choice. This tropical plant breaks down and neutralizes toxic gases like benzene, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide. It also helps to reduce the levels of mould spores that grow in the home by absorbing those spores through its leaves and them circulating them to the plant’s roots where they are used as food. Peace Lilies enjoy medium to low light and are far more tolerant of under watering than overwatering.
The easy to grow Spider Plant is a champion cleanser of air. A NASA clean air study test showed it to remove around 90% of the potentially cancer-causing chemical formaldehyde from the air. It’s a very forgiving houseplant and doesn’t mind the occasional mistakes of overwatering and under watering. Place it in a spot with bright indirect sunlight.
Boston fern plants act as a humidifier and can help to restore moisture in the air making them a perfect choice for those who suffer from dry skin. They can help to eliminate traces of formaldehyde and look great hanging from baskets. Keep your Boston Fern in cool place with indirect light and mist the leaves with water regularly.
The aloe vera plant is a modern looking house plant that is easy to care for. Unlike most plants, aloe vera emits oxygen during night time as well as day time so is a great plant for the bedroom. Water once a week and keep in a bright spot.
Areca palm indoor plant is one of the best air purifying indoor plants to clean the air. This modern looking plant releases lots of moisture into the air making it a great option for people with breathing difficulties. Water them often in spring and summer to keep the soil lightly moist.