Houseplants That Can Clean Your Building’s Air
Houseplants offer commercial building owners and managers a pleasing way to give their indoor spaces a decorative touch. Whether used in lobbies and common areas or in individual rooms and offices, houseplants and similar foliage add a touch of green and bring some of the natural world inside.
Houseplants, however, are not just a type of decoration. They also offer the substantial benefit of helping to clean and filter indoor air, removing pollutants and improving overall indoor air quality. A study conducted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) confirmed that houseplants can be effective air cleaners, removing pollutants such as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.
Here is a list of some of the more common houseplants that you can use to help clean and filter the air in your building.
- Spider plant — Spider plants are a hardy species that can withstand neglect. Their durability makes them a good choice for buildings where they may not get watered as often as they should, or where beginners are in charge of taking care of the plants. Characterized by long grassy leaves and small white flowers, spider plants are good for filtering out benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene. They work well in cool to normal room temperatures and grow best with indirect sunlight.
- Aloe — Sometimes called aloe vera, this is a succulent plant that thrives in sunny spots such as window sills. These plants are also easy to grow and care for. Aloe plants help remove formaldehyde and benzene from indoor air. As an added bonus, aloe leaves contain a gel-like substance that has long been used to treat burns, minor injuries, and skin conditions.
- Snake plant — Snake plants have thick, rubbery leaves that remove formaldehyde from the air. These plants are also hardy and easy to grow. They are best suited for more humid areas where there is not much sunlight.
- Golden pothos — This species of houseplant is a vine that needs to be planted along with a structure that can support it as it grows, such as a trellis, or in a hanging basket. The leaves are broad, with green coloring highlighted by yellow areas. It is a visually appealing plant that removes carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and benzene.
- Boston fern — Boston ferns are considered among the more efficient air purifiers among houseplants. However, they are more difficult to care for than other species since they require a consistent source of moisture and must be watered daily. Cool spots with indirect sunlight work best for them. This plant is considered attractive and is a good choice for filtering out formaldehyde.
- Dracaena — There are more than three dozen species of dracaena plants that you can choose for your building’s spaces. They have long, wide leaves that sprout from what looks like a small tree trunk. These plants can grow to several feet in height, though their growth is slow. Moderate amounts of sunlight work best for them. They are effective at removing xylene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde.
- English ivy — This type of vine is excellent for placing in small spaces where sunlight is limited. It is very effective are removing formaldehyde from indoor air. English ivy is often kept in a small pot that works well on desks or shelves.
- Chinese evergreen — Chinese evergreen plants are extremely hardy and easy to grow, often thriving in environments where other plants have failed. They are characterized by broad, green-and-white mottled leaves. along with red berries. They work well in humid, low-light areas, but may need to be misted occasionally if there isn’t enough moisture in the air. Chinese evergreens help remove most of the common pollutants found indoors.
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