Faced with the pollution that is increasingly present in cities and is transmitted to our homes, natural methods arise to try to limit pollutants and improve the quality of the environment.
The air purifying plants they are an effective and comfortable alternative to renew the environment and avoid toxic elements that inhabit it.
Polluted air inside the house
Living in cities with high pollution can have negative side effects, as polluted air can enter the interior of our home.
In addition, in closed environments, the absence of air flow causes indoor pollution to accumulate and can cause health problems such as sick building syndrome or asthma.
Even elements of the interior of the house, such as modern furniture. Synthetic building materials or even carpets can carry more chemicals and dust than expected.
In fact, these chemical elements can emit up to 90% of the air pollution in our home. Hence the importance of using, naturally, air purifying plants.
The use of air purifying plants
It was in 1989 when NASA observed that some indoor vegetables acted as air purifying plants. That is, they were able to absorb toxins considered harmful to humans, especially in closed environments and with little air renewal. [View Report]
This analysis has been one of the pillars for new updated reports on air purifying plants versus machines that perform the same purpose.
In that report, NASA recommends the use of air purifying plants at home. For example, a pot with a medium-sized plant (30 cm high) for every 10 m2 of room. Not only for its ability to produce oxygen but also to eliminate toxics that can come from cleaning products, glues, synthetic materials, or accumulate on walls and carpets.
Before buying a plant…
Not all plants are equally useful for purifying the air. In fact, we must avoid those that may be toxic to pets (dogs and cats).
Before acquiring any of them, you have to take this into account and ask or inform yourself in a local nursery or specialist.
In addition, you have to have minimal knowledge about irrigation management, since excess moisture can cause root stagnation and the appearance of mold or various fungi.
Plants that are easy to care for
Therefore, we wanted to select some air purifying plants of simple care, as well as the main allergens or contaminants that are capable of eliminating.
List of air purifying plants
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
The Spider Plant, as it usually knows you, is considered a great air purifier. Their growth is quite large and they can be placed in hanging pots.
In the group to which they belong, we find more than 200 unique species that also have a great capacity to improve the environment.
Specific care: water the tape 2 to 3 times a week.
It is non-toxic: it can be planted in homes with children or pets. Tape is considered as a safe plant.
Toxics that eliminates: xylene and formaldehyde
The whole group of Dracaenas is especially simple to cultivate, even for the most novice.
This large grouping of indoor plants offers us many versions with different shapes, sizes and colors. All suitable for cultivation in pots and, therefore, to be planted as plants to purify the air.
Main care: keep the substrate moist but without waterlogging. An excess of water is a reason for rotting of its roots.
Slightly toxic for animals: may cause excessive salivation, nausea, or vomiting in pets (cats or dogs)
Toxics that eliminates: xylene, formaldehyde, toluene, trichloroethylene and benzene.
Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
The pots have many variants in terms of the form with which they are known: pots, pothos, devil’s ivy, etc.
This plant is very resistant to inclement weather, excesses or lack of water. It is considered one of the most effective air purifying plants, especially with the toxins that we can most commonly find at home.
Main care: water when the substrate is dry.
Toxic to animals: it is necessary to move the pots out of the reach of dogs and cats.
Toxics that eliminates: carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, toluene, etc.
Yellow Palm (Dypsis lutescens)
This small plant called yellow palm is quite simple to grow, even outdoors, as long as we take it away from the cold.
It adapts perfectly to growing in pots, and its leaves have a great action as an air purifying plant.
Main care: Madagascar palm requires frequent applications of water, from 3 to 4 waterings per week, less in the winter months, halving the dose.
Non-toxic: both the stem and its leaves are not toxic to pets.
Toxics that eliminates: formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide, trichloroethylene, xylene, etc.
Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum morifolium)
Chrysanthemums are a type of plant to purify the air quite sought-after, growing especially in pots for the interior of the house.
Different studies have shown that chrysanthemums are able to eliminate a large number of toxins, especially ammonia that may contain the environment of cleaning products.
Main care: keep the substrate moistened but without stagnation. From 2 to 3 waterings per week in spring and summer. Half in winter.
Toxic to animals: it is preferable to move the chrysanthemum away from the presence of domestic animals.
Toxics that eliminates: ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde and xylene, among others.
Bamboo Palms (Chamaedorea seifrizii)
Main care: it is necessary to keep the substrate moist, but without causing waterlogging. We will water in the warm months 3 times a week, small amounts.
Non-toxic plant: it can coexist perfectly in homes with children and pets.
Toxics that eliminates: carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, chloroform, etc.
Common ivy (hedera helix)
Common ivy is considered to be a climbing plant, with a large volume of leaves and stems.
We can find different varieties, although all of them need good doses of light.
It can be placed in hanging pots near windows, shelves, cabinets or tables.
Main care: frequent watering in summer (3 waterings per week) and 1 in the winter months
Toxic to animals and humans: although English ivy thrives almost anywhere, it is known to cause problems in dogs, farm animals, and humans when eaten. The chemicals in the sap can also cause severe contact dermatitis in humans, especially those with sensitive skin.
Toxics that eliminates: carbon monoxide, benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, etc.
Rubber Fig (Ficus elasticta)
It is known as an elastic plant or rubber tree, and its origin is Asian (India). It has superficial roots that are intertwined by the main trunk, creating curious shapes that will delight you as a houseplant.
They need good doses of light and generally don’t need much attention.
Main care: keep the moisture constant in the substrate, lowering the waterings to 1 per week in winter. The leaves are pruned if they lose their natural color or disfigure.
water moderately to keep the soil moist, especially in the winter. Prune the leaves and
Toxic to animals: it is toxic to pets.
Toxics that eliminates: carbon monoxide, trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, etc.
Genus aglaonema (Aglaonema)
This group of evergreen plants has its origin in the tropical and high humidity forests of the Asian continent.
Its leaves have a great capacity as air purifying plants, eliminating toxics that can be stored in the home.
Its maintenance is somewhat more demanding than other plants that we have seen in this article, but it is still interesting to have it in our home.
Main care: water moderately and allow the compost to dry almost before watering. Chinese evergreens like high humidity, a little regular misting and being replanted every few years.
Toxic to animals: they have phytoactive components that can be harmful to dogs.
Toxics that eliminates: carbon monoxide, benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, etc.
Peace Lilies (Spathiphyllum)
Even NASA, in 1980, did important research on its capacity as an air purifying plant.
It is even able to inhibit the amount of ammonia that can be preserved in the environment by the use of cleaning products.
Plant care: Keep the soil slightly moist. Peace lilies thrive in most lighting conditions, but too little light can prevent the flowers from blooming.
Toxic to animals and humans: Despite its soothing name, this beautiful plant is toxic to cats, dogs and children. It is best to keep this as an ornamental plant as it can cause burns, swelling and skin irritation in adults.
Eliminates: formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene, ammonia and more
In addition to the most natural option, which is the care of air purifying plants, we have other options that we can buy or practice at home.
- Reduce the use of toxic cleaning products and hazardous active materials
- Air the environment by opening advantages at least 1 time a day
- Reduce ambient humidity
- Use air purifiers with HEPA filters.