Air pollutants will find ways to get in your house. They can originate from your car exhaust when you start your car in the garage, when moisture builds up in hot humid summer days, using cleaning products, or arise from improper ventilation. House plants are a cost effective and simple way to facilitate the removal of harmful air pollutants in your household.
Garden Mum (Chrysanthemum morifolium): This brightly coloured flower is not only pleasing to the eye, but it is scientifically backed by the NASA Clean Air Study to be an effective remover of air pollutants. This plant is capable of removing ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene. They are inexpensive and can be found in local gardening stores. Water this plant regularly, but be careful to water it under the leaves to prevent fungal issues.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum ‘Vittatum’) More plain looking and darker in foliage than the Garden Mum, the Spider Plant is recommended for beginner caretakers due to the relatively little attention needed. It requires indirect sunlight, meaning light passing through a curtain or a tree canopy, and well-drained soil, while not requiring an abundant amount of water. Come spring time, they can bloom flowers that turn into new spider plant babies, called spiderettes. They are effective at removing formaldehyde and xylene.
Dracaena (Dracaena spp): Be warned, before getting into this plant’s details, that Dracaena are toxic to dogs and cats. There are over 40 kinds of Dracaena, and they can be lined with red, white, or cream colours. The foliage is wide, requiring misting on its leaves, and overall needs less water and lightly misted soil that allows proper drainage, just like the spider plant. It removes benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene.
English Ivy (hedera helix) Like the Dracaena, this is also toxic to cats and dogs. This plant grown in a vine-like structure, so they must be grown with a stake planted in the middle of the pot. It requires organically rich soil, which can be achieved through adding compost, and a shady environment. Unlike the previously listed plants, they need plenty of water in its initial stages, but once they grow and establish themselves, they can withstand dry conditions, though still need regular watering. The English Ivy is capable of extracting benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene.
Barberton Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii): This daisy’s vibrant colour makes it a popular choice in households. However, this plant require plentiful watering. Once the soil becomes dry to the touch, water it right away or it will wither away. This plant removes benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.
Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii') Another plant that is toxic to cats and dogs. Also known as the Mother-in-law’s tongue, the snake plant is recommended to beginners as well thanks to its resilience to survive weeks of negligence. Even after negligence, its leaves can retain its sturdiness and look as fresh as it always has been. It requires little sunlight, and be careful not to overwater the plant as they can rot. It needs even less water during the winter. The Snake plant can remove benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene.