Here’s one more reason to have indoor plants in your home: they are natural air cleaners. Living indoors, we often fall under the false presumption that we keep dirt out. That may be true in some respects, but the indoors come with their own set of health concerns—and first and foremost is having poor air quality.
Mold spores and common chemicals can make the air we breathe toxic, and can even make us sick. People with allergies and asthma risk more and worse attacks, and otherwise healthy people will find themselves coming down with more colds and flus when the air is dirty.
You know what I’m talking about. Those days when you smell the air and realize it’s musty or dusty. Perhaps you open up the windows or get a fan going. If you’re a little more concerned or have pets, you may have even invested in an air filter. But while airing the house out will freshen things up for a while, it’s easy for buildup to begin again.
One small thing that can make a big difference is houseplants. They not only let off fresh oxygen, but they also absorb chemicals in the air like formaldehyde (which can even cause cancer). Try these “air fresheners” in your house:
English Ivy: A climbing vine, this ivy comes in a variety of colors and leaf shapes. It can be planted in a hanging basket or a low planter, and it is great for filtering formaldehyde out from the air. Just mist it regularly.
Bamboo Palm: As long as it gets a few hours of sunlight, this small tree-like plant will flourish and clean the air of formaldehyde as it does. And with large, long-stemmed fronds, it’s pretty to look at, too.
Peace Lily: In addition to formaldehyde, peace lilies will also clean the air of chemicals like acetone, benzene, and ammonia. It is a flowering plant, and therefore requires a little more maintenance than some others (wash its leaves occasionally to keep it bug-free).
Lady Palm: This plant looks like a short and stocky palm tree, and it’s naturally resistant to pests. It will also filter out a number of chemicals and only requires occasional leaf trimming and regular watering.
Rubber Plant: If you need a hardy plant that will flourish without much sunlight, consider the rubber plant. It doesn’t mind low-light situations and cool temperatures. It needs to stay watered, but other than that is very easy to care for.