The home, school and office can be full of airborne pollutants with carpets, mattresses, paint, household products, pets and even people harbouring toxins – especially in the winter months, when windows are closed to the cold air outside and central heating is ramped up indoors.
Colin Campbell-Preston, Managing Director of Capital Gardens explains that bringing plants indoors can do much more than just add to your household aesthetics. “On top of beautifying and personalising the home, houseplants bring with them a significant number of health benefits. Whilst many plants will turn carbon dioxide in the air into oxygen, and add moisture to the atmosphere; certain plants offer specific benefits.”
Bringing plants indoors has even been suggested as a simple solution to a healthier lifestyle. “If you’re focusing on healthy living, introducing a green, leafy clean-air houseplant to the home or workplace is a great way to create fresh air indoors.” Explains Lisa Looker, brand director at Haskins Garden Centres “Indoor air has been shown to be up to five times as contaminated as outdoor air in some places and is often much more stagnant.”
Some plants are more beneficial indoors than others and the following six plants do much more than add a splash of green to your home.
One of the most easily grow tropical flowers and commonly called the 'prayer plant' or 'zebra plant', Calatheas are ideal for removing toxins from the air caused by cleaning products and synthetic materials.
This beautiful and graceful palm loves bright, direct sunlight and is consistently rated among the best houseplants for removing indoor air toxins. It also acts as an excellent air humidifier for dry, air-conditioned offices.
Spathiphyllum ‘Sweet Chico’
Otherwise known as the peace lily, this elegant plant is one of the few air purifiers which flowers. This year-round bloomer rids the air of the volatile organic compound (VOC) benzene, a carcinogen found in paints, furniture wax, and polishes. It also sucks up acetone, which is emitted by electronics, adhesives, and certain cleaners.
First popularised during the Victorian era, the Nephrolepis exaltata or Boston fern is considered one of the most efficient air purifiers and works especially well in removing formaldehyde, which is found in some glues and furniture.
Cacti are great for eliminating bacteria, tackling pollution and reducing radiation. Cacti also absorb carbon dioxide at night to release oxygen. Putting cacti in the bedroom is helpful for sleeping and supplementing oxygen.
This easy-to-grow, sun-loving succulent helps to clear formaldehyde and benzene, which can be a by-product of chemical-based cleaners, paints and more. Beyond its air-clearing abilities, the gel inside an aloe plant can help heal cuts and burns.
More advice on houseplants can be found at Haskins Garden CentresLast modified: June 10, 2021