Mind and Body
NASA Says These Houseplants Will Purify the Air in Your House
Houseplants can bring much-needed life to any room, and more and more milennials are choosing houseplants over pets and children. The millennial houseplant obsession is real and based in large part by the fact that many of us are doomed to be renters in urban environments, so our exposure to nature has to be brought indoors. But whether you live in the suburbs, the country, or the city, a previously drab and uninspired space can immediately be spruced up by the addition of an interesting houseplant.
But houseplants aren’t just for decor — they can have health benefits, too. Science says the addition of home greenery can reduce stress and anxiety, humidify a dry apartment, aid in depression, and according to NASA, houseplants can naturally purify your air. Poorly ventilated apartments can be full of stagnant air and pollution which can lead to what NASA and the EPA refer to as sick building syndrome. Sick building syndrome may sound weirdly clinical, but the real-life effects of indoor air pollution can make life difficult (and gross, with cold-like symptoms).
NASA reports that up to 30 percent of all newly remodeled spaces and many spaces with mechanical ventilation have issues with indoor pollution. They recommend the same approach as when they were tasked with purifying the air in space — get houseplants!
Below are nine houseplants you should considering buying for your home to increase the air quality and, by default, the quality of your life.
Why We Picked It: If some autumnal nostalgia isn’t enough to convince you to buy them, let their ability to clean your air convince you. The air-purifying champion of NASA’s research, mums effectively reduced ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene in the air.
Peace Lily Spathiphyllum
Why We Picked It: Peace lilies are the ideal houseplants for people convinced they have a “black thumb,” as they do fine in low light, and visibly droop when they need to be watered, basically telling you exactly what they need. A happy peace lily will thrive for years and is great at removing ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from the air.
Snake Plant Sanseveieria
Why We Picked It: With virtually no light requirements — though they grow the fastest in bright light — snake plants are thought of as basically an impossible plant to kill. They thrive on neglect and prefer long stretches of no water. They’re great at removing benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene from the air.
Aloe Vera Aloe barabensis
Why We Picked It: Aloe is another plant that loves to be neglected. Just find it a nice place in the sun and it will grow for years and years. Get a sunburn? Simply remove a frond, open it up, and spread the gooey contents on your skin for instant relief. Plus, it’s awesome at removing formaldehyde from the air.
Boston Fern Nephrolepis exaltata
Why We Picked It: One of the most effective air purifiers on this list, the Boston Fern is the perfect plant to keep in your bathroom. They love humidity, to be in slightly damp soil, and don’t have a high light requirement. Plus, they help remove formaldehyde and xylene from the air.
Rubber Tree Ficus elastica
Why We Picked It: Both visually appealing and incredibly hardy, this plant will grow super large if left to its own devices. It’s blessedly low-maintenance and loves to go outside on your porch or terrace in the summer. Great at removing benzene, formaldehyde, and trichlorethylene from the air.