Not everyone has a green thumb; in fact, some people are quick to say they couldn’t keep a cactus alive if they had to, but house plants can be more than just a lovely addition to your home, they may actually make you healthier. If you shop smart, you can pick plants that detox your home and also provide that touch of the outdoors we all know and love.
As a general rule, when it comes to using plants to detox your home or workspace, a report from CBNrecommends one houseplant per 100 square feet of living area for the most effective results. And just what are these plants going to do? Filter the air in your home, of course. The plants you select will determine what pollutants you extract from your living area. The best performing plants are usually those with broad leaves and those considered fast-growing. (Make sure you wipe your plants’ leaves down with a damp cloth to keep the dust off of them.)
What plants are good to detox your home?
- Aloe vera: According to Health Central, aloe vera absorbed the chemicals from cleaning products. IF your home has too much of these, brown spots will start to appear on the plant. (I use Forever Multi Purpose Detergent /MPD http://ow.ly/qocSj )
- Purple waffle plant: Researchers at the University of Georgia indicate purple waffle plants are among the top 28 decorative house plants for removing air pollutants.
- Areca palm: NASA indicates that, not only do areca palm plants dump a significant amount of oxygen into the environment, they are fantastic at removing formaldehyde, a toxic chemical often found in carpets.
- Peace lily: acetone, benzene, alcohols, ammonia, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene, a chemical commonly found in plastics.
- Rubber plant: Though toxic to both people and animals when consumed, the rubber plant is also great for removing formaldehyde, benzene and ammonia from the air.
- Mother-in-law’s tongue: This plant with long, striped leaves is another great oxygen producer, but primarily pumps out O2 during the night-time hours.
- Golden pothos: This plant also tackles benzene and formaldehyde, but it also gets xylene, and is a great choice to keep in an area where car exhaust is an issue.
- English ivy: If you have lots of pets, English ivy is a great choice to detox your home. This plant removes chemicals from the air, but it also removes airborne fecal particles.
- Red-edged dracaena: Not only does this lovely fall-hued plant make a great addition to the decor of a room, it removes chemicals from the air related to lacquers, varnishes and gasoline.
- Philodendrons: Considered one of the best plants for removing formaldehyde in high concentrations.
While it is wonderful to have plants in the home not only for their ability to detox your space but for their aesthetic appeal as well, it is important to make sure you know what plants are poisonous or not. Adults living in the home may not have an issue, but plants are favorite targets of children and pets. Make sure you know the risks of having plants around to detox your home before you put the time and effort in to nurturing them.