Here is the list of the best plants to clean the air in your home according to NASA. They’re easy and inexpensive choices.
You have no idea how toxic the air in your home is. I promise you it’s probably worse than you thought. This NASA study about using plants to manage indoor air pollution tells the story. Prepare to freak out at all the garbage you and your family are breathing. The good news is there are simple, easy to care for houseplants that will clean your air better than you can imagine.
From NASA: The Best Plants to Clean Your Air
I’ll share the list of plants up front so you can grab them on your next shopping trip to a garden center. But, I sure hope you’ll read down further to find out how awful indoor air pollution can be, and what these chemicals are doing to your family. Blew my mind.
NOTE: You should have 1 plant to clean every 100 square feet of your home or office.
- Bamboo palm
- Chinese evergreen
- English ivy
- Gerbera Daisy
- Janet Craig
- Mass cane/Corn cane
- Mother-in-law’s tongue
- Peace lily
- Pot mum
What these plants actually clean up.
Formaldehyde – found in carpets, particle board furniture, pressed wood products, foam insulation, paper products, cleaning agents, adhesives, permanent-press clothes, and fire retardants.
Trichloroethylene – found in glues, paints, varnishes.
Benzene – found in plastics, detergents, and synthetic fibers.
Each of those links will explain what it is and the health problems it causes.
“This plant system is one of the most promising means of alleviating the sick building syndrome associated with many new, energy-efficient buildings.” — NASA
Sick Building Syndrome
The NASA report I’m referencing is 22 pages of charts and citations, but it’s also incredibly interesting. There was sure plenty I didn’t know about the air in our homes and offices.
In the late 70s and early 80s, we started to build high-efficiency buildings in the United States. They were designed to help with skyrocketing energy costs.
When folks began to work in those buildings, health complaints started to pour in. Workers were suffering from problems like itchy eyes, skin rashes, drowsiness, respiratory and sinus congestion, headaches, and other allergy-related symptoms.
The name for this problem is sick building syndrome and it can happen in your home as well as at your job and elsewhere.
NASA: “Since man’s existence on Earth depends upon a life support system involving an intricate relationship with plants and their associated microorganisms, it should be obvious that when he attempts to isolate himself in tightly sealed buildings away from this ecological system, problems will arise.”
Attention All Brown Thumbs!
The plants you found on the list are not especially difficult to care for. If you are a GREEN THUMB, however, would you mind leaving any tips you have for beginners? They’d be greatly appreciated by lots of folks I’m sure. (Raises hand!)