Indoor air purifying plants

Houseplants refresh and revitalize our interiors by reducing indoor air-pollution, which can otherwise cause “Sick Building Syndrome”- acute health risks like asthma, allergies and respiratory problems arising from prolonged exposure to poor-quality indoor air.

“If man is to move into closed environments, he must take along nature’s life support system.”

– NASA, on the role of plants in purifying indoor-air.

Plants are particularly effective in filtering out VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) such as benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene and ammonia released from organic chemicals present in household products such as paint, varnish, carpet, upholstery, cigarette smoke, gas-stove, space-heater, etc.

Indoor Air Purifying Plants

Some of the houseplants which detoxify our indoor environment are:

  1. Areca Palm
  • Botanical name: Dypsis lutescens
  • Other names: Golden cane palm, Butterfly palm
  • Light: bright, filtered light near a sunny window
  • Water: moderately; let the soil dry between watering
  • Height: 6-7 feet (about 2 m) in containers
  • Benefits: air humidifier; filters xylene and tolueneindoor air purifying plants

This popular houseplant gives a warm tropical feel with its elegantly arched fronds breezing gently in the air.

  1. Gerbera Daisy
  • Botanical name: Gerbera jamesonii
  • Other names: Barberton Daisy, Transvaal Daisy
  • Light: bright, filtered light near a sunny window
  • Water: regularly; keep the soil moist but not soggy
  • Height: up to 1.5 feet (45 cm)
  • Flowering season: blooms repeatedly all-year long
  • Flower colours: white, yellow, orange, pink, red
  • Benefits: releases oxygen at night; filters benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene

indoor air purifying plants

One of the most desirable flowering plants to bloom indoors, Gerbera Daisy cheers up the mood with its bold splashes of colour.

  1. Snake plant
  • Botanical name: Sansevieria trifasciata
  • Other names: Mother-in-Law’s tongue!
  • Light: bright to low
  • Water: occasionally, as it is drought tolerant
  • Height: up to 3 feet (90 cm)
  • Benefits: releases oxygen at night; filters benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and tolueneindoor air purifying plants

This low-maintenance plant is one of the best choices for amateur gardeners or frequent travelers as it can tolerate a wide range of light and water conditions.

  1. Peace Lily 
  • Botanical name: Spathiphyllum wallisii
  • Other names: Cobra plant
  • Light: bright to medium
  • Water: moderately; let the soil dry between watering
  • Height: up to 2 feet (60 cm)
  • Flowering season: blooms repeatedly all-year long
  • Flower colours: white
  • Benefits: filters benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene and ammoniaindoor air purifying plants

True to its name, presence of pure white flowers of the Peace lily exudes tranquility and calmness in a room.

  1. Money plant
  • Botanical name: Epipremnum aureum
  • Other names: Golden Pothos, Devil’s Ivy
  • Light: bright to medium
  • Water: moderately; let the soil dry between watering
  • Height: climbs up to 7 feet (around 2 m) in containers, can also be grown as a hanging plant
  • Benefits: filters benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, toluene and carbon-monoxideindoor air purifying plants

The Money plant is undoubtedly the most beloved houseplant in India, as it finds place in almost every home! It is admired for its ability to grow both in soil as well as in water.

  1. Chrysanthemum
  • Botanical name: Chrysanthemum morifolium
  • Other names: Florist’s Mums, Gul-dawoodi (Urdu)
  • Light: bright, filtered light near a sunny window
  • Water: regularly; keep the soil moist but not soggy
  • Height: up to 4 feet (120 cm), depending on the variety
  • Flowering season: late summer, autumn, early winter
  • Flower colors: white, yellow, orange, red, pink, purple
  • Benefits: filters benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene and ammonia

indoor air purifying plants

A symbolic flower for Mother’s Day, Chrysanthemum is a visually pleasing addition for interiors and is available in a variety of colors and shapes.

  1. Boston Fern
  • Botanical name: Nephrolepis exaltata
  • Light: bright to medium
  • Water: regularly; keep the soil moist but not soggy
  • Height: 2-3 feet (60-75 cm)
  • Benefits: air humidifier; filters formaldehyde, xylene and toluene

indoor air purifying plants

The Boston Fern is an easy-care tropical plant which fills up a space with its gracefully drooping fronds. Being one among the primitive plants on earth, it multiplies by spores which are present on the underside of its leaves.

  1. Spider plant
  • Botanical name: Chlorophytum comosum
  • Other names: Musli (Hindi)
  • Light: bright to medium
  • Water: moderately; let the soil dry between watering
  • Height: up to 1 feet (30cm)
  • Benefits: filters formaldehyde, xylene and tolueneindoor air purifying plants

Another popular houseplant, the Spider plant is a favorite choice for a hanging plant. It bears small white flowers during summers which evolve into delightful little plantlets.

  1. Rubber Plant
  • Botanical name: Ficus elastica
  • Light: bright to medium
  • Water: moderately; let the soil dry between watering
  • Height: 8-10 feet (around 3 m) tall in containers
  • Benefits: air humidifier, filters formaldehydeindoor air purifying plants

One of the best easy-care houseplants, Rubber plant brightens up the space with its dark glossy leaves. Some varieties come in maroon-tinged and white-variegated foliage.

      10. Cornstalk Dracaena

  • Botanical name: Dracaena fragrans
  • Other names: Corn plant, Lemon lime plant
  • Light: bright to medium
  • Water: moderately; let the soil dry between watering
  • Height: 6 feet (around 2 m) in containers
  • Benefits: filters benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethyleneindoor air purifying plants

Dracaenas are popular indoor plants that are grown in numerous homes and offices. There are several varieties of Dracaena available in different shapes, sizes and colors.

Happy Gardening

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