Are you a plant lover and looking for plants to get rid of toxins in your home? We got you covered. Having plants in your home not only makes your house look beautiful but also some plants can help the overall quality of the air you breathe. In this article, we will be highlighting some air purifying houseplants that can eliminate the toxins in your home. These air purifying houseplants are a great addition, if you spend a lot of time in a particular area of your home. Since there are a lot of people working from home at this time, purchasing air purifying houseplants can be very important. The good thing is a lot of these plants are very easy to take care of so if you haven’t owned a plant yet, don’t worry you got this!
The Pothos plant gets rid of xylene, benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene. (See glossary to learn more)
Plant care for Pothos: (source: Gardening Know How)
- They can tolerate low light but if the pothos is highly variegated particularly white, they might not grow as good in low light. If they are in low light, it will end up turning more green than the white.
- They can be easily propagated.
- Fertilize once every three months to help growth.
- The pothos is a poisonous plant so if you have pets or small children please be aware. The plant can cause vomiting or irritation if ingested because of the calcium oxalates. The sap of the pothos if you are very sensitive can give you a rash if it’s touched.
- Can be watered every 1 to 2 weeks depending if the soil is dry.
The Peace Lily plant gets rid of benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene. (See glossary to learn more)
Plant care for Peace Lily: (source: The Old Farmer’s Almanac)
- Keep the soil moist but don’t over water it.
- Use room-temperature water that is filtered. They tend to be very sensitive to minerals and chemicals so don’t use tap water.
- Don’t over fertilize. “To encourage spring and summer growth, fertilize every 6 weeks or so with a balanced houseplant fertilizer starting in late winter.”
- Keep out of direct afternoon sunlight, but in a bright, well-lit area. An east-facing window is ideal, as they will be exposed to the bright morning sun but avoid the intensity of mid-day rays.
- They are mildly poisonous. Keep out of reach of pets and children. These plants contain calcium oxalate so if they are ingested they can cause respiratory or stomach irritation.
- Use well draining pots and all purpose soil.
The Philodendron plants get rid of formaldehyde in the air. (See glossary to learn more)
Plant care for Philodendron: (source: Gardening Know How)
- Needs bright indirect sunlight.
- Allow the top inch (2.5 cm.) of soil to dry out between waterings. Droopy leaves can indicate that it might be getting too much water or not enough.
- You can fertilize the philodendron with liquid multi-nutrient fertilizer.
- Philodendrons don’t experience too much stress from bringing them indoor to outdoor.
- If the plant is long and leggy, it could be a sign that it’s not getting enough light.
The Spider plants get rid of formaldehyde and xylene in the air. (See glossary to learn more)
Plant care for Spider Plant: (source: Bloomscape)
- They love bright, indirect light.
- Direct light will burn the plant.
- When watering, don’t let the soil get soggy because that can cause root rot.
- They prefer to dry out between waterings.
- If the spider plant is turning brown, it can be the water that is used as the spider plant can be a bit sensitive to chemicals and minerals. If this occurs, use filtered water.
- Fertilize up to twice a month in the spring and summer
- It is non-toxic to dogs, cats and humans
Rubber plants get rid of xylene, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene. (See glossary to learn more)
Plant care for rubber plants: (source: Apartment Therapy)
- They dont like to sit in water so the soil needs to be well draining. “well-draining and well-aerated potting soil is needed. 1 part peat, 1 part pine bark and 1 part coarse sand (or perlite) is a good mix.”
- The rubber plants love light! They like bright light but not direct light. Indirect light is perfect for this plant.
- In the growing season, mainly the summer time, the plant should be kept moist. This includes misting or running a damp cloth over the leaves.
- Only fertilize during the growing season.
- When transferring your plant into another pot, be sure that it isn’t too big. Rule of thumb is to transfer the plant in a pot that is an inch bigger in diameter than the previous pot.
The Boston Fern gets rid of formaldehyde and xylene. (See glossary to learn more)
Plant care for the Boston Fern: (source: The Spruce)
- The Boston Fern is a bit of a slow grower.
- It loves moist but well draining soil.
- When it matures, it can grow as big as 2-3 feet tall.
- It is also non-toxic.
- They love warm and humid conditions.
- Prevent the soil from drying out. Water frequently to keep the soil moist but not soggy.
- Mist the fern to create more of a humid environment.
- It loves bright, indirect light.
The Snake Plant removes formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, benzene, and xylene. (See glossary to learn more)
Plant care for Snake Plant: (source: Joyus Garden)
- Snake Plants grown as houseplants average in height from 8″ to 7′.
- In stronger natural light ,they’ll grow faster and slower in lower light.
- Try not to overdo the watering. Make sure the soil is completely dry before watering. It is good to water them with 2-8 weeks in between depending on your environment.
- They can also tolerate low light but grow the fastest in indirect light. If you do have a variegated snake plant, low light will make the color of the plant less intense so for the variegated ones, indirect light is preferred.
- They can tolerate a range in temperature in the home but keep away from cold drafts and air conditioning vents.
The English Ivy removes formaldehyde and benzene. (See glossary to learn more)
Plants care for English Ivy: (source: The Spruce)
- In the winter and summer, they love bright light but don’t expose it to direct sunlight in the summer.
- The soil should be moist but also well-drained.
- The soil potting mix should also be loose to avoid the soil becoming very mushy and to prevent root rot.
- Don’t let the soil dry out between waterings. When watering, concentrate on watering the soil and don’t let the leaves touch the water because that can increase the chances of fungal diseases.
- Ivy grown indoors prefer cooler temperatures.
- A light feeding in early spring is all that’s needed.
Benzene is a clear, liquid, petroleum-based chemical that has a sweet smell. Benzene poisoning occurs when someone swallows, breathes in, or touches benzene. It is a member of a class of compounds known as hydrocarbons. Human exposure to hydrocarbons is a common problem. Benzene can be harmful if it is swallowed, inhaled, or touched.
People may be exposed to benzene in factories, refineries, and other industrial settings. Benzene may be found in:
- Additives to gasoline and diesel fuel
- Many industrial solvents
- Various paint, lacquer, and varnish removers
Other products may also contain benzene.
(Source: Medline Plus)
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas formed by the incomplete combustion of fuels. When people are exposed to CO gas, the CO molecules will displace the oxygen in their bodies and lead to poisoning.
In simple terms, CO is produced whenever a material burns. Homes with fuel-burning appliances or attached garages are more likely to have CO problems Common sources of CO in our homes include fuel-burning appliances and devices such as:
- Clothes dryers
- Water heaters
- Furnaces or boilers
- Fireplaces, both gas and wood burning
- Gas stoves and ovens
- Motor vehicles
- Grills, generators, power tools, lawn equipment
- Wood stoves
- Tobacco smoke
(Source: Minnesota Department of Health)
Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable gas at room temperature and has a strong odor. Exposure to formaldehyde may cause adverse health effects.
Formaldehyde is found in:
- Resins used in the manufacture of composite wood products (i.e., hardwood plywood, particleboard and medium-density fiberboard);
- Building materials and insulation;
- Household products such as glues, permanent press fabrics, paints and coatings, lacquers and finishes, and paper products;
- Preservatives used in some medicines, cosmetics and other consumer products such as dishwashing liquids and fabric softeners; and
- Fertilizers and pesticides.
It is a byproduct of combustion and certain other natural processes, and so is also found in:
- Emissions from un-vented, fuel burning appliances, like gas stoves or kerosene space heaters; and
- Cigarette smoke.
(Source: Environmental Protection Agency)
Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a volatile, colorless liquid organic chemical. TCE does not occur naturally and is created by chemical synthesis. It is used primarily to make refrigerants and other hydrofluorocarbons and as a degreasing solvent for metal equipment.
TCE is also used in some household products, such as:
- cleaning wipes
- aerosol cleaning products
- tool cleaners
- paint removers
- spray adhesives
- carpet cleaners
- spot removers
(Source: National Cancer Institute)
Xylene is a strong compound that is used in many household and industrial products. Xylene can be found in: •
- Fingernail polish
- Glues and adhesives
- Octane booster in gasoline
- Paint thinners
- Printing and leather tanning processes
- Rubber and plastic cements
- Wood stains
(Source: Medline Plus)
We hope that you feel more informed about some of the air purifying houseplants that you can own to help the air quality that you breathe.
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