Have you noticed just how often you visit people’s homes and there are beautiful plants, like, everywhere? While I have been known to invest in plants and have started to rely on them to contribute to the general vibe of my home, I never thought much of household plants other than that – to me, they are essentially a small addition to give my tiny apartment some life. That is until I finally learned about the air purifying properties that indoor plants have and now I cannot stop thinking about getting more. I’ve never been a subtle person – and what started out as one spider plant in my living room has quickly multiplied into 16 varieties of household plants in a 600 square foot apartment because, of course.
Everyone has been purchasing these beautiful plants and for good reason. Modern buildings are more energy efficient but they lack the airflow of older buildings due to the use of synthetic materials that make up the building. In a nutshell: when air-flow is good, you can breathe easy but when airflow is bad it can cause allergies, headaches, nausea and dry skin. If you’re experiencing similar symptoms, you’re not alone and there are ways to find relief naturally without having to move out. Enter air purifying plants. Especially in enclosed spaces, houseplants can help to purify your air through their ability to absorb harmful toxins.
Total bonus: using houseplants has benefits beyond just clearing the air. Like your favourite pair of jeans (that you will never throw out no matter how many rips they have), houseplants will reduce stress and have the ability to increase your mood and thus productivity. The only trouble involved is deciding what to buy. According to NASA (yes, NASA) 2-3 plants for every 100 square feet is a general rule of (green) thumb for how many plants you should have in your space at one time.
So, what to choose?
If your space is bright…Grab a Rubber plant
These bad boys are known to eliminate carbon monoxide and grow upward so they’ll need space. They need tons of light which makes them ideal for sunny apartments. They require only some moderate watering but hold back if you have a pet – they can be toxic to both cats and dogs.
If you are looking to see if you and your significant other are ready for kids…Try the Chinese Evergreen
Chances are you still need some time to decide but in the meantime, take on this evergreen to put your parenting abilities to the test. They require a little extra attention and will definitely keep you on your toes. They love humidity and require moderate watering. They are known to remove common toxins like benzene and carbon monoxide. But avoid them if you have a dog – they can be toxic to your furry friend.
If you are low maintenance and like your plants the same way…Pick up some Bamboo palms
The most elegant of the air purifying plants, these ones are the perfect starter plant because they give without expecting to receive. They require only a little care and just a pinch of sunlight. They will eliminate the usual suspects (formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide) and bonus: they are totally pet friendly.
If you are looking for answers…Go with aloe.
This one is not only an air purifier but a medicinal agent. The gel-like substance within the leaves are perfect to soothe a fresh burn. They are also an intense chemical detoxifier and will start to turn brown when the chemicals in the air have increased, telling you exactly what you need to know. One rule of thumb with this one: keep it in the sun.
If you are looking to add some height to your space…Invest in the Red-Edged Dracaena.
These beauties definitely bring the drama – they can grow as high as your ceiling (13-15 feet tall is common for Red-Edged Dracaenas). This one will remove harmful toxins – most notably formaldehyde – but like the others, they definitely need some sun.