Plants remove harmful household chemicals from the air, including ammonia in cleaning fluids and formaldehyde in carpets. Here are five picked by NASA’s Clean Air Study…
1 The Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
A great plant for rookie gardeners, this evergreen requires little maintenance and is among NASA’s top ranked for absorbing formaldehyde, benzene, xylene and trichloroethylene. Native to West Africa, it needs little water but plenty of light for best results.
2 The Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
This tops NASA’s list for removing formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene from its surroundings. A low maintenance, shade-loving evergreen which needs little water, so it makes an ideal plant for forgetful gardeners.
3 The Red-edged Dracaena (Dracaena marginata)
Another fairly easy houseplant to keep at home is this palm-like shrub. Water once or twice a week and keep in indirect sunlight, and it will merrily perform as a top air purifier, removing formaldehyde along with benzene and xylene.
4 The Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)
While this tree can really sprawl outdoors, it also makes a manageable houseplant when confined to a pot, removing formaldehyde, xylene and toluene from the air. All it needs is bright, indirect light and frequent watering (though it resents sitting in pools of water). It’s important to note that it’s seriously toxic to pets.
5 The Flamingo Lily (Anthurium andraeanum)
These have fantastic air purifying potential, but are challenging to keep. In order to thrive, they require a humid environment with indirect light. Plus, they are poisonous when ingested, so keep them out of reach of both small children and pets.
For more top tips on wellbeing in the home, see the July 2017 “Wellbeing” edition of ELLE Decoration.
See also Editor in Chief, Michelle Ogundehin’s Trendbulletin 21.