Incorporating plants into your diet is a great way to reap their benefits, but incorporating them into your home is another way they can help, as they not only serve as decoration, but they also cleanse the air and improve your health.
According to horticulturist Marc Hachadourian, the director of the Nolen Greenhouses at the New York Botanical Garden, plants can benefit both your physical and mental state.
“There is actually a lot of scientific evidence that adding plants to any workspace or living environment actually does help to reduce stress,” said Hachadourian. “There are obviously therapeutic effects of caring for plants and gardening has been shown to decrease blood pressure and reduce stress, so the benefits go beyond […] helping to clean the air and add oxygen.”
While you might be inclined to bring any old plant into your home, you should consider that certain plants can clean the air around you of hazardous toxic chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde, and ammonia, per a clean air report from NASA. While NASA suggests that existing data points towards the use of plants to filter air quality, it has yet to be proven.
“There is some benefit,” Hachadourian said. “I think the debate now is how much of that occurs and whether it is enough to make a significant difference in the overall health and quality of the environment you live in.”
If you are completely convinced you need more greenery nearby, Hachadourian recommends purchasing a houseplant that fits your lifestyle and environment, because after all, you don’t want to let the plant wilt; you want to reap all the benefits while keeping your plant alive. Here are 12 of the best plants to keep in your home or workspace that you can benefit from.
12. Golden Pothos
Although golden pothos doesn’t remove formaldehyde, it does remove other chemicals like benzene and trichloromethyl from the air, according to the NASA clean air report. Benzene is commonly found in glue, paint, and detergent. Another great thing about this plant is that if you’ve had your share of dead plants in the past, the golden pothos is a tough cookie. The plant is best kept in low light conditions with irregular watering.
11. Peace Lilies
This beautiful plant removes benzene, formaldehyde, and other chemicals in the air that are emitted by harsh cleaning products, according to Rodale’s Organic Life. Not to mention, this is one of the few plants that can bloom indoors. Be sure to leave the plant in indirect light near a window — only water when the soil is completely dry.
10. Garden Mums
While garden mums are lively and colorful and look as if they were more of an outside plant, they are inexpensive and great at removing ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene from the air. This plant requires bright, filtered light near a window. Water only when the soil is dry to the touch.
9. English Ivy
If you’re looking for a great hanging plant, look no further than the English ivy. The plant is also known to filter out formaldehyde and is the number one air-filtering houseplant. It is also great for people who tend to be sensitive to smoke. Place the plant in indirect light and don’t let it dry out.
8. FernsRelated: 13 Plants You Can Use as Medicines
Probably one of the most popular indoor plants, ferns can increase air humidity and boost the moisture in the surrounding air to prevent your skin from becoming too dry. The plant’s soil should be wet but never soggy. Keep in mind that the plant thrives best when placed in indirect light.
With beautiful rich colors, the bromeliad will add a hint of natural color to your home. It will also help purify the air of benzene and can absorb up to 90 percent of the chemical. This plant loves bright and sunny spaces. Also, the plant can withstand drought, so be sure to keep an eye on over-watering.
6. Snake Plant
A snake plant is a great addition to your bedroom, as not only does it remove benzene and formaldehyde, but it also does an excellent job of absorbing carbon dioxide and releases oxygen during the night. Let the soil dry between watering and place the plant in indirect light.
5. PhilodendronRelated: 7 Indoor Plants That Can Survive with Little Light
Are you looking for a long-lasting decorative plant? Then look no further than a philodendron plant. The plant is good at absorbing xylene, which is a paint thinner, and gasoline. Philodendrons look their best when positioned in some sunlight and moderate water. Placing it on a center table would be ideal.
4. Red-Edged Dracaena
This colorful bright plant can grow up to 15 feet tall and can perfectly adorn the loneliest of corners in your home. While it is big, it also helps in removing toxins such as xylene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde from the surrounding air. The plant grows best when placed in bright indirect light and only watered when the soil is dry.
3. Spider Plant
While the name of the plant does fit its leggy and long growing leaves, the spider plant is great at fighting pollutants, especially formaldehyde and carbon dioxide, two chemicals that are found in cigarette smoke. This plant does need access to indirect light and should only be watered once a week.Related: 7 Plants to Keep Your Home Naturally Cool
2. Bamboo Plant
The bamboo plant will bring you more than good luck! This elegant plant can help eliminate formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide, xylene, and chloroform from the air. You get your money’s worth from this plant! Place the plant in indirect sunlight and change the water once a week.
1. Aloe VeraRelated: 7 Ways to Use Aloe Vera
For all cactus lovers, this is the next best thing to bring into your home. Not only does it remove formaldehyde from the air, but the gel inside the plant can treat sunburns and psoriasis. Keep the plant in sunny spots and water every three weeks.