Peace lilies are a favourite of many house plant-lovers, because they’re relatively forgiving. They’ll start to droop a bit when they need water, but as long as you respond with a drink, they’ll perk up again pretty quickly. A NASA study found that peace lilies were good at removing benzene, a chemical given off by paint, rubber, detergent and synthetic fibres, and trichloroethylene, which is found in things like glue and varnish. Peace lilies absorb these chemicals through their leaves.
If you need something very hardy, you can’t go past a snake plant. This plant, which is native to Asia and Africa, requires very little water. They can survive for a long time in between watering, and can cope with most levels of light. Snake plants filter air, and can convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, which makes them a great addition to a bedroom.
Not just great for your skin, aloe vera plants can help improve the air quality in your home. This succulent removes harmful pollutants called volatile organic compounds from the air and reuses them into safer chemicals like amino acids. Some studies have shown aloe vera can also remove xylene from the air. Aloe vera likes bright, indirect light and not too much water.
Spider plants are another great option for air purification. They like well-drained soil and bright light – but don’t let your plant get soggy feet. Spider plants like to dry out between waterings. Spider plants have been shown to remove formaldehyde and toluene from the environment.
Rubber plants, or rubber trees as they are also known, don’t only look great, they can have air purification properties too. Rubber trees can remove mould and bacteria from the air, and pump out large amounts of oxygen. Water your rubber plant every couple of weeks and allow it to dry out in between. The large, glossy leaves make them an attractive addition to any indoor space.
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