The Best Plants to Detox the Air in Your Home


Image from Summer Rayne Oakes’ MindBodyGreen blog

In today’s modern society where we spend more time indoors, we are losing the excellent qualities that come from the lovely outdoors, especially the fresh, clean air!  I am a city dweller, and one of the things that is a must in my apartment are plants. I am a busy person, but I do not  view the care of my plants as a chore, but more as a therapeutic ritual. Plants don’t just put you more at peace, plants also can be great air purifiers. This is why humans have been bringing the “outside inside” ever since the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

There is proof that certain plants purify air in your home. There are invisible but deadly toxins in your home that come from paint, varnishes, cleaning supplies, insulation, wood, furniture and carpeting, to name a few of the worst culprits. Some of the toxins that plants eliminate are formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide, and those found in dust.

According to Summer Rayne Oakes,

“During the 1980s, NASA found that some species of plants can eliminate up to 87% of toxins in the air, including formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, trichloroethylene, carbon monoxide, and even dust.. NASA concluded that 15 to 18 mature air-filtering plants in a house with an area of about 160 square meters could maintain the level of emissions in accordance with our environmental standards.”
That sure beats having unhealthy air!

Below is a list of the best plants to detox the air in your home, also according to Summer Rayne Oakes.

• Bamboo Palm (Chamadorea elegans or C. erumpens)

• Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)

• Dwarf date palm (Phoenix roebelini)

• English ivy (Hedera helix)

• Florist’s mum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)

• Gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)

• Kimberly queen fern (Nephrolepis obliterrata)

• Rubber plant (Ficus elastic)

• Areca palm (Dypsis lutescens)

• Corn plant (Dracaena fragrans)

• Janet Craig (Dracaena deremensisI)

• Peace lily (Spathiphyllum varieties

• Schefflera (Brassaia actinophylla)

• Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina)

• Dendrobium orchid (Dendrobium sp.)

• Dumbcane (Dieffenbachia sp.)

• Long leaf fig (Ficus binnendijkii)

• King of Hearts (Homalomena wallisii)

• Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa)

• Lily turk (Liriope muscari)

• Spider Plant (Clopophytium comosum)

• Philodendron (Philodendron sp.)

• Dragon tree (Dracena marginata)

• Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)

• Flamingo lily (Anthurium andreanum)

• Areca palm (Dypsis lutescens)

• Azalea (Azalea sp.)

• Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

• Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

• Cast iron plant (Aspidistra sp.)

Summer Rayne Oakes  created a vertical “Hanging Gardens of Brooklyn” garden to plant in her apartment, and this video shows how she did it.

If you want something a little less dramatic, but more than a plant on a table, try hanging the plants from the ceiling or the wall.

However, if you can’t hang things on the walls, a potted plant on a table does just fine too, as I have found in my apartment.


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