Natural Air Purifiers for Your Home
Compiled by Sanuj Hathurusinghe
Although gardening is mostly limited to the outdoors, there is no harm bringing a few potable plants inside the house as it not only adds beauty but also tranquility and the feeling of ‘zen’. Moreover, plants are the best natural way to purify the air and if you are thinking of decorating the inside of your home using some house plants, it is always better to consider the air purifying abilities of plants you pick. Here are some of the common house plants that are not only easy on the eye but also known for their air purifying capabilities.
Devil’s Ivy or Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
Popularly known as the money plant, the common belief is that as long as the plant thrives inside a house, the household will never be short of money. For some the round, plump and fat leaves of the plant resembles the shape of a coin but then again, that could be a bit of a stretch of imagination. Apart from the beliefs and superstitions, what science can prove without a doubt is that the plant does possess air purifying abilities. It is well-known for fighting common house toxins including xylene, benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene and moreover, it is an easy plant to grow inside.
Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix Roebelenii)
Dwarf Date Palms or Pygmy Date Palms are the smallest and cutest of the palm family. Just like the money plant, they too are easy to grow inside as partial shade is not a problem for the growth of Dwarf Date Palm. Despite being called babies of the palm family, they can get big when compared with other house plants with fully grown Dwarf Date Palm growing to be six to 10 feet tall. Their fronds reaching six foot too! The toxins Dwarf Date Palm purifies include formaldehyde and xylene.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
Commonly known as Peace Lily Anthurium, this house plant also is an easy-to-look-after, undemanding plant. Its leaves are green and glossy which makes the plant perfect for any room with spots of low light. Water in weekly and add a slow-release fertiliser if you want to see the plant bloom its beautiful white flower. Apart from being beautiful and vibrant, Peace Lily takes care of a number of toxins in cluding benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene.
The iconic heart-shaped leaf of this philodendron makes it one of the most sought after indoor plants as it effortlessly adds beauty to any indoor space. Philodendrons are easy to maintain too as they just require a moderate amount of water and brightness, and some indirect sunlight. Philodendrons are known for their ability to rid the air of formaldehyde.
Rubber Plant (Ficus elastic)
The burgundy evergreen plant which originated from India is a hardy house plant that loves bright filtered light. Just water it weekly in the dry season and once a fortnight during rainy season. Different planting options for Rubber Plant can be adopted according to your preference as it can be grown in a small pot or be encouraged to grow into a large indoor tree in pots or straight in the ground if you want. Xylene, benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene are some of the household toxins the Rubber Plant gets rid of.
Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
This easy-to-grow fern is an ideal fit for a hanging basket or a pedestal. The allure of the Boston Fern is its sword-shaped fronds which are used in interior decor, pressing, and greeting cards making. Unlike other aforementioned plants, Boston Fern thrives in humid environments and requires constant moisturising. Keep them near windows but away from direct sunlight. Boston Fern requires a moist soil and regular misting which is a satisfying thing for many to do. It also purifies air by removing toxins such as formaldehyde and xylene.
Ficus/Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)
Native to Southeast Asia Weeping Fig is mostly grown indoors despite its potential to grow to be 10 feet tall. Just like other many other air purifiers Weeping Fig too loves bright indirect sunlight and weekly water supplies. Make sure no water from the previous watering round is left and the pot is dried out before you water it. Weeping Fig takes care of the toxins; formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene and purifies the indoor air.