First, the science bit – plants absorb some of the particulates from the air at the same time that they take in carbon dioxide, which is then processed into oxygen through photosynthesis. Plants purify air, making them part of what NASA calls “nature’s life support system” OK that’s the science done.
Did you know that our inconspicuous green friends do a lot more than purify our air?
Plants help you feel and be more positive, lower your blood pressure and help you to be more alert and creative.
But before you rush out to purchase a plant, I’ve got the perfect list for you to make sure you select the right ones.
Not only are they recommended by NASA, but they’re also my favourites. They’re all living in my clan at home and I can honestly say that they’re very well behaved.
1. Dracaena (Dracaena marginata)
This spiky plant, masquerading as a miniature palm tree, is one of the most effective at removing pollutants.
The list of pollutants includes formaldehyde (found in paints, wallpaper, and smoke from fireplaces) and benzene (found in dyes and synthetic fibres).
It may be slow-growing, but it can reach up to 8ft! Time to raise the roof.
Location: living room & bedroom
2. Snake plant (Sansevieria)
Snake plants are perfect for your bedroom as they give out oxygen at night. You’ll breathe better while you sleep, meaning that your lungs fill with purified air. They also combat xylene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, toluene, and benzene from the air.
3. English Ivy (Hedera helix)
Ivy does the real dirty work for us by filtering out the formaldehyde found in cosmetic products, and also reduces airborne poo particles. This makes it the perfect plant for bathrooms and toilets, it also looks very pretty and forms gorgeously natural trails around your space, which you adjust.
Location: bathroom & loo
4. Kentia Palm (Howea forsteriana)
The Kentia Palm has been one of the most popular indoor plants since Victorian times (nicknamed the ‘Parlour Palm’). This palm easily thrives in any spot. It releases copious amounts of moisture into the air and removes chemical toxins.
Location: hallway & living room
5. Peace lily
I do love a peace lily, they’re smaller than the average plant but they still contain air cleaning skills as good as the rest. What sets them apart are their beautiful white flowers that bloom for most of the summer. They’re best in a shady spot and don’t require much watering. They tend to let you know when they need a water by rather dramatically flopping to the ground.
Peace lilies remove ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from your atmosphere
Just be careful if you have pets or children as the leaves can be poisonous. You could have them up high on a shelf. (unless you have cats)
Location: living room & kitchen
2 bonus extras I love the look of are:
6. Boston Fern
Boston Ferns remove more formaldehyde than any other plant. They’re also highly efficient at removing other indoor air pollutants, such as benzene and xylene -components of exhaust smoke that can migrate indoors if you live on a main road. They like to be watered weekly in the growing months and once a month in the winter.
Location: living room
7. Ben Ficus Benjamina
Imagine if that was your name?
Apparently, if you give this one enough love, it can grow into a house “tree”. I’m in.
I love the elegance of the weeping fig, and it’s small leaves make it look rather artistic.
Ben also manages to remove Dust, Formaldehyde, Benzene and Trichloroethylene for you.
Location: living room & bedroom
I am yet to sneak these two babies into my home, without being noticed. Wish me luck.