Improve Indoor Air Quality With These NASA-Recommended Plants

April 24, 2023
7 min read

Plants are a great addition to your interior, but did you know that they can also improve the air quality of your home? Check out this list of NASA-recommended air-purifying plants to find the perfect one for your space!

Improve Indoor Air Quality With These NASA-Recommended Plants

10 Best Indoor Plants for Air Purification

Everyone deserves to breathe clean air, but it's a luxury for some, especially in cities. Buying an air purifier is starting to feel like the only wise option. However, air purifiers can be pricey. The good news is, there's a natural solution that will not put a hole in your pocket—NASA-recommended plants.

NASA conducted research that shows certain common houseplants can absorb chemicals and purify the air. Let’s look at some of these air-purifying plants and how they can help make your home healthier.

1. Aloe Vera

The next time you're at the store, pick up an aloe plant! Did you know that keeping an aloe plant in your home eliminates formaldehyde and benzene in the air? These harmful chemicals exist in varnishes, floor finishes, and detergents.

Aloe veras are also a beautiful accent for your kitchen windowsill! Not to mention, it can provide some soothing relief if you accidentally burn yourself while cooking.

How to Take Care of Them: This one is perfect if you are looking for low-maintenance plants. It doesn't need much water and loves sunny spaces.

Where to Place Them: A windowsill or sunny corner, away from foot traffic, is the best place to put your aloe vera.

2. Areca Palm

Areca palm is also called bamboo palm, golden cane palm, and yellow palm. It is a beautiful indoor plant that can add a touch of sophistication to any space. What distinguishes the Areca Palm is its capacity to remove harmful substances like formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene from the environment.

The self-cleaning nature of this plant means it regularly sheds its brown fronds, making it easy for plant moms and dads to take care of.

How to Take Care of Them: The Areca palm thrives in filtered light and needs to be watered regularly.

Where to Place Them: This plant will grow best in a room with diffused sunlight exposure from a south- or west-facing window.

3. Broad Lady Palm

Not only do broad lady palms make your home look unique, but they also serve a valuable purpose by cleaning toxins from the air. These beautiful plants filter the four most common indoor pollutants; carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, xylene, and ammonia.

Broad lady palms are also relatively easy to care for, so even gardening beginners can keep them alive and thriving!

How to Take Care of Them: Lady palms grow best in indirect sunlight but can survive anywhere from shady to fully sunlit places. It’s best if the soil is constantly moist but be sure not to overwater, as this can promote root rot.

Where to Place Them: Keep them away from direct sunlight as their turn yellow. It can be in your entrance, bathroom, or living room.

4. Chinese Evergreen

Ever wanted to grow your lucky plant? If so, you should consider the Aglaonema. Also called Chinese Evergreen, this colorful plant is a favorite in China and is considered lucky. Originating from China and the Philippines, these leafy tropicals make for easy-care houseplants with foliage that is usually a combination of dark green, white, pink, and other colors.

Besides being an elegant and colorful decoration, the Chinese Evergreen also has practical uses. This plant is known for its ability to emit large amounts of oxygen while purifying indoor spaces of harmful chemicals such as benzene and formaldehyde.

How to Take Care of Them: Chinese evergreens can survive with low water conditions but can't lose moisture for prolonged periods.

Where to Place Them: Put them in your living room or any well-lit room near a window, and make sure the light is indirect.

5. Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemums, AKA mums or garden mums, are often one of the primary flowers associated with fall. Not only are these blooms beautiful, but they also help to filter out a range of toxins like ammonia and benzene. These chemicals are usually present in plastics, detergents, and glue.

How to Take Care of Them: Mums are often classified as low-maintenance plants. Keeping this plant in a sunny location makes it thrive.

Where to Place Them: A chrysanthemum will bring light to any room in your home or office.

6. Gerbera Daisy

The Gerbera Daisy is not only praised for its beauty but also has some unique benefits. It can produce high levels of oxygen while removing harmful air pollutants. Gerbera daisies are an excellent choice for people who experiences sleep apnea or other breathing disorders.

How to Take Care of Them: The Gerbera Daisy likes to bask in bright sunlight during the summer, spring, and fall. However, they want indirect light during winter. Regularly watering them is a must.

Where to Place Them: Keep one on your nightstand and enjoy better sleep!

7. Money Plant

According to a story, a poor farmer once prayed for provision. Not too long after, he found an unidentified plant in his crops. He brought one home with him and soon started to notice positive changes in his life.

Aside from the alleged fortune they bring, money plants are known for their ability to clean the air of chemicals and other pollutants, specifically benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene.

Having a money plant brings several benefits, but it is crucial to know that the leaves are toxic to cats, dogs, and small children if ingested.

How to Take Care of Them: Money plants do best in an environment with indirect light and prefer weekly watering.

Where to Place Them: Any room is fine as long as it's out of reach of pets and children.

8. Red-edged Dracaena

Red-edged dracaena, also known as the Madagascar dragon tree, came from the Greek word dracaena means female dragon. The red, sticky sap that appears when the stems are severed gave the plant its name. The gum resembles a dragon's blood as it dries and thickens.

Not only does this plant have a unique origin story, but it also helps fight pollution. Trichloroethylene and xylene are two of the many pollutants that this plant can help reduce. Additionally, the leaves have a bright red trim which can add a pop of color to your home decor!

How to Take Care of Them: One helpful way to know if you are underwatering or overwatering your plant is by observing the leaves. You probably need to water it more if a handful of yellow leaves fall off. On the other hand, if the tips of the leaves are turning yellow, too much water might be the problem.

Where to Place Them: It can grow up to 8 ft tall, so make sure to put it in a room with high ceilings. A sunny corner of the living room or on a north-facing windowsill would be perfect!

9. Spider Plant

The spider plant is perfect for anyone new to houseplants because it is so resilient. Not only does this plant help improve the air quality by reducing toxins like carbon monoxide and xylene, but it is also safe to have around pets since it is non-toxic to animals.

How to Take Care of Them: Spider plants will thrive in any lighting situation except for intense or direct sunlight. They develop best when kept in indirect or low lighting and even under artificial lights.

Where to Place Them: They look lovely in a hanging basket, whether in the living room or bedroom.

10. Poinsettia

Poinsettias are a fantastic option for indoor plants during Christmas because they match the holiday decor and help remove toxins from your home. Air purifying is essential, especially during winter when we tend to keep windows closed.

How to Take Care of Them: Poinsettias need bright light but cooler temperatures to flourish. They need watering when the pot feels light or the soil is dry to prevent them from dying.

Where to Place Them: The best temperatures for these poinsettias fall between 15 and 22 degrees, making them ideal for bedrooms and living rooms.

Purify the Air in Your Home With These Natural Solutions

From aloe vera to poinsettia, bringing one of these plants to your home will give off elegant vibes and contribute to keeping your living space healthy overall. Check out NASA’s list of recommended indoor plants today!

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