Plants that purify the air: Find out all their benefits and properties!

The good news is that it is in our hands to reverse the situation in an easy and practical way: simply surround yourself with plants! As well as enhancing the place you live in, you will gain in health and wellbeing. That is why today we are going to learn about the function of purifying plants, which beautify our homes while protecting our health.

how do plants purify the air in your home?

We can consider plants as filters that absorb toxins present in closed spaces through their leaves. By reducing the level of pollutants dispersed in the environment, the pathologies caused by them will also be reduced.

The larger the leaves of the plant, the greater their purifying power, as they absorb a greater quantity of harmful substances.

Plants purify the air in several ways: evapotranspiration increases the level of humidity in the air, which in turn causes the pollen to weigh more and fall to the ground instead of remaining suspended. beneficial for asthmatics and allergy sufferers! Moreover, by photosynthesising, plants absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen, which also increases the quality of the ambient air.

why is it important to place air-cleaning plants?

As we have already pointed out, the inside of our homes is full of toxic substances. The most common indoor volatile organic compounds (VOCs) include formaldehyde, toluene, carbon dioxide and ammonia. These substances, many of which are carcinogenic, are released from commonly used items such as synthetic fibre fabrics, plastics, paint, solvents, hygiene and cleaning products, office supplies and many more.

The issue of indoor air pollution has reached such proportions that even NASA has taken action. In 1989, it drew up a report on ornamental plants to reduce indoor air pollution in which it detailed a list of species with purifying properties to maintain and improve the quality of the air we breathe.

In this report, NASA also recommends the distribution of 15 plants of about 20 cm in diameter and medium size, in homes and premises of 170 m2.

Main air-purifying plants

Although the list of air-purifying plants recommended by NASA is more extensive, in this article we will look at the 10 most commonly used in our homes:

  1. Spathiphyllum (peace lily) - As well as being beautiful and hardy, spathiphyllum is one of the most powerful air purifiers around. As a toxin filter, it is capable of substantially lowering the levels of most VOCs present in our homes.
  2. Areca Palm - The second great ally to purify the air in your home is the areca palm, very popular in interior decoration: it does not need a lot of light, requires minimal maintenance and also effectively eliminates carbon monoxide, among other harmful substances. a must in places where smokers smoke!
  3. Bamboo - This plant, due to its low maintenance, high resistance and great ornamental power, is one of the most appreciated plants for decoration both outdoors and indoors with little light. It is also capable of effectively eliminating some of the most harmful VOCs such as benzene and formaldehyde.
  4. Brazil Log - This shrub with its cancellous leaves and intense green colour is also an effective filter of harmful volatile compounds such as trichloroethylene.
  5. Ribbon - Another of the magnificent 5 is the leafy ribbon. It lives for many years thanks to its incredible recuperative and regenerative powers and is also one of the most effective destroyers of formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and other harmful substances.
  6. Sanseviera - This spiky-leaved plant is practically immortal. It can withstand anything: lack of watering, light and fertiliser, pests, drought or humidity. and it frees your home from formaldehyde and nitrogen oxide!
  7. Poto - Who doesn't have a poto at home? Their tough, heart-shaped leaves are one of the hallmarks of any home or workplace. They adapt to all kinds of environmental conditions and also clean the air of harmful carbon monoxide and formaldehyde.
  8. Ivy - This climbing plant, in addition to its incredible ability to clog surfaces, is an effective ally in reducing levels of formaldehyde and other harmful VOCs. Although generally used as an outdoor plant, its purifying qualities can be put to good use by growing it in pots indoors.
  9. Ficus Robusta - One of the most popular houseplants in central and southern Europe due to its elegance, easy maintenance and hardiness. It is a good fighter against the levels of formaldehyde dispersed in the environment.
  10. Chinese Palm - Elegant and adaptable, this small palm variety is ideal for indoor spaces. Placed in a beautiful pot, it will enhance any environment, while cleansing the atmosphere of benzene and other harmful VOCs.

Keys to choosing a purification plant

Any of these beneficial species can easily be found in our country. When choosing the type of plant, it is important to take into account the conditions where you live. In Mediterranean areas, any of them will adapt without any problems. For colder places, it is advisable to choose a plant such as the Brazilian trunk, ficus, sansevieria or ribbon. These species tolerate very well the dry environments generated in heated houses and also regulate the humidity level.

The poto, the large-leaved ficus or the Christmas cactus are other very common species in our homes with great purifying power and high resistance to the different climatic conditions.

Useful tips to take care of your purifying plants

  • Place the plants in accessible places, always taking into account their watering, light, etc. requirements.
  • Avoid placing them in traffic areas, draughty places or near direct sources of cold or heat such as radiators, air appliances, etc.
  • Choosing the right pot is very important. It will not only enhance the beauty of the plant but will also help it to grow and develop optimally.
  • Choose the right substrate and fertiliser. If in doubt, ask for expert advice.
  • To maintain their purifying function, gently wipe the leaves from time to time with a damp cloth and make sure that the substrate is always moist.

Breathing clean, oxygenated air is essential for your health. purifying plants will be your great allies in ensuring the well-being of your whole family!

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About the author
Yvonne Briones

There is something that plants and content creation have in common: natural geometry. I love creating visual content and managing Be.Green campaigns.

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