I just made this list for myself, so I thought I’d share.
Based on studies done by NASA and others, these two plants filter the most chemicals from indoor air. They help rid your home of benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene and ammonia:
Peace lily (Spathiphyllum‘ Mauna Loa’)
Florist’s chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)
These next three plants filter all of the above except ammonia:
English ivy (Hedera helix)
Variegated snake plant, also called mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata‘ Laurentii’)
Red-edged dracaena (Dracaena marginata)
All of the above plants are toxic to dogs and cats. For nontoxic options, try Lilyturf (Liriope spicata) or Broadleaf lady palm (Rhapis excelsa), which filter formaldehyde, xylene, toluene and ammonia, or Barberton daisy (Gerbera jamesonii), which filters benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.
NASA recommends 1 potted plant per 100 square feet of indoor space. Here’s a 2009 TED talk on the subject. For more plant options, check out this table.
Unless the mold that inevitably inhabits the soil does you in. I can only do orchids and cacti now 😢.
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Karen, I was going to mention something about that! I can’t be in the room after watering our plants because the smell makes me ill and I can’t have plants in my bedroom or too close to where I sit. My plan is to put stones on top of the soil to sort of contain any spores.
I bought a bunch of those house plants a few years ago for the very reason that they detoxify the air. A year later a mold specialist came to give me recommendations and told me to get rid of all the plants because the dirt harbors mold!!! To keep the windows and doors closed and use air filters to keep mold from coming in. It was so sad to get rid of all those plants I had invested in! When housebound I felt I needed the plants to create healthy indoor air. What’s a girl to do? Who to believe? I think I’m ready to go back to plants and not be afraid of mold
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I know, it’s ridiculous. I have my doors and windows open all day every day and most of the night when it’s warm. I have outdoor-indoor dogs that lie in the dirt and a landscaper husband who never takes his boots off. I’m also typing this lying in my garden on the grass and mulch. It’s just never going to be a clean environment, so I do what I can. X