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Air-Purifying Plants Aren't a Complete Myth
Air-Purifying Plants Aren't a Complete Myth

Studies have shown that plants can boost your productivity and increase overall happiness when they are added to a room you regularly spend time in. Not only that, but people with plants in their home or office actually stay healthier.

On top of that, it has been proven that some plants can even help purify the air in the room and help you breathe better. The plant leaves and roots help reduce toxicity from the air and provides you with a cleaner environment. However, not every plant has that effect, but these air-purifying plants do.

01

Breathe easier with Barberton daisies

Botany, Yellow Gerbera flower, Daisy.Colorful. Selective focus used. Keukenhof Alona Povolotsky / Getty Image

When most people think of air-purifying plants, they think about green, leafy plants. The Barberton daisy is colorful and can brighten up any room. Not to mention, it can help draw toxins like benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene out of the air.

You can typically buy these already potted, but it is suggested that soil that is two parts peat and one part perlite be used. If the soil is not kept moist, the plant will begin to wilt quickly, so it is important to be sure it is damp but drained properly. Barberton daisies love direct sunlight and thrive on bright windowsills. Most often, the daisies are propagated with seeds, but it can also be divided at the root and placed in the appropriate soil.

02

English ivy is a low-maintenance purifying plant

English ivy air purifying plants mykeyruna / Getty Images

Like other types of ivy, English ivy is relatively low-maintenance and grows well within the home. It requires generous watering, always keeping the soil moist, and should spend four hours a day in direct sunlight to thrive. Of course, intense heat should be avoided to prevent wilting. If you provide it with that care, you'll be thanked by the plant with detoxified air.

For the ultimate growth, it is recommended you use a drained pot with potting soil or a soilless mixture that will help maintain moisture. It is also suggested you spray English ivy weekly with water to prevent spider mite infestations. To propagate, you should take four to six inches of young root cuttings during the fall and place it into soil. More mature cuttings may not begin to root at all.

03

Improve your sleep with a snake's tongue

Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii' Snake Plant or also know as Mother-in-Law's Tongue houseplant. A snake plant houseplant in South Florida. Sansevieria is a genus of about 70 species of flowering plants, native to Africa, Madagascar and southern Asia. Common names include mother-in-law's tongue, devil's tongue, jinn's tongue, bow string hemp, snake plant and snake tongue. It is often included in the genus Dracaena;in the APG III classification system, both genera are placed in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Nolinoideae (formerly the family Ruscaceae). It has also been placed in the former family Dracaenaceae. Crystal Bolin Photography / Getty Images

The snake's tongue is a member of the succulent family and releases oxygen at night, helping you breathe easier while you're snoozing. Snake's tongue helps filter benzene, formaldehyde, toluene, trichloroethylene, and xylene out of the air. They thrive in indirect sunlight, so the bedroom is practically the perfect place to let it grow as long as you don't get any consistent sunlight in the room throughout the day.

It is important not to overwater this plant as the roots are prone to rot. Because of this, these types of plants do best in free-draining pots with a soilless mixture. It is also best if you let the soil dry out almost completely in between watering. To propagate a snake plant, you can trim two to three inches of the leaf and place them one-inch deep in the soil.

04

Add life into the room with chrysanthemums

bouquet of autumn flowers in the pot on the windows panida wijitpanya / Getty Images

Chrysanthemums can brighten up any room in your home and help purify the air of toxins, such as ammonia and benzene. They should be planted in a well-drained pot and require five or more hours of direct sunlight each day. Use potting soil with a layer of compost for the best results. If you are planting them together, it is important to set them 15 to 24 inches apart from one another. Typically, chrysanthemums will need to be watered once a week with an inch of water until six inches of soil is saturated. Cover the soil with mulch to maintain moisture. You should also pinch the growing tips of the buds back when they reach six inches tall and pinch once a month until mid-July. It is also important to monitor the plant for aphids and mites, which can be treated with insecticidal soap spray.

05

Spider plants practically take care of themselves

Spider plants air purifying plants itasun / Getty Images

Spider plants are resilient, making them great for people just starting to add plants into their homes. It is non-toxic to animals and helps get rid of carbon monoxide and xylene in the air. As long as you pot them in well-drained soil and indirect sunlight, they will thrive. It is important to water them, but keep in mind they are prone to root rot if the soil stays too wet. They also like to stay a bit cooler (between 55 and 65 degrees). General-purpose potting soil or a medium soilless mixture is best for spider plants.

It is only recommended you re-pot spider plants once they get too big, and watering becomes difficult. However, they can be easily propagated. You can do so by dividing the "mother" plant or planting the "spiderettes" or smaller leaves.

06

Let peace lilies purify your home

Peace lilies air purifying plants Georgina198 / Getty Images

Peace lilies are easy to take care of and remove a plethora of toxins from the air, including carbon monoxide, benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene. They are happiest when watered every week, but it is important not to overwater. In the spring, it is suggested you add a slow-release fertilizer to promote the growth of the flowers. When choosing the right kind of pot and soil, you should look for all-purpose soil with a free-draining pot. It is suggested you re-pot the flower every spring to refresh the soil. If the flower gets too big for its pot, it can be replanted by dividing it, leaving several leaves per new plants.

07

Aloe vera purifies and remedies

Growing of aloe on windowsill Albina Yalunina / Getty Images

Aloe vera has been hailed as a cure-all for multiple health issues, and it can also purify the air of formaldehyde. The plants thrive in warm rooms with plenty of access to light.

You'll only need to water your aloe plant once every three weeks or so and even less during the winter months. It is also best to choose a pot that is made of a material that will soak up some of the water and drain well. Aloe plants also thrive in well-draining potting mix or soil made for succulents. Rooting hormone powders can be brushed on the stem of the plant to increase growth. To propagate the plant, just divide it and plant it into a separate pot. Once you've potted it, do not water it for at least one week.

08

Draw eyes and purify with flamingo lilies

Tailflower (Anthurium andraeanum) in rows at the farm Ba Tung Huynh / Getty Images

Flamingo lilies aren't a very common house plant, so they are sure to draw eyes in your home. They flower 300 days out of the year and love bright, indirect sunlight. These types of lilies are also most comfortable in humid conditions and can thrive in your bathroom or kitchen.

The flamingo lily needs a bit more attention than other plants, requiring water two to three times every week. It is best to plant it in soil that is equal parts peat moss, potting soil, and perlite in a well-drained pot. Fertilizer is also recommended on a monthly basis. If you're able to keep the plant happy, it will remove ammonia, formaldehyde, toluene, and xylene from the air in your home.

09

Broad lady palms will thrive in the bathroom

Broad lady palms air purifying plants FeelPic / Getty Images

Like the flamingo lily, broad lady palms will also thrive in your bathroom or kitchen, or any room with higher humidity levels. They can be expensive to buy full-grown, so you may want to consider starting one from a seed. African violet potting soil works best for lady palms, and it should be well-drained. It is suggested you use fertilizer in the summer, but no more than once per year.

To maintain the plant, you should allow the soil to dry out to a depth of one inch. In the winter and fall, allow the soil to dry to two inches before watering. Fully drench the soil until water comes out of the drainage holes of the pot.

10

Weeping figs will have you breathing better

A Small Indoor Plant against White Wall bahadir-yeniceri / Getty Images

Weeping figs will help decrease the levels of formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene in the air of your home. They can be finicky in terms of consistency. This plant does not like any change to its care schedule. It does best in rich, well-draining soil in a room with plenty of bright, indirect sunlight. These types of fig trees are prone to root rot so, while it is important to keep the soil moist, it is crucial you don't overwater the plant and that the pot used drains well. They also need more humid climates. During colder months, it is suggested you add a humidifier to the room the fig is located. If you notice plant growth has slowed down, you may want to consider re-potting or propagating with stem cuttings as the roots can get easily crowded.

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