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The best houseplants for cleaner air



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Josh Miller / CNET

If you're longing to bring the outside indoors, a simple set of houseplants can do just that. Indoor plants add color, style and earthy warmth to indoor spaces, and contrary to popular belief, anyone can brighten their home or office with a plant. You don't need green fingers to keep houseplants alive.

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The key is to select plants that thrive in your specific environment. Whether you're working with limited natural light, a busy schedule, or stale air that needs to be purified, there are plenty of planting options to suit your needs.

Plants for Cleaner Air

Several studies have shown that certain plants are able to absorb polluting organic compounds such as formaldehyde and benzene through their leaves and roots. That absorbing purifies the air around the plant.

In fact, a NASA study highlighted several plants that excelled at cleaning the air around them. If you want to breathe easier, but don't want to buy a air purifier choose one of these plants for their ability to improve indoor air quality.

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Named for the white flowers reminiscent of a surrender flag, these budding beauties remove formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide from the air around them . Peace lilies can grow as tall as 1

6 inches and don't need direct sunlight, but they do require regular watering.

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Peace lilies are one of many air-purifying plants.


Getty Images / Sian Irvine

English Ivy (Hedera helix)

According to NASA & # 39; s study, English Ivy is a fantastic indoor plant if you are looking for air filtering ability.

It's great for pet owners because it has been proven to reduce the amount of feces in the air. However, it should be kept out of reach of pets as it can be toxic when ingested. English ivy also absorbs formaldehyde, which is found in some household cleaners.

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Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)

This bright and colorful flower contains a pollutant-absorbing punch that filters out trichlorethylene and benzene. Gerbera Daisies need a lot of direct sunlight, so keep them in a well-lit area and water them regularly.

Plants for low light

Just because you live in a room with limited natural light that doesn't mean you can't enjoy plants in the house. These shade-loving varieties are the perfect addition to any home, especially when it has low light.

Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Named for its long, straight leaves, this super-tolerant plant requires no direct sunlight or excessive water to survive. It is easy to keep alive and can grow up to 12 inches long.

The snake plant also releases oxygen at night, unlike most plants that deliver it during the day. That makes it a great plant for a bedroom, and may even help you sleep better.

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Moth orchids prefer indirect sunlight.


Getty Images / Maarigard

Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis Blume)

These exotic looking flowers are actually quite easy to grow. They don't need direct sunlight and you should let the soil dry out between watering. That means you don't often have to remember to water.

These plants are available in two standard sizes, a variety less than 30 cm and a variety between 18 and 24 inches tall. Moth Orchid flowers can last up to four months and are perfect for low-light locations.

Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Also known as Devil's Ivy, this strong-willed creeper can survive in a variety of indoor lighting conditions. In the jungle, it can grow up to 40 feet tall, but will likely do better in your house as a hanging or potted plant.

Golden Pothos do not need much light and prefer partially shaded environments. They are extremely hardy and add a bright, cheerful green to any interior.

Watering Plants for Less Water

Let's face it, keeping everything alive is a time consuming responsibility. Sometimes your plants will simply water. No worries.

If you forget to water your plants for a few days or go on vacation, these plants will forgive you. They can withstand a few days, in some cases even a week, without causing any damage.

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

The sprawling Spider Plant is rarely thirsty. It can even do without H2O for a week or more, thanks to the tube-like roots that store nutrients. But when you see the leaf tips begin to turn brown, it's time to drink it.

The best way to store and display a spider plant is in a hanging basket or a tall planter so that the long leaves can dangle over the side. When it comes to light, the Spider Plant prefers indirect light, not too bright and not in full shade.

ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

This tongue breaker of a plant is almost indestructible. It can tolerate many different lighting conditions and goes without water for a long time. The bright green leaves are thick and waxy to save water. Overwatering could be this plant's greatest enemy.

It is also important to keep the leaves dust-free, so wiping them occasionally with a damp cloth or paper towel will make a big contribution to keeping your ZZ plant healthy. Perfect for indoor spaces, it is a great plant for travelers.

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Succulents need little water.


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Succulent family (Echeveria)

Succulents are extremely popular in interior design today, highlighting desks, kitchens and everything in between. While they need a fair amount of natural light (most prefer full, direct sun), plants in the succulent family don't need much water at all.

As with the ZZ factory, there is a greater risk of too much water than under water. Succulents come in dozens of varieties with a wide variety of beautiful colors, shapes and sizes.

No matter your schedule or how sunny your home is, there are great houseplant options for your area.

Even if your thumb isn't the greenest, these room-friendly plants will do well in your home climate, perhaps even improve and look good all at once.

Read more: How to water your plants while you are away

And: How to grow a mini herb garden (and save money)


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