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The best indoor plants for cleaner air



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Josh Miller / CNET

Spring is coming and with it allergens, dust and all the germs you don̵

7;t want in the house. If you are not interested in adding air purifiers In your interior, a few hard-working houseplants can help you keep your air cleaner.

A simple set of houseplants adds color, style, and an earthy warmth to indoor spaces, and contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a green thumb to keep houseplants living.

Read more: Build a garden and grow your own food Do air purifiers protect against COVID-19? What about wildfire smoke?

The key is to select plants that will thrive in your particular 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. Absorbing this purifies the air around the plant.

A NASA study even revealed several plants that excelled at cleaning the air around them. If you want to breathe easier, but none air purifier, choose one of these plants for their ability to improve indoor air quality.

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Peace lilies are a great choice for homes without a lot of direct sunlight.

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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 up to 16 inches tall and don’t need direct sunlight, but they do need regular watering.

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English ivy can reduce the amount of airborne stool in your home.

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English ivy (Hedera helix)

According to the study by NASA, English ivy is a fantastic plant to grow indoors if you are looking for air-filtering power.

English ivy absorbs formaldehyde, found in some household cleaners, and can reduce the amount of feces in the air. However, it should be kept out of the reach of pets as it can be toxic if swallowed.

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Gerbera daisies add color and provide an air-cleaning punch.

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Gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)

This bright and colorful flower packs a polluting punch and filters trichlorethylene and benzene, chemical compounds found in cleaners and solvents. Gerbera daisies need a lot of direct sunlight, so place your plant in a well-lit area and water regularly.

Plants for low light

Just because you live in a space with little natural light doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy plants in your home. These shade-loving varieties are the perfect addition to any home, especially when the sun is shining.

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Snake plants release oxygen at night, unlike most other plant species.

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Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Named for its long, straight leaves, this super-tolerant plant does not require direct sunlight or regular 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 release it during the day. That makes it a great plant for a bedroom, and it can even help you sleep better.

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These flowers can last up to four months, even in low light.

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Moth orchid (Phalaenopsis Blume)

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

These plants come in two standard sizes, a variety under 12 inches and a variety that can grow between 18 and 24 inches tall. Moth orchids bloom for up to four months and are perfect for low-light locations.

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A golden pothos in the wild can grow as long as 40 feet.

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Golden pothos (Aureea)

Also known as devil’s ivy, this strong-willed climbing vine can survive indoors in many lighting conditions. In the jungle it can grow up to 12 meters, but will probably do better in your home as a hanging or pot plant.

Golden pothos don’t need a lot of light and prefer partially shady environments. They are extremely hardy and add bright, cheery greenery to any interior.


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Plants that need less water

Let’s face it, keeping everything alive is a time consuming task. Sometimes it will simply slip away to water your plants. No worries.

If you forget 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.

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Spider plants do not often need water.

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Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

The sprawling spider plant is rarely thirsty. It can even go without H2O for a week or more, thanks to the tubular roots that store nutrients. But when you see the leaf tips starting to turn brown, it is time to drink it.

The best way to store and display a spider plant is in a hanging basket or a tall planter so 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.

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Thick and waxy leaves help ZZ plants conserve water.

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ZZ factory (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

This tongue twister of a plant is almost indestructible. It can tolerate many different lighting conditions and can go without water for a long time. The bright green leaves are thick and waxy to help conserve water. Too much water can be this plant’s worst enemy.

It’s also important to keep the leaves dust-free, so an occasional wipe with a damp cloth or paper towel will go a long way in keeping your ZZ plant healthy. Perfect for indoor spaces, and it’s a great plant for travelers.

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Succulents need little water.

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Juicy family (Echeveria)

Succulents are extremely popular in interior design today, accenting 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 a lot of water at all.

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

Even if your thumb isn’t the greenest, these room-friendly plants will do well in your home’s climate, maybe even improve and look good all at the same time.


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