Domestic plants that purify the air

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We don’t need to sell you hard on indoor plants: they instantly add color, sparkle and a breath of fresh air to your space, no matter what the size. Some greens – ferns, palm trees and ivy to name a few – also detoxify the air around you too. They also happen to be among the most tolerant and low maintenance plants, which means it’s very hard to kill them and they are perfect for beginner gardeners.

How do plants purify the air?

Let’s go back to the science lesson: during photosynthesis (you remember this word, don’t you?), Plants convert carbon dioxide that we exhale into fresh oxygen and remove toxins from the air we breathe. NASA tested this theory in a landmark 1989 study when it examined how popular indoor plants release toxic chemicals, including:

  • Formaldehyde, which can irritate the nose, mouth and throat.
  • Benzane, which may cause eye irritation, drowsiness, dizziness, increased heart rate, headache and confusion.
  • Trichlorothylene, which can cause dizziness, headache, nausea and vomiting.

    In the study, they found several simple plants that filter out bad things and grow easily indoors.

    How many plants do you need to purify a room?

    The more plants, the better. To reap the benefits, have at least two plants per 100 square feet. Keep in mind that larger-leaved plants – think: palm trees – purify the air faster. Bill Wolverton, the man behind the NASA study, also recommends fern and ivy plants because they occupy the largest area.

    spring fern kimberly fern queen

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    1) Kimberly Queen Fern

    This easy-to-grow fern thrives in direct sunlight and mild temperatures. It also likes humidity, so if the air in your home tends to be dry, you may want to install it next to a small humidifier.

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    2) Variegated snake factory

    This striped green can survive with little water and light. Because it can last for weeks without care, it is known as one of the easiest houseplants for beginner gardeners. Not to mention, it’s a beautiful deep green that will make your space so lush.

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    3) Barberton Daisy

    This colorful plant can grow indoors or outdoors, and many people love it for its cheerful flowers. Barberton daisies can bloom at any time of the year, and each flower lasts between four and six weeks.

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    4) Weeping fig

    This large indoor tree should be in a well-lit room and watered regularly. Keep in mind that you may need to repot this plant every year, as it can grow between 3 and 6 feet in height.

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    5) Red-edged Dracaena

    With its red and thorny leaves, this evergreen has a tropical appearance and will add a splash of color to any space. It can survive with or without sunlight and also requires very little water.

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    6) Peace Lily

    Symbol of sympathy, this budding plant works well in partial sunlight and humid climates, and flowers for about two months in spring. If you have pets, keep in mind that peace lilies are toxic to cats and dogs.

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    Rhapis excelsa, also known as broad-leaved palm or cement-lined bamboo palm at the hotel, Thailand

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    7) Broad-leaved palm

    Perfect for indoors or outdoors, this plant can grow up to 14 feet tall (although it can also be pruned to a more manageable height). Palm trees prefer indirect light and moist soil and can thrive in almost any temperature.

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    8) Spider

    Another great option for novice gardeners, spider plants thrive in an indirect, bright sun with lots of water. Some mature spiders produce white flowers, which then mature into baby spiders that can be removed and rooted in water or soil.

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    9) Devil’s Ivy

    This plant likes indirect sunlight and only needs to be watered when it is dry. It takes its name from the fact that it is almost impossible to kill and that it stays green even when kept in the near dark.

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    10) pink flamingo lily

    Naturally present in tropical forests, this plant needs indirect sunlight, humid temperatures and water to develop. It can bloom all year round and produces beautiful red flowers that will beautify your space.

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    11) Chinese Evergreen

    Thanks to its ability to tolerate low light and drought, Chinese evergreen is an easy plant for novice indoor gardeners. If your plant receives enough sun, it could even produce a flowering similar to a calla lily.

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    12) Bamboo palm

    If you have the space, try a bamboo palm tree (these trees can reach 4 to 12 feet high and 3 to 5 feet wide). Place the palm in a well-soiled planter exposed to indirect sunlight and water it when the surface is dry.

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