Clean Your Air with a Little Flare

peace lily

Peace Lily Benefits: Known for removing benzene and is also said to remove mold spores in the air, making it great for bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms; purifying the air of trichloroethylene, and removing alcohols, acetone, and formaldehyde. Notes: Easy to care for, the Peace Lilly prefers lots of water, less often and bright, indirect light.

by Missy Strauss

Did you know that according to the most recent Environmental Protection Agency Statistics the average American spends a staggering 90% of their time indoors. It behooves us to be in as clean and healthy an indoor environment as possible. One way to ensure a healthier indoor environment is to reside in a green home, or green building, of course, but something you can do immediately to improve your indoor environment is to pick an air-purifying houseplant that also uplifts your space with a touch of nature.

Our space program has led the way to a fascinating and important discovery about the role of houseplants indoors. NASA has researched methods of cleansing the atmosphere in future space stations to keep them fit for human habitation over extended periods of time. Since the 1980s, NASA has been researching common houseplants and their effect upon indoor air quality. They’ve found that many common houseplants and blooming potted plants help fight pollution indoors. Certain houseplants are reportedly able to scrub significant amounts of harmful gases out of the air through the everyday processes of photosynthesis. Some pollutants are also absorbed and rendered harmless in the soil, too.

Plant physiologists already knew that plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen as part of the photosynthetic process. Now researchers have found that many common houseplants absorb benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene, not at all good for human health, but plants can thrive on these toxic chemicals while also removing them from the air.

According to, the Top Five Plants leading the clean-air list include: peace lily, bamboo palm, English ivy, mums and gerbera daisies, all of which are easy to find and easy to care for. Other common houseplants that do a yeoman’s work when it comes to optimizing indoor air quality are:

Weeping Fig or Ficus Tree, Warneckii or Dracanaena warneckii, Spider Plant, Golden Pothos, Schefflera or Umbrella Tree, Snake Plant, Philodendron, Marginata or Dragon tree and Moth Orchid.

So, there you have it, a simple way to beautify your home or office while improving the health of your indoor space!

english ivy

English Ivy Benefits: Known for removing the chemical benzene, a known carcinogen found in cigarette smoke, detergents, pesticides, and the off-gassing of other synthetic materials, is said to be fantastic for asthma and allergies and also removes formaldehyde. Notes: Can be invasive, best used as a potted plant.


Golden Pothos Benefits: NASA places this plant among the top three types of houseplants great for removing formaldehyde. Also known for removing carbon monoxide and increasing general indoor air quality. Notes: Needs less water in colder temps and partial sun.


Mums Benefits: Very effective at removing benzene, associated with most chemicals, plastics, cigarettes and off-gassing. Also removes trichloroethylene, formaldehyde and ammonia. Notes: Likes partial sun and lots of water. Although they’re among the houseplants that clean the air, they only flower once.


Gerbera Daisy Benefits: NASA says this plant is fantastic at removing benzene, a known cancer-causing chemical. It also absorbs carbon dioxide and gives off oxygen overnight, which is said to improve your sleep! Notes: Likes bright light.


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