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Breathe Easy With Houseplants

Breathe Easy With Houseplants

Houseplants can be an amazing accent to your home, but the right houseplants are more than just living decorations or a way to bring a love of gardening indoors in all seasons. These popular plants can help clean the air in your home and create a fresher, healthier atmosphere for you and your family.

How Houseplants Clean the Air

All plants take in carbon dioxide and emit oxygen, but some plants do much more to scrub the air. Depending on the plant, its size and its overall health, a houseplant can…

  • Remove odors from pets, cooking, exhaust and other sources
  • Remove airborne toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene and ammonia
  • Reduce airborne mold and pollen
  • Increase the humidity of the surrounding air

These activities create a cleaner, healthier atmosphere that can help alleviate allergies, respiratory problems and even migraines, but these aren't the only positive benefits of houseplants. In addition to these measurable effects of houseplants, psychological studies have also shown that houseplants can…

  • Improve overall mood
  • Reduce depression
  • Lower stress levels
  • Increase general energy levels
  • Improve mental concentration

With so many benefits of keeping houseplants, you will want to add a few green guests in every room of your home.

Best Plants to Help You Breathe Easy

Any plant can help improve conditions in your home, but some plants are better at cleansing the air because they have larger foliage, different metabolic processes or hardier resistance to the toxins they remove. The best plants to clean your home's air include…

  • Boston fern
  • Chinese evergreen
  • Corn plant
  • Dracaena
  • English ivy
  • Ficus
  • Garden mum
  • Gerbera daisy
  • Golden pothos
  • Parlor palm
  • Peace lily
  • Reed palm
  • Rubber plant
  • Snake plant
  • Spider plant

While these plants may have better documentation of their air-cleansing properties, any plant you enjoy will help improve air quality and enhance your living space.

Tips for Your Air-Cleaning Houseplants

To make the most of every plant you bring into your home, it is important that the plant be healthy and thriving. To keep your plants in peak condition for the best air quality control…

  • Understand Your Environment Before adding plants to your home, carefully evaluate the living environment you can provide to those plants. How many windows do you have, and how much natural sunlight is there? What temperatures do you prefer? Do you need to keep plants away from pets or small children to avoid toxicity if leaves or flowers are ingested? Once you understand your home habitat, you can choose plants that will adapt to your home more easily.
  • The More the Merrier While any plant will help clean the air, it is recommended that you have at least two medium-sized houseplants for every 100 square feet of living space. This can add up to quite a few plants in one home, but you can focus your indoor growing efforts for the rooms that need the most air cleaning, including the bathroom and kitchen. Adding plants to the most frequently used rooms, such as a home office and bedrooms, is also a good way to maximize their benefits.
  • Provide Proper Care A healthy plant will grow larger and produce more foliage that will increase its air-scrubbing capabilities. To keep your plants healthy, be sure they get adequate sunlight, proper soil for their nutritional needs and enough water to stay lush and hydrated. If you are a novice at keeping houseplants, opt for hardier varieties that don't mind a little neglect and are more forgiving if their care isn't optimal.
  • Avoid Causing More Problems Even the most effective air-cleansing houseplants won't be helpful if improper care causes more problems than the plants can solve. Overwatering, for example, may lead to mold growth in the soil, or poor plant care could foster an insect invasion. Fortunately, taking proper care of your plants will minimize the risk of any inadvertent problems.

Houseplants can be a wonderful addition to your home, not only because they are attractive ornaments, but also because they help create a healthier living space with cleaner air and fewer toxins. By understanding how plants can help you, which plants are best for atmospheric assistance and how to give your plants a good home, you'll make the most of the benefits those plants provide.