City living has its perks but let’s face it, the air quality could be better. Poor air quality affects all people, adults and children alike. City dwellers and seniors with existing medical conditions are the most vulnerable to air pollution. NYC enjoyed cleaner air ever since monitoring began but you can do something to improve the quality of your indoor air even more. And this goes for anyone who lives in different cities, just dress your small apartment with air-purifying houseplants!
Houseplants are not created equal, some work better than others when it comes to ridding the air of impurities. In fact, NASA even used some of these air-purifying houseplants to improve their space station’s air quality. Below are some of the best houseplants to get to purify indoor air:
The peace lily is an elegant, easy to grow houseplant known for its glossy foliage and pristine blooms. But beyond appearances, this houseplant is the best to get if you want to improve your small apartment’s indoor air quality. Peace lily has the uncanny ability to remove pathogens in the air, including benzene, ammonia, formaldehyde, acetone, xylene, ethyl acetate, and trichloroethylene.
Peace lily loves bright, indirect light although it will do well in partial shade. This houseplant does not like standing water or soggy soil so water only when the soil is dry.
Also known as the Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (hah!), this striking houseplant stands out thanks to its reptilian-looking leaves that add a fabulous architectural form to a room. Despite having zero stems, the snake plant is always hard at work filtering indoor air. This makes the snake plant an ideal houseplant for a small apartment. The dwarf varieties are best suited for small spaces too!
As with any type of can’t-kill-plants, the snake plant is extremely resistant to droughts and other harsh weather conditions. If anything, this houseplant dislikes excess water. Under the right conditions, this houseplant will bloom. Snake plant could tolerate low light conditions and loves well-drained soil.
This beautiful perennial plant is known for its large, vividly-hued blooms. Gerbera daisy is not just another pretty houseplant, no. It has the ability to draw out trichloroethylene and benzene from the air. Even better, this houseplant releases more oxygen in the air. In fact, Gerbera Daisy produces more oxygen than any other houseplant. This makes the Gerbera daisy the perfect houseplant to get if you suffer from asthma and other respiratory ailments.
Gerbera daisy is so simple to grow and maintain. It needs bright light to produce its beautiful flowers. This houseplant is best planted into the ground but it can be added to a container garden too. And yes, you can also grow this plant indoors as long as it is set in a sunny spot! Water a Gerbera daisy carefully and keep the leaves as dry as possible.
Dragon Tree, aka Dracaena, is a petite houseplant known for its thin, strap-like leaves. This houseplant can be grown in a pot and is best hung near the window to highlight its beautiful foliage. As an air purifier, dragon tree rids the air of benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene!
The dragon plant loves the brightly filtered light, like a sunny spot. This houseplant loves moist soil but hates standing water. Just use a well-draining soil for this houseplant and never over-water to avoid yellowing of the leaves. As long as the indoor temps aren’t too cool, the dragon tree is surprisingly resilient, it can tolerate warmer, humid indoor conditions.
Also known as ficus, this tough-as-nails houseplant is striking with its beautiful foliage that grows dark burgundy. According to NASA, this houseplant has the ability to eliminate formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene from the air.
Weeping fig is a hardy houseplant because it can tolerate a variety of conditions. This houseplant does not require the full sun although it needs bright, indirect natural light. It requires regular watering but it hates excessive water so do not go overboard to avoid root rot. In the right conditions, weeping fig could mature and grow faster, which means this houseplant will benefit from regular pruning.
Want to add a laidback, tropical vibe to your small apartment while ridding the air of toxins? Dress your small apartment with Areca palm aka the golden cane palm! Known for its fabulous foliage that adds a touch of airiness to a room, this hardy, sun-loving tropical plant can get rid of formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene from the air!
Areca palm makes a stunning indoor decor and it will do well even with a little bit of neglect. It requires little care and maintenance, just water it every now and then. The areca palm loves the well-drained soil and is quite sensitive to standing water so water only when the soil feels dry.
Pygmy Date Palm
The Pygmy date palm is the smallest in the date palm variety, making it an excellent houseplant or garden plant. Just like the Areca palm, this ornamental plant could eliminate formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, and toluene from the air. What’s more, this houseplant complements other air-purifying plants perfectly.
The Pygmy date palm has slender, silvery leaves and stems with long spines. It could grow about 12 feet in height when planted in the ground but it can retain its dwarfed state when kept in a pot. This ornamental plant loves the outdoors but it has adapted well to growing indoors. It can tolerate shades and a bit of neglect. Since it is well suited for containers, you can put your Pygmy date palm in a sunny spot anywhere in your small apartment and keep it happy.
As far as cleaning indoor air goes, the Boston fern is regarded as the most efficient plant for the job. This eye-catching houseplant eliminates the most common indoor air pollutants quickly and effectively while also adding humidity to the indoor air. Boston fern could remove formaldehyde from the air significantly more per hour than the rest of the houseplants in this list. It can also eliminate heavy metals from the soil such as arsenic and mercury!
The best part? This houseplant is so easy to grow. Boston fern loves peaty, potting mix, shady spots, and bright, indirect sunlight. This houseplant is quite sensitive to direct sunlight so do not set it in a place that gets a lot of sun or the fronds will burn.
This tropical accent plant is so easy going, it doesn’t take much to grow and maintain it. The spider plant is not only easy to grow, it also does a great job of removing formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene from the air. It can also rid indoor air of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide.
Since the Spider plant can withstand neglect, it’s the perfect houseplant for newbie gardeners or forgetful owners. This houseplant loves bright, indirect sunlight, well-drained soil, and partially shady environments. Never over-fertilize the Spider plant or the leaves will lose their vivid green shade. Water only when the soil is dry.
Rounding up our list of the best air-purifying plants according to a NASA research is the English Ivy. If you or a loved one suffers from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues, set several pots of English ivy in your small apartment. This houseplant can clear the air of allergens including airborne molds within just a few hours. This versatile houseplant can be hung in a basket, planted in the ground, or kept in a pot.
English ivy is best known for its climbing foliage, making it a lovely focal point in any room. This houseplant is often grown as an outdoor ground cover but it will do well when kept indoors too. It does require regular pruning to keep its climbing foliage contained. English Ivy loves moist soil and medium to bright indirect sunlight.