Plants can provide many health benefits including lowering stress, improving focus and productivity. It’s also common knowledge that houseplants have air purifying qualities, but which ones are the best? Here are our top five air purifiers that excel at filtering out toxins, pollutants, and dust to make the air in our homes feel fresher.
Native to South America, Spathiphyllums are one of our most popular air purifying plants. They have lush green leaves with elegant, long-lasting white blooms and make a spectacular addition to any home. They can be pretty versatile by thriving in bright, in-direct light, but also able to withstand shade. Peace Lilies are very easy to care for and are great at signalling when they need watering by slightly drooping their leaves. If in doubt, water when the top inch of soil completely dries out. They are also very resilient so if the leaves of your plant are drooping, simply give it water and they should perk up within 24 hours!
This succulent is an excellent air purifier, and very unique as unlike other plants it produces oxygen at night. This could make an excellent addition to your bedroom for this reason. Sansevierias are one of our easiest plants to care for as they can handle a little neglect! Their lovely sword shaped fronds store moisture so watering only needs to take place every 4 to 6 weeks when the compost has completely dried out - more often if receiving a greater amount of light. Snake Plants come in a plethora of varieties and many are tolerant of shade so can be placed in most areas of your home. Although tropical houseplants usually struggle in a draughtier home, Snake Plants are so hardy that they are able to survive most draughts.
If you are looking for a pet-safe and air purifying plant why not consider a Chlorophytum? Spider plants have made a big come-back in recent years. They are known for their often striped, spiky leaves and are renowned for removing toxins and other pollutants from the air. They thrive in bright, in-direct light and should be watered when the top inch of soil has dried out. Mist every so often or place in a humid spot to keep the leaves from browning on the edges. When cared for correctly you will be rewarded when they produce babies for repotting!
These incredible trailing vines look amazing when cascading down the side of a bookcase and, even better, they are easy to care for! Another popular air purifier, the Epipremnum genus is native to French Polynesia where they climb up rainforest trees. These Pothos can be left to trail or even trained around a coir pole to create an upright specimen. They are another relatively shade tolerant species, but grow faster in bright, in-direct light. Water when the top inch of soil has fully dried out and keep the leaves clean by wiping with a wet cloth.
The humble Boston Fern is another super air purifier. Ferns were particularly popular throughout the Victorian period and were often kept in terraria. Nowadays, they are a firm bathroom favourite as the steam from the shower mimics the humid tropical forests that they are native to. It is best to keep up with your misting on top of this and avoid positioning near radiators to prevent the fronds from drying out! They can tolerate most levels of light except direct light or deep shade, so be sure to keep them away from windows or very dark rooms. Allow the top of the soil to slightly dry out before rewatering and keep away from cold draughts. Nephrolepsis look particularly impressive raised up on a plant stand or trailing from a hanging basket.
These plants are famous for their air purifying qualities, however studies have shown that it would take a large number of them to make a significant difference to our air quality, some even suggesting 10 plants per square foot. If you are after air purification from your plant pals it looks like you’ll have to go big and start your very own urban jungle – with our help of course!