A huge way to improve the quality of the air in your home is to regularly open the windows and have lots of green plants in your home.  Potted plants have been grown in peoples homes for centuries and with good reason.  Research shows us that plants absorb polluting chemicals from the atmosphere, converting them to harmless substances.  They take out the carbon dioxide and replace it with oxygen.  Growing plants therefore helps to improve the environment they are placed in, making them the perfect way to increase your well being in your home.

Aloe Vera – Aloe vera absorbs a wide variety of pollutants from the atmosphere.  It is an especially versatile houseplant.  This easy-to-grow, sun-loving succulent helps clear formaldehyde and benzene, which can be a byproduct of chemical-based cleaners, paints and more. It is a smart choice for a sunny kitchen window. Beyond its air-clearing abilities, the gel inside an aloe plant can help heal cuts and burns.

People have been using aloe vera for more than 6,000 years when it was known as “the plant of immortality” in early Egypt

Spider plants known as Chlorophytum comosum is a resilient plant rich in foliage with tiny white flowers.  The spider plant battles benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene, a solvent used in the leather, rubber and printing industries. As an added bonus, this plant is also considered a safe houseplant if you have pets in the house.  this plant is super easy to regrow; cut off one of the “spiders” and place it in a pot. They do well in cool-to-average home temperatures and prefer dry soil. Bright indirect sunlight keeps them growing well.

azaleas and weeping figs remove fomaldehyde from the atmosphere.  Formaldehyde is produced by some building materials and can also be found in some cleaning agents alongside cigarette smoke.

weeping figs ficus in your living room can help filter out pollutants that typically accompany carpeting and furniture such as formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene. Caring for a ficus can be tricky, but once you get the watering and light conditions right, they will last a long time.

The New York Botanical Garden says the weeping fig likes consistency and looks its best when grown in bright, indirect light. “It is challenged by dramatic temperature and light-level fluctuations.”

Gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)

This bright, flowering plant is effective at removing trichloroethylene, which you may bring home with your dry cleaning. It’s also good for filtering out the benzene that comes with inks. Add one to your laundry room or bedroom — presuming you can give it lots of light.

Gerberas (sometimes called gerber daisies) like well-drained soil, so be sure pots have drainage holes. Mist leaves a couple times a week and make sure plants get at least six hours of direct sunlight every day. Brightly colored cut blooms can last as long as two weeks.

Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)

Also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, this plant is one of the best for filtering out formaldehyde, which is common in cleaning products, toilet paper, tissues and personal care products. Put one in your bathroom — it’ll thrive with low light and steamy humid conditions while helping filter out air pollutants.

You may also want to put a couple of these sharp-leafed plants in your bedroom. Interestingly, they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen at night (the opposite of the process most plants follow). Sharing your room with these plants could give you a slight oxygen boost while you sleep.

Golden pothos (Scindapsus aures)

Another powerful plant for tackling formaldehyde, this fast-growing vine will create a cascade of green from a hanging basket. Consider it for your garage because car exhaust is filled with formaldehyde. (Bonus: Golden pothos, also know as devil’s ivy, stays green even when kept in the dark.)

Golden pothos plants need bright, indirect light. Don’t overwater or you’ll end up with a case of root rot, reports Wisconsin Horticulture.

Heads up: Golden pothos is a poisonous plant and should be kept away from small children and pets.

Chrysanthemum (Chrysantheium morifolium)

The colorful flowers of a mum can do a lot more than brighten a home office or living room; the blooms also help filter out benzene, which is commonly found in glue, paint, plastics and detergent. This plant loves bright light, and to encourage buds to open, you’ll need to find a spot near an open window with direct sunlight.

Want a plant to match your decor? You’re usually in luck with mums. They come in nearly every color except true blue, according to Green Circle Growers. When choosing a plant for indoors, make sure you choose a floral mum and not a garden variety, which does best when planted outdoors.

Red-edged dracaena (Dracaena marginata)

The red edges of this easy dracaena bring a pop of color, and the shrub can grow to reach your ceiling. This plant is best for removing xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde, which can be introduced to indoor air through lacquers, varnishes and gasoline.

There are many dracaena plants. This distinctive version is distinguished by the purple-red edges on its ribbon-like green leaves. Although it grows slowly, it can eventually get as high as 15 feet tall, so maybe put it in a room with high ceilings and moderate sunlight

Azalea (Rhododendron simsii)

Bring this beautiful flowering shrub into your home to combat formaldehyde from sources such as plywood or foam insulation. Because azaleas do best in cool areas around 60 to 65 degrees, they’re a good option for improving indoor air in your basement if you can find a bright spot.

If your house is dry, mist the plant every few days to create a more friendly, humid environment, suggests Flower Shop Network. To help ward off disease, remove any dead leaves or blooms that fall into the soil. Fertilize in late winter and in early summer.

English ivy – Common ivy rapidly clears benzene emitted in some car exhaust fumes,A study found that English ivy reduces airborne fecal-matter particles. It has also been shown to filter out formaldehyde found in some household cleaning products.

Although popular as a potted houseplant, the National Park Service doesn’t seem to be such a fan. The plant is called “an aggressive invader that threatens all vegetation levels of forested and open areas.” Fortunately, ivy shouldn’t do much damage in a pot in your home. It grows best with moist soil and four or more hours of direct sunlight each day.

Warneck dracaena (Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckii’)

Combat pollutants associated with varnishes and oils with this dracaena. The Warneckii grows inside easily, even without direct sunlight. With striped leaves forming clusters atop a thin stem, this houseplant can be striking, especially if it reaches its potential height of 12 feet.

This dracaena is known for its white stripes along the edges of its leaves. If your plant gets brown tips on its leaves or brown streaks, it may be because of too much fluoride in your tap water, says SF Gate. If that’s the case, try watering your plant with bottled H20.

Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema Crispum ‘Deborah’)

This easy-to-care-for plant can help filter out a variety of air pollutants and begins to remove more toxins as time and exposure continues. Even with low light, it will produce blooms and red berries.

Southern Living actually calls the Chinese evergreen “the easiest houseplant” because these plants thrive in low light and will grow in places where other plants won’t grow. Because they are tropicals, they like humid air. If your air is too try, tips might turn brown, so you might want to mist the leaves occasionally.

Bamboo palm Also known as the reed palm, this small palm thrives in shady indoor spaces and often produces flowers and small berries. It tops the list of plants best for filtering out both benzene and trichloroethylene. This plant is also a good choice for placing around furniture that could be off-gassing formaldehyde.

Native to Mexico and Central America, this compact palm only grows about 5-7 feet tall. It prefers humidity, bright, indirect light, and doesn’t do well when it is overwatered,. It does best in temps of 65 to 80 degrees.

Peace Lilly or white flag soaks up trichoroethylene from dry cleaning fluid.

Peace lily (Spathiphyllum)

Shade and weekly watering are all the peace lily needs to survive and produce blooms. It topped NASA’s list for removing all three of most common VOCs — formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene. It can also combat toluene and xylene.

HGTV Gardens says peace lilies are renowned for their easy care. “The peace lily is hardy, forgiving, and will even let you know when it is thirsty — look for the telltale droop.”

Plants are amazing and can work so fantastically in symbiosis with us.  Spring is here and lets take advantage of adding nature into both the inside and outside of our home to encourage both beauty and good health.

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