Natural purifiers in a pot
Photography by Adri/Shutterstock
According to the EPA, our homes can have three to five times more pollutants than the outdoors. You could be living in a “sick” house and not realize it: Substances like xylene (in paint and lacquers), benzene (furniture wax, insect sprays) trichloroethylene (cleaners, adhesives), and formaldehyde (upholstery, air fresheners)—can produce symptoms like headaches, sore throats, or allergy-like breathing troubles. The NASA Clean Air Study was designed to find effective and simple ways to detox the air in the space station—and it reveals that common house plants have air purifying superpowers.
Dwarf Date Palm
It’s hardy and drought-resistant, but it’s a slow grower. Once this palm matures, it will live for decades and grow eight to ten feet tall with sharp needle-like spines arranged near the base of the leaf stem—take care around them, they can penetrate through skin and clothing. However, the dwarf date palm is noted for its ability to filter out xylene. For optimal air-filtering, NASA recommends placing at least one plant per 100 square feet of a home or office space. Plants can get expensive, so don’t miss these insider tips to save money on gardening.
Boston ferns are native to tropical forests and swamp areas so they will thrive in low light and high humidity—they’re ideal for your bathroom. The moisture from your shower will hydrate the plant, requiring little extra care from you. Besides being a pretty and decorative addition to your bathroom, the Boston fern helps remove xylene and—the NASA study revealed—it was the top house plant for removing formaldehyde.