We already know the critical role plants play in our existence. In addition to all the hard work they put in converting carbon dioxide though, plants also eliminate the presence of other dangerous poisons.
NASA’s Clean Air Study has been referenced for years, and for good reason. It began as a way to research how to clean the air in space stations. What they found was that having just a few basic houseplants can filter out common toxins like formaldehyde (known to be a human carcinogen found in carpets, foam insulation, paper towels, adhesives, furniture), benzene (found in plastics, detergents), and trichloroethylene (found in varnishes, paints) just to name a few.
The best part? Plants simply make us happy, are much more aesthetically pleasing than an air purifier, and the ones on this list don’t ask for much. So don’t trip if you live in a city apartment, have a busy lifestyle, and your thumb is not that green. It is all good; they will still thrive with little attention and low light. Really, we don’t deserve them.
A small note: if you have animals in your home, know that ingesting the leaves of some plants can be toxic to your fur babies. Before your next plant shopping adventure, be sure to do a quick search, so you know which ones to steer clear of.
Below are five low maintenance plants to consider adding to your home or office:
1. Boston Fern (nephrolepis exaltata):
Image by Jeannie Phan
Not only is this plant very inexpensive, but it’s also been shown in research studies to be one the top plants for removing formaldehyde. Place it in indirect light in a cool temperature environment, and it will be pleased.
2. Snake Plant (sansevieria trifasciata):
Image by Iris
This is a classic houseplant for beginners. It’s very forgiving and does not need much water. This one’s great if you don’t want to worry about its placement in your home since you can move it around and it will tolerate both direct and indirect sunlight very well.
3. Spider Plant (chlorophytum comosum):
Image by Erin
One of the easiest to grow. Does not require much watering, prefers indirect sunlight. The biggest thing with most of the plants on this list is not to overwater, so you avoid root rot. Most of them prefer to dry out before being watered again.
Image by Caroline
These babies rarely stress and will survive almost all manner of abuse. Know that there are different kinds of philodendrons. Some vine/climb, others don’t, but either way – they like a decent amount of space to do their thing.
5. Aloe Vera (aloe barbadensis):
Image by Dr. Levy
Mentioning aloe was a must. Aside from its air-purifying qualities & easy maintenance, it is a potent healing plant. The inside of the leaves contain tons of vitamins, enzymes, and amino acids. Trim a small leaf off and use the gel inside the next time you get a sunburn, or when you need a face/hair mask, and watch it work its magic. (p.s. Curls LOVE aloe.)