Looking to improve the air quality in your home? Certain plants can purify the air, with the added benefits of providing allergy relief, reducing stress – and making your apartment look a little more chic. NASA conducted a study in 1989 that found that some plant species are capable of removing high concentrations of indoor air pollutants such as cigarette smoke, organic solvents, and possibly radon.
If you are ready to test your green thumb — and turn your apartment into a green lung — here are a few plants to welcome into your space.
Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
Also sometimes known as “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue”, the snake plant is one of the easiest plants to keep alive, making it a great candidate for plant beginners. These plants are tough to kill unless you are prone to overwatering; snake plants are very drought-friendly and can thrive in low light and bright, indirect sunlight.
“[Sansevieria] is one of a few plants that continues to produce oxygen in near-dark conditions. It’s also very effective at eliminating airborne formaldehyde, nitrogen oxide, benzene, xylene and trichloroethylene, all chemicals that can often be found in synthetic carpets, glues, paint and other interior fittings,” wrote Homes & Gardens.
English Ivy (Hedera helix)
The English ivy is a plant you’ll often see climbing walls outside, but it’s suitable for indoor growing, too. Medium-light to bright, indirect sunlight suit English Ivy best. This hearty plant has also been shown to help reduce mold, making it a great pick for brightening up a bathroom. Position your pot against a wall or hang it for a dramatic effect.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Spider plants are another good choice for beginner-level gardeners, as they are relatively easy to care for. The plant can be propagated by placing a cutting in water; give it enough sun, and watch the roots grow in no time. Mature spider plants may also produce white flowers, a nice addition to your space. “In addition to being nontoxic, low-maintenance, and easy on the eyes, it works well as a carbon monoxide and VOC eliminator,” wrote Eco Watch.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
Speaking of white flowers — the peace lily features tear-shaped leaves and pure white flowers that bloom for about two months every spring. NASA’s report highlighted the peace lily’s unmatched ability to filter chemicals from the air. This plant likes medium light to bright, indirect sunlight. Note that it might not be the right fit if you have pets — it’s toxic if ingested.
Money Plant (Pilea Peperomioides)
Finally, the money plant has distinct round leaves that can help reduce harmful chemicals found in carpets, paints, glues, and manmade fabrics. It’s a low-maintenance winner that’s popular in Feng Shui and said to bring luck and positivity. It adds a nice pop of green to any room and also makes for a great housewarming gift!