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10 Best Plants You Should Grow Indoor to Get Fresh Air – NASA Clean Air Study


Top 10 Plants You Should Grow Indoor to Get Fresh Air – NASA Clean Air Study

According to NASA Clean Air Study there are certain common indoor plants which is best in removing toxic agents like benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the air. The NASA Clean Air Study Conducted by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in association with the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA). So planting those in your rooms will neutralize the effects of sick building syndrome.

The first list of air-filtering plants by NASA published in 1989. These plants are best with absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Efficient air cleaning is done with at least one plant per 100 square feet of indoor. Those micro-organisms in the potting mix (soil) of a potted plant is capable of removing benzene from the air. 

1. Rhapis excelsa – Lady Palm

This is well known as broadleaf lady palm or “the lady palm“. The plant features low light and humidity which make it a common one in malls and offices. These plants can add more oxygen to surrounding breathing air. The plant is native to southern China and Taiwan. 

This plant grows up to 4 m in height and 30 mm in diameter. As the name suggest there are palmate leaves which divided into broad, ribbed segments. There will be fleshy flowers with three petals fused at the base. Those Ripe fruit are fleshy and white in color. 

2. Phoenix roebelenii- pygmy date palm

This is also known as pygmy date palm, miniature date palm or just robellini. This is a small to medium-sized, slow-growing slender tree capable of growing to 2–3 metres in height. The leaves are 60–120 cm (24–47 in) long. They are described as pinnate, with around 100 leaflets arranged in a single plane. 

The flowers are small, yellowish and the fruit is an edible 1 cm drupe like a date. The plant is resistant to pests and tolerant to soil variation. This plant is one of the best to purify the air around you by releasing more oxygen. This is moderately drought tolerant and can remove formaldehyde from surrounding air. 

3. Nephrolepis exaltata – Boston swordfern

The plant is commonly seen in tropical regions throughout the world. This is also known as the Boston swordfern, wild Boston fern, tuber ladder fern, or fishbone fern. This is listed under the broader family of sword fern. They are are 50–250 cm long and 6–15 cm broad in appearance.

This is a very popular house plant looks good when growing in hanging baskets. These are best to remove carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen to your rooms. This is the most tolerant to drought. The plant can also remove formaldehyde from surrounding air. 

4. Hedera helix -English ivy

This is known as common ivy, English ivy, European ivy, or just ivy. This plant is native to most of Europe and western Asia.  This is common in gardens, waste spaces, on house walls, tree trunks etc. This is an evergreen climbing plant growing to 20–30 m (66–98 ft) height.

This is best to plant indoor as the plant prefers moist, shady locations and avoids exposure to direct sunlight. This plant can refresh your indoors with the release of oxygen and removes benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene etc. You can see  flowers which are produced from late summer until late autumn. 

5. Aloe vera

Aloe vera is a plant species of the genus Aloe. This plant is cultivated for agricultural uses, decorative purposes and medicinal uses. This is a successful indoor plant which offers fresh air. The plant is used to make products including beverages, skin lotion, cosmetics, or ointments for minor burns and sunburns. 

The plant is said to have soothing, moisturizing, and healing properties. Aloe vera is a stemless or very short-stemmed plant growing to 60–100 cm in height. The leaves are thick and fleshy, green to grey-green in color. They removes benzene and formaldehyde from surrounding air. 

6. Dypsis lutescens – areca palm

The plant is also known as golden cane palm, areca palm, yellow palm, or butterfly palm. The plant is capable of growing to 6–12 m (20–39 ft) in height. This is a popular indoor plant which can purify air around you. There will be Multiple stems emerge from the base.

The leaves are arched, long, and pinnate, with 40-60 pairs of leaflets. You can see yellow flowers in summer. The plant is best to remove formaldehyde from polluted air. 

7. Ficus benjamina – weeping fig

This is very popular houseplant in temperate areas as this well tolerate with poor growing conditions. The plant is sold as ficus and commonly known as weeping fig, benjamin fig or Ficus tree.

This is the official tree of Bangkok. The plant is native to Asia and Australia. The tree can reach upto 30 metres (98 ft) tall in natural conditions and its small fruit are favored by some birds.

You may need to do drastic pruning or replacing. This is a stately tree for parks and gardens. This plant can add oxygen to surrounding air and absorbs carbon dioxide. They remove formaldehyde, xylene and toluene  from polluted air. Ficus benjamina plant is effective to remove gaseous formaldehyde from indoor air.

 Aglaonema -  Chinese evergreens8. Aglaonema –  Chinese evergreens

This is a popular house plant which is native to tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and New Guinea. They are beautiful and commonly known as Chinese evergreens. These plants are evergreen perennial herbs. The fruit is a fleshy berry that ripens red. This is widely grown as luck-bringing ornamental plant in Asia for centuries.

According to NASA air study They can remove benzene, formaldehyde, ammonia, xylene and toluene from polluted air. They live in low-light conditions so best for indoors. The color and pattern of the leaves makes them unique. Eventhough these plants are capable of purifying air, they are poisonous due to calcium oxalate crystals and cause irritation of the mucous membranes if ingested. The juice can cause skin irritation and painful rash. 

 Spathiphyllum - peace lilies9. Spathiphyllum – peace lilies

The plant is native to tropical regions of the Americas and southeastern Asia. They are commonly known as Spath or peace lilies. This evergreen herbaceous perennial plant bears large leaves of 12–65 cm long and 3–25 cm broad. As the name suggests flowers are produced in a spadix which is again surrounded by a long and white or greenish spathe. 

The plant does not need much water or light and this makes it as a popular house plant. This indoor plant need to be watered approximately once a week. The NASA Clean Air Study proves that Spathiphyllum cleans indoor air of certain environmental contaminants like benzene and formaldehyde.

Chlorophytum comosum - Spider plant

 10. Chlorophytum comosum – Spider plant

This is a well known flowering perennial herb. This is commonly called as spider plant, airplane plant, St. Bernard’s lily, spider ivy, ribbon plant, hen and chickens etc. The native place of this plant is southern Africa. It is easy to grow as a houseplant.

The plant grows about 60 centi metres in height. This bears greenish-white flowers. According to NASA air study, Spider plants can reduce indoor air pollution in the form of formaldehyde. Approximately 70 plants would neutralize formaldehyde production in a representative [1,700 sq ft] energy-efficient house.


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