If the air in your home is feeling stuffy and stale as we get deeper into the winter months, it might be time to think about going green! Adding a few new houseplants to your décor is a great way to spruce up your space when the weather outside is frightful, and many plants offer air purifying properties that are perfect for the seasons when fresh air is in short supply. Here are five of our favorite air purifying plants to add to your home, from low-maintenance classics to exotic tropicals.
Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis): If you’re new to the world of indoor gardening, start with the basics and pick up a simple aloe plant. These spiky members of the succulent family require minimal watering, so they’re perfect for beginners. Aloe thrives in bright light, so place your plant in a sunny, south- or west-facing window. Aloe plants are hardworking air purifiers, cleansing the air of chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene, which are common ingredients in cleaning products and paint. They also serve as a natural alert system for air toxicity, developing brown spots when air quality is poor.
Heart Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron oxycardium): Another low-maintenance pick, heart leaf philodendron is a vining plant with lush, tropical foliage. This unfussy plant thrives in indirect light, making it ideal for rooms where other plants might wither. Heart leaf philodendron filters harmful chemicals like formaldehyde from the air, but is toxic if eaten—be cautious in homes with kids or pets.
Azalea (Rhododendron): You may be familiar with azaleas as outdoor plants, but these springtime favorites can also thrive indoors! Azaleas can be grown as houseplants in areas with filtered sunlight and cool temperatures (60-65 degrees), where they work to filter toxins that are released by plywood and foam insulation. Look for greenhouse azaleas with buds that are just starting to open; these plants will provide the most colorful blooms in your home.
Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata): Thanks to their vivid foliage and dramatic shapes, ferns are popular houseplants; the lush and lacy Boston Fern is a classic choice for those seeking a statement plant. Ferns serve as natural humidifiers, adding moisture into the air while eliminating trace chemicals, which makes them ideal for combating dry winter conditions at home. Place your fern in direct sunlight and mist it regularly for years of happy growth.
Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina) or Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata): Instagram favorites in recent years, ficus plants offer up lots of glossy, dark green foliage and dramatic scale. They’re also great at filtering airborne chemicals including formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene, which are commonly found in carpeting and furniture. Fig plants need consistency to thrive; they prefer bright, indirect light, steady moisture levels, and constant temperatures, so avoid drafty spaces or areas with doors to the outside.
How are you refreshing your home this winter? Share your best tips for clean and bright spaces in the comments!
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