Some well-placed greenery in your home can not only brighten a space but also purify the air.  Given that people spend 90 percent of their time indoors, air quality matters.  Especially during the winter months when the doors and windows are all buttoned up to keep the cold out and the heat in, stagnant indoor environments allow pollutants to build up and stick around longer than we humans should be breathing in.  

The good news is that there’s an easy and affordable way to combat the presence of these pollutants that we may be breathing in and at the same time beautify your home.  Plants purify the air; adding potted plants has been shown to reduce the amount of air particulates as well as simply make people feel better.  For example, hospital patients with plants in their rooms were more positive and had lower blood pressure and stress levels.  Similarly, indoor plants may even make people “smarter” by allowing them to stay alert and reducing mental fatigue.

There are many houseplants that are easy to care for – so easy in fact, you’d have to try pretty hard to kill them.  While houseplants may seem intimidating to those of us with a “black thumb” we’ve compiled a list of 10 easy to care for indoor air purifiers inspired by NASA’s research regarding indoor air quality.

  1. Aloe Vera: The gel of the aloe plant has a number of healing properties.  Not only does it sooth minor skin burns and cuts, it can also help monitor the air quality in your home.  The plant can help clean the air of pollutants found in chemical cleaning products and when the amount of harmful chemicals in the air becomes excessive, the plants’ leaves will display brown spots.  Just an FYI, aloe plants grow best with lots of sun.
  2. Peace Lily:  The beautiful peace lily or ‘Spath’ is a wonderful, low-maintenance plant to keep in your home.  Peace lilies do well in low to medium light areas and are one of the easiest houseplants to care for as it tolerates average indoor conditions better than many houseplants.
  3. Snake Plant:  Easy care would be an understatement for this plant.  Snake plants don’t need much light or water to survive so they are a perfect choice for any room in your home.  In fact most problems with growing snake plants are caused by over-caring for this beauty so if you want a houseplant that will thrive on mostly neglect this is a great option.  This plant absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen during the night, while most plants do so during the day, so add one to your bedroom for a clean-air boost.
  4. Philodendron:  The heart-shaped philodendron is a popular choice for indoor areas because it is extremely easy to grow.  This low maintenance plant has glossy leaves that emerge bronze and quickly turn green on long vine-like stems.  A little pinching on the stems at any time will help create a fuller plant.  Philodendrons are great choices for hanging baskets or ledges where the vines can spill over the sides.
  5. Red-Leaved Draceana:  The beautiful plant, also known as Draceana Marginata, is a perfect choice for any bright light room but does not need direct sunlight and will tolerate dry air.  This exotic houseplant is slow-growing but will reach 6 ft+ tall indoors; you can control its height by simply cutting off the top.
  6. Pothos:  The pothos made the list for its ability to clear formaldehyde from the air.  Try adding it to your kitchen or living room as a hanging plant as its leaves will grow down on cascading vines.  Pothos grow easily in average indoor temperatures and low light conditions.
  7. Rubber Plant:  Rubber plants or rubber trees are good for cleaning the air and are one of the easiest plants to grow indoors.  They thrive in low light to bright light conditions but no direct sunlight.  This natural air purifier likes to be slightly pot-bound so repotting is usually not required.  Rubber plants don’t like to be moved around too much, sudden changes in temperature and light may cause it to drop some leaves.
  8. Draceana Warneckii:  These houseplants have larger leaves than their cousin, the red-leaved dracaena, and some varieties have striped leaves.  This easy to care for air cleaner grows easily indoors without any direct sunlight and minimal water.
  9. Spider Plant:  One of the most common houseplants, Spider plants are not only decorative and easy to grow but are also one of the best air purifiers.  Spider plants grow best in medium to bright areas but no direct sunlight; plants grown in low light conditions may lose their variegation in the leaves.
  10. Palm Trees:   There are a number of palms that will grow well indoors; Bamboo, Areca, and Parlor palms are some of the varieties that grow best indoors.  Palms are easy to care for as they are slow-growing and require minimal water and fertilizer.  Palms grow best in medium to bright areas if leaves are yellowish-green, it may be getting too much sun.

At Decker’s Nursery, as always, our goal is to be your source for not just quality plants and supplies but also the knowledge and expertise to help you succeed. Our expert team will help you choose the right plants for your home and ensure you have everything you need to care for these beautiful air purifiers.