Purified Green

While it may be hard to believe, indoor air quality is often more toxic than outdoor air quality. This is due in large part to the presence of synthetic materials in furniture, carpets, plastics, and other common household items.  Indoor air contains volatile organic compounds (VOC’S,) allergens and other contaminants.

According to a clean air study by NASA, houseplants can remove organic chemicals from the air. These houseplants not only help to purify the air in your home, but they’re aesthetic and affordable as well.

Peace Lily

The Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum), also known as the “Closet Plant,” is known as one of the easiest houseplants to care for. According to “The NASA Guide to Air-Filtering Houseplants,” they’re also one of the most effective for filtering out toxins like benzene, ammonia and formaldehyde. Peace Lilies are good for the household because they absorb air pollutants through their leaves sending it down to their roots. There they’re broken down by microbes in the soil.

Grow Tip – Peace Lilies thrive in low and dimly lighted areas. Frequent watering can be an issue for these plants as they are extremely drought-tolerant. You will know if your Peace Lily has outgrown its pot if you notice drooping and deformed leaves.


Price Range – $9.99 – $29.99

Spider plant

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum), also known as the “Airplane Plant,” is considered to be the most adaptable household plant. It is especially good at neutralizing formaldehyde, commonly found in wood composite materials such as plywood and particle board.


Grow Tip – Considered hard to kill, the Spider Plant is even easier to clone than it is to grow. Simply cut off one of the “legs” and place it in a pot.


Price Range – $4.99 – $9.99


Aloe vera

Aloe Vera (Succulent Type) is the most common household plant and is easy to care for. Aloe Vera grows naturally in tropical climates and is used to treat sunburn and skin lacerations, making it the ultimate multitasker as it also cleans the air, absorbing Carbon Dioxide by day and releasing oxygen at night.


Grow Tip – Aloe Vera grows slowly and can take up to three-to-four years to flower depending on the amount of light it receives. This desert plant requires minimal watering.


Price Range – $4.99 – $9.99

Emerald contributor since March 2012


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