Did you know that common household furnishings, upholstery, synthetic building materials, pet dander, dust, mold, and daily cleaning products can emit a variety of toxic compounds? Thanks to the NASA Clean Air Study we now know that common indoor plants may provide a natural way of removing toxicagents (such as benzene, formaldehydeand trichloroethylene) and indoor air pollution in your home.
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Did you know that not all plants are hard to take care of? Majority of my friends are intimidated by plants and claim to have a “brown thumb” or cannot commit to taking care of one more thing in their home, but honestly there are so many easy to take care of air-purifying plants that are virtually un-killable.
Below, I’ve compiled a list of 10 hard-to-kill, pet safe, air-purifying plants.
10 Pet Safe Houseplants for Improving Air Quality
The Areca Palm, also known as the Butterfly Palm, is native to Madagascar and can get quite large even indoors topping out at a whopping 6-8 feet tall. They require bright, indirect light, so placing your new Areca Palm just inside the window is perfect. The soil should be wet but not overly wet, so watering the Areca infrequently works best. Toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, as well as others, stand no chance with this tropical plant in your home.
Orchids are commonly believed to be difficult to care for. However, this belief is more superstition than fact. Providing moderate to low sunlight and weekly watering for the Moth Orchid will reward you and your home with blooms that last much of the year and can range in color from white to blues and purples. After buying an orchid, however, it’s key to make sure that the roots have plenty of space to breathe since they naturally have exposed root systems. Re-pot your orchid using a moss mixture that drains easily and water only when the soil is no longer moist.
If plenty of sunlight doesn’t make it’s way into your home, the Bamboo Palm may be for you. Bamboo Palms can grow from 4 to 12 feet tall and have a width of 3 to 5 feet. They boast stiff stems and dark green leaves and only need to be watered when the top of the soil feels dry. This lovely indoor plant is also well known for improving air quality as it removed both benzene and trichloroethylene from indoor spaces.
The purple leaves of the Purple Waffle Plantare sure to cheer you up year round. This is yet another plant who prefers indirect sunlight since it’s leaves can easily be scorched or lose their metallic sheen when left in direct sunlight. It’s also extremely easy to tell when to water this house plant. If you stick your finger directly into the soil only to find that it’s dry, you know that it’s time to water this cascading purple plant. Be sure to keep loads of humidity around the Purple Waffle Plant; you can even use a pebble tray like with the Money Tree.
The Barberton daisy, also known as the Gerber daisy, requires loads of bright sunlight, but rewards anyone who chooses to grow them with large flowers in brilliant shades of red, yellow, pink or orange throughout the year. Their blooms typically last from 4 to 6 weeks and need to be removed once wilting begins. Barberton daisies filter toxins out of the air as well as any other plant on this list, and prefer sandy soil that drains easily as well as frequent watering.
This bushy plant will grow to fit any size pot your throw it in and will thrive with indirect sunlight and moist soil. With hanging fronds that love to droop, the Boston Fern has a natural grace dripping off of a bookshelf or hanging in a pot. While ferns do not flower, they do produce spores which can look a bit frightening at first glace. However, there is no cause for worry as it’s just the plants way of attempting to procreate.
If you’d like to have plants in your home that have ancient symbolism, get a money tree. The braided trunk of a Money Treeis believed to bring financial success and good luck, but that’s not all this non-toxic potted plant is good for. Making this plant a home in your bathroom is ideal as they need bright, indirect light and loads of humidity. However, not everyone has a window in their bathroom, so making a humidity tray for you Money Tree out of pebbles covered in water and setting the plant on top in a pot that drains well may be an ideal solution. Be sure your Money Tree has sandy soil as well to insure a long lifespan.
Partial sun will allow this grass-like plant to thrive. Placing this plant in the same room as the litter box is ideal, as Lilyturfwill remove excess ammonia from the air. If you make sure the soil stays moist, this wonderful plant will produce stems of white to lavender flowers during the spring and summer.
The Variegated Wax Plant will grace your home with beautiful white or purplish pink flowers. They thrive in indirect sunlight, so some shade is perfect for this potted vine plant. Watering this plant is a cinch since you can let the soil dry out between watering sessions. These hearty plants won’t miss you too much if you forget to water them and so make a wonderful addition to any home.
While you may get the creepy crawlies just reading the name, the Spider Plant is actually an unique indoor plant with it’s long green leaves accented by a white stripe down the center. If you don’t have a green thumb, this hearty variety may just be for you. These plants aren’t particular when it comes to light but do prefer a bit more shade than the others. They tend to drink up plenty of water during the summer months and nearly parch themselves during the winter. If you treat the Spider Plant nicely, you just might be rewarded with little beautiful white flowers.
If placed within your home, any of the plants on this list will help to improve overall air quality and add brightness and beauty. No matter if you love flowers or are just looking to add a touch of greenery to your home, there is something for everyone AND they are all easy to take care of!
Please be aware that all plants are not pet safe. If you want to find out if a particular plant is safe, the ASPCA has a great online database you can search through with plenty of pet-safe options.
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