Resource Guide on House Plants - Air-Filtering Plants
Plants, when exposed to an environment where mildew and molds are abundant, tend to excrete natural substances that can subdue mold spores. The reaction is the same when a particular plant is exposed to air that is contaminated with formaldehyde, benzene or xylene, because the chemical structure of such pollutants can be considered similar to mildew and airborne molds. As a result, the plant could break down the chemical composition of the said pollutants, which eventually results to cleaner air.
Although majority of the plants can produce oxygen, not all of the plants are considered good ???air filters'. In fact, there are only a few plants that are considered as of the moment. Efficient ???air purifiers' are those plants that are capable of handling greater amounts of air, which also indicates that the higher the transpiration rate of a particular plant, the better it is at purifying air from the aforementioned pollutants.
The following plants are among the few that are considered as good ???air filters':
Chlorophytum comosum (Spider Plant) is categorized under the lily family and is known for its evergreen leaves, which almost look like grass. It is commonly used as an ornamental hanging plant. It originated from the tropical areas of South Africa. Spider plants are extremely easy to grow and can withstand cold temperature.
Hedera helix (English Ivy) is a climber and could cling to the nearest wall, tree or any other vertical surface. In areas where vertical surfaces are not available, the English Ivy tends to grow horizontally and thus, could serve as a ground cover. The English ivy originated most likely from Europe and some parts of the Western Asia.
Chamaedorea sefritzii (Bamboo/ Reed Palm) is a popular houseplant that grows approximately 7 feet tall. Its appearance is almost like Bamboo, but it is a native to Central US. It is highly popular in places with high climate because it is capable of providing shade.
Aglaonema modestum (Chinese Evergreen) is another houseplant that is perfect for planters and ground covers. It originated from Northern Thailand and Southern China.
Spathiphyllum `Mauna Loa' (Peace Lily) is characterized by dark green leaves and spade-shaped flowers. It is perfect to grow in tropical areas because it requires low maintenance. It originated from Central and South America.
Philodendron domesticum (Elephant Ear Philodendron) has glossy spade-shaped leaves that are usually 20 inches long. It is also known as Spadeleaf Philodendron.
Ficus benjamina (Weeping Fig) is a South Asian and Australian indigenous plant that can grow up to 30 meters. It is characterized by pulled-down branches with glossy leaves. The Weeping Fig can thrive in temperate areas.
Dracaena deremensis (Lemon Lime) is a tropical plant from East Africa that is well-suited to home conditions. It is characterized by long glossy leaves that are arranged in an upright form.
Dracaena marginata (Red-Edged Dracaena) is another tropical plant that can thrive in environments with low light.
Epipiremnum aureum (Golden Pothos) originated from Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. It has prominent green heart-shaped leaves and can thrive in conditions where there is medium indirect light.
Sansevieria trifasciata (Snake Plant) came from West Africa and was formerly used to create bowstrings. It is a popular ornamental plant because it can tolerate low light levels and irregular watering.