House plants that can purify the air in your home

In 1989, NASA conducted a study to find ways to clean the air in space stations and published the first list of air-filtering plants. Plants are known for processing carbon dioxide, through photosynthesis, and releasing oxygen, but scientists discovered that certain plants are better at absorbing other gases and toxins found in the air. We share a selection of attractive plants that are known to be efficient at removing impurities from the air which will grow in your home.

The air we breathe is made up of mostly nitrogen (78%) and oxygen (21%) and a few other common gases, but it can also contain unhealthy chemicals such as benzene (found in plastic, tobacco smoke and synthetic fabrics), xylene (found in leather and paint but also vehicle exhausts) and ammonia (found in cleaners, floor waxes and fertilizers).

Air also contains suspended dust, spores and bacteria, as well as water.

The following air-purifying plants are effective in filtering harmful toxins and pollutants from the air.

English Ivy

This cascading beauty can become a hanging plant in your kitchen. It grows best with moist soil and direct sunlight each day.

Warning: Leaves are toxic if eaten so it should be kept away from pets and children.

Aloe Vera

A fast-growing decorative plant that can produce a soothing gel for your skin if you break the leaf in half.

Warning: Leaves are toxic if eaten so it should be kept away from pets and children.

Chinese Evergreen

This plant requires a bit of effort to provide the right growing conditions such as light, temperature and humidity. Despite being a bit difficult to grow, it’s an excellent plant for purifying indoor air.

Warning: Leaves are toxic if eaten so keep away from pets and children.

Boston Fern

This fern is a subtropical plant that will require a good amount of humidity to thrive. Once it grows, it’s a beautiful hanging decorative plant.

Spider Plant

Native to Africa, it’s a great hanging plant. This species is very easy to grow and it will flourish in a well-lit living room or bedroom.

Bamboo Palm

This plant thrives in shady indoor spaces so it’s a great addition to any bedroom or bathroom. Keep the leaves and soil moist (but not wet) and in indirect sunlight for a healthy plant.

Pet safe plants

Did you know that over 700 plants contain toxic substances that may harm dogs and cats if ingested.

Symptoms of poisoning can be very severe and can potentially be fatal.

If you’re concerned that your pet may have eaten something they shouldn’t you should seek veterinary advice.

MORE THAN pet insurance customers have 24 hour access to our freephone advice line vetfone, which is manned by qualified RCVS nurses.

If you’re looking to introduce plants into your home or garden, check out our A to Z of safe plants.

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