We all agree that plants bring color and joy and that is why we tend to integrate them into many spaces in our home and even our workplaces, but we often overlook their ability to purify the air, as confirmed by a study from NASA.
Plants fulfill a very important function which is to purify the air: absorbing the CO2 and filtering other polluting substances while providing oxygen.
Although not all plants purify the air with the same efficiency.
In 1989, NASA carried out a study to determine which plants were the best to purify the air in an enclosed space based on the type of pollutants that are usually found in those spaces and on the capacity of each plant to achieve remove or minimize them.
Let’s not forget that NASA has a special interest in these matters in order to recycle the air in space facilities in a sustainable way both in space and in future bases either on the Moon or on Mars.
In this study, the ease with which they can be found was also taken into account for the selection of these plants in order to facilitate their use.
The most common pollutants were:
To this day the results of this study are still valid, highlighting the 10 plants that best fulfill this purifying function.
Some of them eliminate some substances better than others and it is advisable to use a variety of them to purify most of the contaminants.
Here we show you the 10 best plants that better filter pollutants according to a study carried out by NASA:
- 1 Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
- 2 Spatifilo (Spathiphyllum sp.)
- 3 Bamboo Palm or Chinese Palm (Raphis excelsa)
- 4 Mother-in-law’s tongue, tiger’s tongue, sansevierias, sword of Saint George (Sansevieria trifasciata)
- 5 Rubber tree (Ficus robusta)
- 6 Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus Lutescens)
- 7 Ribbon or malamadre (Chlorophytum comosum)
- 8 Trunk of Brazil (Dracaena fragrans)
- 9 English or poison ivy (Hedera helix)
- 10 Bamboo Palm
- 11 Maybe you need to buy one of these products
- 12 Other articles that may interest you
Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
This is a widely known silver and almost present in every home for its presence and for being a grateful plant with little demanding care.
As it is a resistant plant that requires little care and is large, its use extends to all kinds of places, from inside homes, patios, shopping centers, hotel halls, restaurants and all kinds of public spaces.
The temperature range in which it lives without problems is between 17 ºC. and 30 °C. only needing to be watered regularly, trying not to leave it without water for a long time.
This plant is effective in absorbing pollutants:
Spatifilo (Spathiphyllum sp.)
This plant comes from tropical America and blooms all year round.
It is a plant that requires light, but this must be indirect, since direct light can burn its leaves.
It stands out for its intense green leaves and large white flowers that surround its seeds.
They grow well in temperatures between 16 ºC. and 21 °C. recommending not to place them in the middle of drafts.
We are required to water it twice a week and keep its leaves moist with a sprayer.
It is a long-lived plant that needs to be transplanted, if possible, every year to a larger pot.
This plant is one of the best purifies, being able to filter the 5 pollutants from the list:
Bamboo Palm or Chinese Palm (Raphis excelsa)
It is a plant native to Asia and that can grow up to 3 meters tall outdoors.
Outdoors it should remain in the shade and indoors under indirect sunlight.
Its intense green leaves are arranged in the shape of a fan and its flowers are usually small although they normally only bloom if they are outdoors.
They should be watered abundantly in hot weather and less in cold weather.
Likewise in the hottest times we must keep its leaves moist by spraying them with a sprayer.
This plant will help us eliminate from the air:
Mother-in-law’s tongue, tiger’s tongue, sansevierias, sword of Saint George (Sansevieria trifasciata)
It is a plant of African / Asian origin with flat green leaves with transverse stripes that can measure between 30 cm and 120 cm long and between 2 cm 10 cm wide.
It is a plant that lives well with warm temperatures of between 16ºC. and 21°C. although it can perfectly resist extreme temperatures of up to 40ºC. and even -5ºC. as long as they are punctual.
It needs little care and moderate watering, and too abundant watering can be harmful, causing it to rot.
It will be convenient to transplant it once a year either to place it in a larger pot or in the same pot, renewing its soil.
As it is a plant with long and heavy leaves, they must have a good pot that can support the weight of the entire plant without danger of tipping over.
This is one of the best plants to purify the 5 pollutants mentioned in the study conducted by NASA:
Rubber tree (Ficus robusta)
It is a plant native to tropical areas of India and Asia with a thick central trunk that can occasionally branch out and from which large dark green leaves grow.
They resist hot climates well and even endure cold well as long as they do not get below 0ºC.
They will live well indoors with temperatures between 16ºC. and 21°C. needing little irrigation.
It is a plant that can grow quite a bit in a few years, so we should provide it with enough space as well as a good large and spacious pot.
It is a plant with high perspiration helping us to maintain an adequate level of humidity in the environment.
This plant is effective in removing from the air:
Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus Lutescens)
It is a plant native to Madagascar, although it adapts especially well in all types of areas and can grow considerably.
It is considered one of the best plants to have at home due to its great purifying effect in addition to maintaining the environment with an optimal humidity level.
It requires abundant light, although indirectly.
Its comfort temperature is between 18ºC. and 25°C. degrees being both exterior and interior although it can withstand temperatures of up to 7ºC. without problem.
It needs constant water although without too abundant irrigation.
Since it is a plant that perspires profusely, perspiring up to 1 liter for a 2-meter specimen, it is advisable to plant it in a hydroplanter to ensure that it does not run out of water at any time.
We must also periodically spray their leaves with a water spray so that they maintain an optimal level of hydration.
Areca palm will specifically eliminate the following contaminants:
and carbon monoxide (highly recommended when there are smokers at home).
Ribbon or malamadre (Chlorophytum comosum)
It is a plant native to South Africa, although we can find it almost anywhere.
It can live with temperatures between -3ºC. and 30°C. degrees being a plant that needs moderate light, being able to grow in shade or semi shade correctly.
Direct exposure to the sun can burn its leaves so we will try to place it near sunny areas but avoiding direct light.
They are plants that appreciate humidity, so it is common to place them both in bathrooms and kitchens where the environment is usually more humid.
We must water them between 2 and 3 times a week in hot seasons while it will only be necessary to water them 1 time in cold seasons .
This plant usually grows quickly with abundant roots so we will plant it in a wide and deep pot so that it can grow without problems.
Due to its great resistance it is ideal for people with little experience in plants, since it requires little care.
The tape is one of the plants that according to the NASA study helps us to purify, among other toxins and impurities, the following contaminants:
- Carbon monoxide
Trunk of Brazil (Dracaena fragrans)
Como indica su nombre esta planta es procedente de las zonas tropicales de Brasil.
Its stem is light brown with horizontal yellow circles along it, from which its deep green hanging leaves emerge with a yellow line that crosses them.
He likes warm temperatures between 22ºC. and 26°C. suffering below 14ºC. temperature below which it will not grow healthily.
It requires a lot of light but indirectly and an environment with a certain level of humidity, being necessary to spray its leaves twice a week in case of being in an excessively dry environment.
Usually we will water it only when the upper part of the substrate is dry, which in times of heat will be about 2 times a week and in times of cold every 12 more days or less.
It is a very vertical growth plant opening slightly to the sides, making it a good plant for small places as it does not need too much space.
As part of its growth as it reaches adulthood it will lose its inner leaves showing its stem.
It blooms on rare occasions and only from adulthood, which will arrive when it reaches approximately 2 meters in height.
This plant will reduce:
English or poison ivy (Hedera helix)
It is a climbing plant that can reach a considerable size, climbing almost any surface with springs or cracks to hold onto.
Its origin is located in the European forests, North Africa and the Asian coast.
Its leaves are used both to heal wounds, reduce varicose veins and even cellulite by containing tannins and salts through the preparation of ointments or plasters.
It is also used in the form of an infusion as an expectorant for the treatment of flu, colds or chronic bronchitis, alleviating the respiratory tract.
The collection of the leaves or even their fruits should be done before flowering
The fruits are also used for certain treatments, almost always for a topical application, although sometimes it can also be taken orally but in very low doses and under medical supervision, since it can act as a poison.
This may be the most complicated plant on this list to grow, since it prefers cold and humid environments, and it is advisable to keep it in a pot on the balcony.
This plant can reduce:
It is a plant native to China although over time it has spread throughout the world.
Due to its ease of adaptation to live in almost any climate, we can find it both indoors and in balconies and gardens, being able to withstand short frosts of up to -2ºC.
Due to its great perspiration it can act as a natural humidifier.
It is a plant that needs little care, although it does require soil rich in nutrients with abundant organic matter.
Its watering should not be especially abundant, even nothing happens if we ever miss watering it, for this reason it is an ideal plant for people a little confused.
The bamboo palm is one of the plants that according to NASA helps us purify
Maybe you need to buy one of these products
It is always good to have plants at home and more if they are some of those that NASA determined as the most effective to purify the air but their presence is not always enough to eliminate all the pollutants that may exist in the environment.
For this, some of these products can be useful:
Air purifiers to keep the air in your home free of viruses, fungi and bacteria for longer.
Humidifiers to increase the level of humidity in the room in case of dryness.
Domestic ozone generators to disinfect both spaces and fruit and vegetables.
Other articles that may interest you
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How to build a homemade air purifier
Where to place an air purifier?