Indoor plants are awesome. As we all know, all plants are essential for life – they help to purify the air that we breathe. Having indoor plants in your life is healthy – for both your physical and emotional well-being.
But did you know that some indoor plants are better for our health than others? Some plants work harder at cleaning the air within our living and sleeping spaces. Some plants filter and remove toxins and pollutants better than others – chemicals such as ammonia, formaldehyde and benzene which have been associated with negative health effects such as headaches and allergies.
In addition to filtering the air we breathe, indoor plants humidify and add moisture to the air – helping to prevent dry throats and nosebleeds, soothe sinuses, and relieve dry skin.
Plants brighten up the home or office, they bring the outdoors inside and for some, they provide a living thing to talk to when others are not around!!
Using NASA’s Clean Air Study as a guide, we have put together a list of the best (aka healthiest) plants available in Australia for purifying the air in and enlivening your home or office space. Some are long time classics and stalwarts in the home and have been around forever(think peace lily and devil’s ivy), while others (looking at you fiddle leaf fig) are experiencing a huge surge in popularity in current interior trends. All, however, will leave you feeling refreshed and breathing easier in your indoor space.
Our top ten indoor houseplants for health are:
Mother-In-Law’s Tongue (or Snake Plant)
An incredibly resilient and tough plant for purifying our internal spaces, the Mother-in-law’s Tongue is perfect for anyone lacking the gardening gene or known for their inability to keep indoor plants alive. The striking looking leaves are super adept at filtering out a formaldehyde, commonly found in cleaning products and they also works overtime absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into our living space.
This attractive, slightly old-fashioned indoor green friend has been shown to clean air and improve our living spaces by filtering the toxins formaldehyde and xylene from the air that we breathe. Loves even the coldest of temperatures as long as it has light.
Fiddle Leaf Fig
Currently top of the wish list and the most popular indoor plant in Australia according to Instagram and Pinterest, Fiddle Leaf Figs have large glossy luscious leaves which filter toxins and chemicals and create a welcoming touch of the outdoors. Beware – they don’t like direct sunlight and can be temperamental.
This popular and trusty, easy to care for indoor plant is not only elegant with its green and white display but is also great for removing chemicals such as ammonia and acetone from the air – a carcinogen commonly found in nail polish and paint. The Peace Lily thrives without too much attention but best to keep this one away from your fury friends.
A practical addition to your indoors, this succulent not only purifies and filters the air but also provides us with healing properties. Aloe Vera’s juicy interior gel-like juices are known for the amazing things it can do for kitchen burns, sunburn, minor cuts and dry skin conditions. Simply snap off a piece, open it up and rub the affected area in aloe gel.
Monstera Deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant)
This household favourite originating in the tropics just loves humidity and natural light so will flourish and grow well in bathrooms where is can soak up your post-shower mist and condensation.
String of Pearls
Another temperamental being that requires lots of TLC and attention but looks amazing when cascading from shelves and higher places in the home and office. Lots of drainage, sporadic watering and indirect sunlight will help keep these delicate and photogenic green friends happy.
Devil’s Ivy is anything but a devil. Attractive, luscious, easy to grow and propagate, this indoor favourite is a toxin-obliterating green machine which loves to filter and clean the air, removing nasty toxins like xylene, benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.
Keep away from pets though – it can be toxic to our furry friends.
Weeping Fig (Ficus)
These luscious and often large, tree-like plants love being indoors and are work overtime to filter out chemicals such as formaldehyde and xylene from the air. Unfortunately, like Devil’s Ivy and Peace Lily’s, they are not pet friendly so keep them out of reach of furry friends.
This evergreen beauty with its massive array of green foliage helps keep the home free of toxins like formaldehyde and xylene and improves humidity – particularly beneficial for those who suffer with dry skin or dry noses.