12 Indoor Plants That Will Clean The Air In Your Home

17/04/2015 3:09 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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F.Dmitri/Flickr
There was this ultra fine rain drops floating in the air. So the waterdrops could stay where they landed. This creates these beautiful drops on the plants. I got a few very clean results, almost as if they were shot in a studio with perfect plants. I like it!

If you think your home provides an adequate refuge against India's alarmingly increasing rate of air pollution, think again. According the World Health Organisation, indoor air is the second biggest killer after blood pressure in India, claiming over 1.3 million lives every year.

One of the simplest, cost-effective and greenest ways of combating this problem is selecting the right kinds of plants that will manufacture clean air inside your home. Plants that boast a high transpiration rate — the rate at which they release moisture and absorb carbon dioxide and other gaseous elements — are an ideal investment (such as the bamboo palm), as are plants that produce oxygen by night, and low amounts of carbon dioxide by day (like the snake plant, also known as mother in law's tongue).

The CEO of Paharpur Business Centre (allegedly Delhi's greenest building), Kamal Meattle went through NASA's research on the best indoor plants. Apart from the three that adorn his office and home (snake plant, money plant and areca palm), here are others he recommends using his own personal findings as well as NASA's research for any home.

  • Lady Palm (Rhapis Excelsa)
    kaiyanwong223/Flickr
    One of the easiest houseplants to care for, Lady Palm is also highly resistant to attacks by insects. It grows slowly, and is one of the best plants to improve indoor air quality.
  • King Of Hearts (Homalomena Wallisii)
    douneika/Flickr
    Effective in its removal of ammonia from indoor air, this plant is more commonly used in offices than homes.
  • Areca Palm (Dypsis Lutescens)
    Ahmad Fuad Morad/Flickr
    By releasing copious amount of moisture in the air, areca palm absorbs several chemicals by drawing in the surrounding air and breaks it down, making it a useful plant to keep indoors.
  • Janet Craig (Dracaena Deremensis)
    ecos de pedra/Flickr
    A tough plant, this tolerates dim-lit areas and neglect with ease. It is also reputably the best amongst its kind for removing chemical toxins indoors, and can live for decades if well-maintained.
  • Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia Camilla)
    Fayes4Art/Flickr
    This plant thrives near windows where it can avail bright light, but can lose its colours in dark settings. It helps remove xylene and tolulene — inhalent drugs from paint thinners that can cause severe neurological damage.
  • Elephant Ears (Philodendron Domesticum)
    Lyle58/Flickr
    This plant prefers warmth, humidity and indirect light. Its leaves that resemble elephant ears (hence the name) lend a visual appeal, and it is very effective in removing formaldehyde.
  • Silver Queen Or Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema Crispum)
    Ahmad Fuad Morad/Flickr
    Known for thriving in low light conditions, the Chinese evergreen is not particularly conducive to temperatures lower than 13 degrees celcius. It helps in removal of chemical vapours from indoor environments.
  • Money Plant (Epipremnum Aureum)
    gorgeoux/Flickr
    Arguably the easiest to grow out of all house plants, Money plant grows quickly and is highly resistant to insect infections. It does not lose it's colour when kept in dark settings and its gold/ cream splashed heart-shaped leaves lend a pleasant visual appeal. It tackles formaldehyde with a vengeance.
  • Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea Seifrizii)
    lukestehr/Flickr
    Often picked over areca palms because of their heavy resistance against insects, bamboo palms add a calm, peaceful feeling to any environment. Their high transpiration rates makes them a boon for dry environments as they pump a lot of moisture in the air. They've also been verified as one of the best plants to remove benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from indoor air.
  • English Ivy (Hedera Helix)
    Sunchild57 Photography./Flickr
    This vigorous climber - it's aerial roots can attach themselves to any surface doesn't fare too well in extreme temperatures. It requires an ample amount of light, and is particularly effective in removing formaldehyde.
  • Syngonium (Syngonium Podophyllum)
    kanoak/Flickr
    These plants look particularly attractive when arranged in hanging baskets and is particularly helping in cleaning up formaldehyde.
  • Mother-in-law's Tongue Or Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)
    Michael Khor/Flickr
    The best possible place to store this plant is in the bedroom as it converts carbon dioxide into oxygen at night, and releases relatively low amounts of CO2 during the day.

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