Houseplants are used to add visual interest to your home. However, they also improve air quality and eliminate pollutants that come from common household products. Houseplants do this by absorbing air pollution through microscopic openings in the plant leaves called stomata. As pollutants move through the plant toward its roots, they are broken down by the natural biological process of the plant.
Peace lilies, Spathiphyllum Mauna Loa, are a favorite flowering houseplant because they produce fragrant white flowers in little sunlight. However, peace lilies are also known for their air purifying qualities. They have dark green foliage that grows directly from the soil. In addition, these are sturdy plants that are not easily damaged. The University of Minnesota Extension lists the peace lily as a houseplant that effectively cleans the air. Peace lilies grow between 1 and 4 feet tall and will tolerate low light and cool temperatures. In addition, peace lilies prefer moist soil.
English ivy, Hedera helix, is used both indoors and out. According to the University of Florida Extension, it is one of the few temperate zone plants that can be used as a foliage plant indoors. It features dark green foliage that is popular in hanging baskets because of the plants trailing habits. However, English ivy is also an air-purifying plant. According to Colorado State University, English ivy is also effective to removing benzene pollutants from the air. These pollutants include inks, oils and plastic pollutants as well as rubber, dye, detergents, gasoline, pharmaceuticals, tobacco smoke and synthetic fibers. English ivy will grow in a variety of conditions. However, it prefers indirect sunlight and moist soil.
Gerbera daisies, Gerbera jamesonii, was first introduced in the U.S. in the 1920s and has been a spring favorite ever since. These plants offer brilliant and showy blooms and green foliage. And although most gerberas are grown for their flowers, the University of Illinois Extension states that this houseplant is also an effective combatant of trichloroethylene, which is used in adhesives, lacquers, paints, varnishes and printing inks. However, gerbera daisy also eliminates carbon monoxide, found in tobacco smoke, fuel-fired furnaces, gas-water heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves, from the air. Gerbera daisies need direct sunlight and moist soil.