NASA's Top 10 House Plants for Removing Indoor Air Pollution

NASA researchers prove that everyday house plants absorb dangerous toxins and work to purify indoor air. Both old and new structures contain indoor air pollutants capable of affecting our health. Some of the body's most common reactions to indoor toxins include headaches, sinus complaints, allergies, coughing and fatigue. NASA scientists have classified as many as 50 house plants capable of improving indoor air quality and for removing benzene, carbon monoxide and formaldehyde from the air.

Areca Palm

This is a type of palm tree originally from Madagascar. It has many nicknames such as Butterfly Palm, Golden Cane Palm, Yellow Palm and Madagascar Palm. With minimal care, the Areca Palm is a fast grower and prefers a humid environment much like that found in the tropics.

Peace Lily

The Peace Lily is is one of the most popular house plants that requires little care. Although the Peace Lily thrives in low light and humid environments, it will tolerate and accommodate a variety of atmospheres. It is also popular to grow Peace Lily by placing it in glass containers filled with water and beta fish.

Dwarf Date Palm

The Dwarf Date Palm is a hardy palm tree that does well in a sunny, draft-free location, with limited watering. The base of the tree has sharp shoots that will cut the skin upon contact. While the Dwarf Date Palm is an excellent air purifier, it is not recommended in homes with small children or highly active pets.

Boston Fern

The Boston fern is an elegant fern most often used as a hanging basket. It's easy to grow and thrives when provided plenty of indirect light and a lightly moist soil. Spider mites and whitefly are the primary pests that can be eliminated by spraying it periodically with an organic soap spray.

Dracaena

The Dracaena, or Janet Craig, was found by the NASA Clean Air Study to remove formaldehyde. The wide leaves of the Dracaena collect dust and should be wiped clean frequently with a clean damp cloth. These plants enjoy medium indirect light and moist soil.

Ficus Alii

The Ficus Alii is an insect resistant house plant that requires low to moderate indirect light and moist soil that is allowed to dry briefly on occasion. The Ficus Alii produces a latex sap when cut; therefore, it is recommended to wear gloves and protective eye wear when pruning. Additionally, individuals allergic to latex should avoid direct contact with Ficus Alii sap.

Rubber Plant

The Rubber Plant is an attractive plant that grows well indoors and can last for many years. It prefers medium to low light with a fairly moist soil that's allowed to dry in between watering. This plant is a type of Ficus and produces latex sap when cut. Wear protection when handling the Rubber Plant, especially if you are prone to latex allergies.

Philodendron

Philodendron is one of the most popular house plants that comes in climbing and stationary varieties. The large leaves of the philodendron collect dust and should be kept clean by wiping with a damp cloth regularly. Avoid over-watering and allow it to dry between watering.

Bamboo Palm

This is another variety of palm that may begin with a thick canopy of leaves. Upon acclimation to a new environment, it is natural for the canopy of leaves to thin out. The Bamboo Palm, also called "Reed Palm", thrives with relatively bright indirect light and moist soil. Avoid allowing the soil to become wet as this will invite both pests and disease.

Lady Palm

The Lady Palm is one of the hardiest of indoor palms. This plant is an easy, but slow grower. Its overall height can be as much as 14 feet with an expanse equal in diameter. The leaves are elegantly rich with a delicate pattern that benefits from wiping occasionally with a dampened cloth. Appropriately named, the Lady Palm is unique in beauty.

Keywords: NASAs top plants, top house plants, plants purify air

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Patricia Hill is a freelance writer who contributes to several sites and organizations, including eHow, Associated Content, Break Studios and various private sectors. She also contributes to the online magazine, Orato.com.

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