In California and much of the nation, it seems that wildfires are almost a given each year, especially toward the end of a hot summer, and this summer is definitely hot. Even if you live in an area that’s not particularly prone to fires, they can cause bad outdoor and indoor air quality for 100s of miles.
Of course fires aren’t the only indoor air pollutants around. Carpet, upholstery, and dust can carry any number of allergens and sometimes even pathogens. While we can’t do much about outdoor air quality, other than encourage you to wear an N95 mask, there are ways to take control of your indoor air quality.
The can’t be beat air purifying tactic
We aren’t going to try to tell you that plants will scrub all the pollutants out of your home’s air. The best way to do that is with an air purifier for each room or open area of your home. Still, you can help your air purifiers out with some added greenery. Plus, plants make for inexpensive decor, unless you go too exotic.
Best air purifying plants
Personally, I don’t have a lot of luck with flowering plants, ore really any plants. For those with more of a green thumb than me (probably every reader of this blog), there are some air purifying plants that are both a breath of fresh air and colorful.
If your home needs a pop of color, a Barberton daisy is bright and beautiful, but it also helps clear many toxins from the air. The Barberton needs lots of light and consistently moist, but not wet, soil.
If you have a good bright bathroom, an English Ivy is a beautiful addition and a great air purifying plant. English Ivys are both beautiful and will help you keep the bathroom clean. They help fight both mold and fecal matter.
If you’re like me, and can go way too many days before remembering to water your plants, a snake plant is one of the top air purifying plants. Sometimes called the Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, the hearty snake plant releases its oxygen at night. It also helps remove pollutants such as formaldehyde and benzene. The versatile Mother-In-Law’s Tongue can thrive in a variety of conditions, just be sure not to over water it.
Kimberly Queen Fern
If you’re good about remembering to water your plants, the Kimberly Queen Fern is similar to its cousin the Boston Fern, but can survive with a bit less water. Still, the Kimberly Queen fern does need regular misting and damp soil. It can help remove formaldehyde and alcohols from the air.
Great for low light and known for removing formaldehyde from the air, the bamboo palm is a delicate looking yet somewhat hearty plant. Don’t let it dry out and you should be fine.
Best pet friendly plant
A spider plant is of the best plants for purifying a room is also one of the easiest to grow. Unlike most air purifying plants, the Spider Plants are pet friendly, meaning if you have a dog or cat that nibbles on greenery, there’s no risk of poison. Spider Plants aren’t exactly immortal, but it’s tough to kill. In fact, spider plants keep reproducing with little baby “spiders,” that you can either plant elsewhere or give to friends. For a boho vibe, hang a Spider Plant from a ceiling hook with a macrame hanger.
Another hearty plant, the Chinese Evergreen will help fight indoor air pollution. Best of all, the Chinese Evergreen, as the name implies, is tough to kill. They come in several varieties. They can survive almost any light condition and because they’re slow growing, the Chinese Evergreen will never get sloppy and out of control.
The Weeping Fig, or as more commonly known, the ficus plant, is great for clearing the air of formaldehyde, xylene and toluene. With a trunk that wraps around itself, the Weeping Fig looks almost like a work of art. In fact, they are often used as bonsai trees. They’re sometimes used in While it can thrive under several light conditions, they are fast growers and need to be regularly repotted.
Put a Peace Lily near an attached garage to help remove carbon monoxide. Peace Lilies are rather finicky. They need indirect light and regular watering. The best thing, though, is that they tell you when the growing conditions aren’t right. If they’re getting too much light, they yellow. If the soil is dry, they droop.