What is phytoremediation? It is the use of plants to clean up soil, air and water contaminated with hazardous chemicals. Certain plants, known as hyper-accumulators, can accumulate, biodegrade, and otherwise remove contaminants from the environment. This includes carbon dioxide and VOCs. Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, sneak their way into your house from plastics, fabrics, pesticides, cigarettes, laundry fabric softener, and carpet cleaner. That new mattress you bought? It is also off gassing VOCs. The reality is, airborne chemicals are present in your daily life. However, adding a few indoor houseplants can help improve air quality.
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These are some of the easiest house plants to care for. They are hardy, and require only indirect sunlight.
Pollutants removed: formaldehyde and xylene
There are over 40 different kinds of Dracaena plants. They have long, wide leaves, and come in different shades of green, with some variation or white detailing. Please note this beautiful plant can also be toxic to dogs and cats, so choose something else if you have pets in the house.
Pollutants removed: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene
Ficus / Weekping Fig
This low maintenance houseplant does well with indirect light and make sure to let the soil dry out between waterings.
Pollutants Removed: benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene
Peace Lily plants are small, but just as powerful at cleaning the air. These plants are very easy to grow and flower during the summer. Be aware, these guys will contribute pollen and a floral scent to the air. Keep in the shade and keep the soil moist, without overwatering.
Pollutants Removed: ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene
These lovely ferns do best with indirect light, and a slightly more humid environment. Keep the soil moist, and soak once a month.
Pollutants Removed: formaldehyde and xylene
One of the hardiest indoor plants, this plant prefers drier conditions and some sun, with occasional watering.
Pollutants Removed: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene
These fast-growers can reach anywhere from 4-12’ high, and thrive in full sun or bright light.
Pollutants Removed: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene
One of the most useful succulents, Aloe Vera leaves contain a clear liquid which is full of vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, and other compounds with antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties.
Pollutant removed: formaldehyde