Case: “Death by Furniture”. Suspect: Toxic chemicals like benzene or formaldehyde emitted from furnishing like carpets and cabinets. This sounds like a plot straight out of an episode of Sherlock, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, as crazy as this sounds, indoor air pollution is a very real hazard. Although actual death by poisoning is unlikely, these harmful chemicals can still contribute to other pretty nasty health conditions like asthma. Evidently, indoor air pollution is an insidious threat that should not be overlooked. Nevertheless, there is no need to start panicking and chucking every piece of suspicious-looking furniture down the rubbish chute. Fortunately, a simple way to purify the air in your home exists – indoor plants!
Besides sprucing up your house, indoor plants are a great way to clean the air in your home. Compared to air purifiers, indoor plants won’t take up as much electricity and also have the added benefit of adding a touch of nature to your home!
“Alright, I want to try indoor planting! What should I plant, though?” We understand. With the vast variety of indoor plants available in the market, choosing the best plant for your home may be a little daunting. Read on for a list of 11 indoor plants you can consider!
1. Money Plant – Get Rich with Fresh Air
Asian households would not find this plant foreign. The Money Plant is typically planted as it is thought to boost our fengshui energy. However, did you know that apart from good fengshui, the money plant is also a great indoor plant to purify air?
At night, plants typically produce carbon dioxide as photosynthesis stops and respiration is the dominant activity. Curiously, the Money Plant does not adhere to this typical process. Even without sunlight, this neat indoor plant continues to produce oxygen at night! This means fresh air for you through the night!
In addition, the Money Plant is also able to remove pollutants and chemicals from the air. This includes chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde that can be toxic in large quantities.
However, the Money Plant is toxic to animals and small children if ingested. Hence, if you own pets or have young children, this might not be the best indoor plant to choose. Another point to note is that the Money Plant has to be watered every week or so. While this is relatively low-maintenance compared to indoor plants that demand daily watering, it is still an important point to consider for busy bees!
2. Snake Plant – Low Maintenance Indoor Plants
Also known as the Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, the snake plant is a hardy succulent that thrives in dry conditions. If you’re generally a busy person with lots on your plate, you’ll want indoor plants that don’t need a lot of tending to. The Snake Plant is pretty much a great option. In fact, the Snake Plant is even said to thrive on neglect. If you’re looking for low maintenance indoor plants, look no further than the Snake Plant!
Like the Money Plant, the Snake Plant is one of the few indoor plants that is capable of night-time oxygen production. Other key features include the ability to remove toxins like benzene, formaldehyde, xylene and toluene!
Although its name might evoke fear-inducing imageries of slimy snakes, or even more frightening images of a strict mother-in-law, the snake plant is anything but scary. Rather, this is one of the more aesthetically pleasing indoor plants. Its tall firm leaves immediately lend an air of sophistication to the room its placed in.
3. Aloe Vera – More Than Just Skincare!
Although more well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties, did you know that Aloe Vera is also an amazing air purifier? Aloe Vera is one of the indoor plants that are able to purify the air of formaldehyde and benzenes. These harmful chemicals are found in floor finishes and detergents in our homes.
Moreover, the Aloe Vera plant is also pretty low maintenance and easy to grow. You don’t have to have a pair of green thumbs to successfully cultivate healthy aloe vera! Do note that Aloe Vera plants need lots of sun to grow well. So, be sure to place your aloe vera at a spot that frequently receives a healthy dose of warm sunlight!
4. Spider Plant – Creepin’ Up on Toxins
If you have pets, a main concern you’d have about indoor planting would probably be about whether the indoor plants are toxic or not. Some indoor plants are toxic to animals and can be dangerous if ingested. Hence, it’s understandably important that you choose indoor plants that are non-toxic to animals
The Spider Plant is one such houseplant that is entirely safe to animals. Moreover, it’s incredible resilient, making it perfect for amateur gardeners! Toxins that the Spider Plant purifies include carbon monoxide and xylene.
5. Chrysanthemum – Flower Power!
More of a flower person? Chrysanthemums are a great choice of indoor plants. Not only do they remove harmful chemicals like ammonia and benzene, chrysanthemums also add a burst of colours to your home. Talk about killing two birds with one stone!
However, if you’ve never had your hand at indoor planting before, chrysanthemums may not be the best choice of indoor plants. This is because chrysanthemums can be pretty difficult to grow, even for seasoned gardeners! Important pointers to take note of include: ensuring a good airflow, indirect sunlight and watering with warm water only. If there were a list of picky indoor plants, chrysanthemums would most likely be crowned the champion. Nonetheless, the effort does pay off in the form of aesthetically pleasing flowers that not only soothe the soul but also protect you from harmful chemicals.
6. Peace Lily – Get a Peace of Mind with Clean Air
Alcohol, acetone, benzene: the Peace Lilly is great at removing all these toxins. Besides being an effective air purifier, the Peace Lilly is also easy on the eye. One only needs to look at the flower to understand how it got its name. Its characteristic white flowers evoke a sense of calm and serenity.
New to indoor planting? Peace Lilies are a great plant to start off with. Hardy by nature, it is one of the few indoor plants that tolerates neglect well. Moreover, it grows well in dim light and humidity. It’s great for growing in dark corners of your house.
Unfortunately, the Peace Lily is toxic to animals and humans. Be sure to keep them well away from children or pets.
7. Gerbera Daisy – Not Just a Pretty Plant
Often used to decorate gardens, there’s more to the Gerbera Daisy than just aesthetic value. In particular, the Gerbera Daisy is able to produce high levels of oxygen at night! It is also able to remove harmful toxins like benzene and trichloroethylene. Moreover, as this plant does not take up much space, it can be placed beside your bed for a better night’s sleep.
Heads up! If you’re looking for indoor plants that are easy to grow, the Gerbera Daisy might not be for you. This plant needs to be watered regularly and the soil must be kept moist. It’s a lot more work than your common indoor plants for sure, but it’s definitely worth it when you see the flowers blooming brightly!
8. Areca Palm – Indoor Plants That Are Safe for Your Pet
Looking for indoor plants that are non-toxic to your pet dog or cat? Areca Palms are a great choice! This mighty plant effectively removes toxins like benzene, carbon monoxide and xylene, without posing any harm at all to our furry friends.
Indoor planting can be a rather expensive hobby, especially if you get more “atas” houseplants, so to speak. Fortunately, the Areca Palm is relatively inexpensive. It is also quite easy to care for, making it great for beginners!
9. Rubber Plant – Say Goodbye to Mould!
Are you plagued by mould spores in the air? Rubber Plants are one of the indoor plants that are able to eliminate these annoying spores from the air. In addition, Rubber Plants can also remove harmful bacteria from the air.
Thriving in dim light, it’s easy to place a Rubber Plant in your house. That dark corner of your living room. In a part of your room where the sunlight doesn’t reach. Along the windowless halls. You’re free to choose a location without having to consider the amount of sunlight available.
However, these plants can grow up to 2 metres long in the right condition. Hence, it is important to make sure you have enough space to accommodate this plant before buying it!
10. Bamboo Palm – A Tropical Vacation in Your Home
If you’re looking for indoor plants that are effective at removing benzene and formaldehyde from the air, why not consider the Bamboo Palm? This plant is a powerhouse at removing all these harmful toxins from the air. Besides cleaning your air, the Bamboo Palm is also a great way to decorate your house. Its sleek canes and lush green leaves transform your home into a space reminiscent of a tropical getaway. We may not be able to travel now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring the vacation to your home!
11. Boston Fern – Indoor Plants that Thrive in Humidity
Singapore is humid. Thankfully, indoor plants that thrive in humidity exist! The Boston Fern is one such plant that grows best in humid environments.
Like the other indoor plants listed here, the Boston Fern is also superb at removing formaldehyde from the air. Since formaldehyde is found in so many things – plastic bags, tissues, adhesives – making it pretty much inevitable, investing in a Boston Fern would be a wise decision.
Besides its air purifying properties, the Boston Fern is also visually pleasing. Typically grown as a hanging plant, you can hang this cute houseplant on your walls. Goodbye to boring plain walls, hello innovative home decor!
Indoor plants are a great way to bring nature into your home. Beyond pleasing the eye, indoor plants can also benefit your health by purifying the air. Your home should be your safe haven – you should be safe from all sorts of harm, including invisible and unnoticeable air pollution. Indoor plants are a smart addition to ensure the air you breathe is clean.
Do you have any indoor plants? Share your indoor planting experiences with us in the comments!
Also, here are some additional lifestyle tips and articles in Singapore for better everyday living.