If you’ve ever taken Science classes, you’ve probably heard of photosynthesis — a process where plants use the energy they get from sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water to sugar and oxygen. Hey, if it weren’t for plants, there would probably be no oxygen left in the air.
The best part? Some plants have also been scientifically proven to help purify indoor air, too. Here are five of our favourite houseplants which will (literally) give your homes a breath of fresh air!
#1: Peace lily (Scientific name: Spathiphyllum)
They may not be real lilies, but the best thing about them is that it they’re super easy to take care of. All peace lilies need to survive and bloom is to be put in the shade and to be watered weekly. It even droops when it’s “thirsty”. Perfect for even those of us who don’t have green thumbs!
It’s more than just a pretty plant, too — a NASA study even suggests that this plant tops the list of houseplants in removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, toluene and xylene.
#2: Chinese evergreen (Scientific name: Aglaonema Crispum ‘Deborah’)
The Chinese evergreen is considered to be one of the “easiest houseplants” — they thrive in low light, warm, humid conditions and don’t need to be watered very often, either. Under the right conditions, they even produce red berries and blooms similar to that of the peace lily. They’re also great at filtering a garden variety of air pollutants.
The only thing you’ll need to watch out for is if the leaves turn brown. That’s a sign that the plant needs more water. If this happens, all you’ll need to do is use a bottle spray and mist the leaves for a quick fix.
#3: Snake plant (Scientific name: Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)
Though this plant might need a bit more care — it needs window light (at the very least) besides a weekly watering — it makes up for it with its ability to purify the air by effectively removing VOCs.
Also, if you’re looking for an oxygen boost while you sleep, put a couple of these plants (six to eight waist-level plants per person) in your bedroom, too. These plants, known as mother-in-law’s tongue, are known to absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen at night.
#4: Money plant (Scientific name: Epipremnum aureum)
Here’s another plant that requires little care, effectively removes indoor pollutants and is attractively leafy. This forgiving plant has a variety of names, too, including golden pothos, hunter’s robe, and even devil’s vine or devil’s ivy because it is near-impossible to “kill”.
Given the right support, money plants can grow up to 66 feet (20m). Overwatering this plant is a no-no, too, as you’ll be left with a case of root rot by the end of it!
#5: Song of India (Scientific name: Dracaena reflexa ‘Variegata’)
What sets this particular houseplant apart from the rest on this list is its’ look — and we’re not just talking about the striking white stripes along the edges of the leaves of the Warneck dracaena. It could potentially reach a height of 12 feet (3.6m)!
If space isn’t a concern in your home, you’d definitely want to give this blade-like, easy-to-care tropical plant a shot. It grows even in the absence of direct sunlight and is known to help combat pollutants commonly associated with varnishes and oils.