Living in Florida means dealing with high humidity and a potential list of high indoor air contaminants, including mold spores. Air quality is a serious issue and for years and years, people have used house plants as a way of cleaning indoor air.
Did you know that there is a list of plants approved by NASA to remove harmful chemicals from the air? Considered beneficial houseplants, here is the list:
Dracaena Janet Craig
Mass Cane/Corn Plant
It has been noted that all philodendron varieties as well as African Violets help filter out the air. As well, a recent study supports that the purple waffle plant (Hemigraphis alternataa), English ivy (Hedera Helix), variegated wax plant (Hoya cornosa), Asparagus fern (Asparagus densiflorus) and the Purple heart plant (Tradescantia pallida) proved to remove the most VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from the air.
However, there is a recent controversy surrounding the benefits of indoor plants in eliminating airborne contaminants. Some studies show that plants themselves emit VOCs. Fortunately, not all VOCs are toxic and most plant VOCs appear not to be non-toxic (at normal exposure levels). Also, it should be noted that mold can be attracted to soil and thus, release mold spores into the air. Always let your soil dry out thoroughly and check for signs of mold. Change soil often.
To answer our question, “Do house plants improve indoor air quality?”, the jury is still out. Nonetheless, it appears that the general consensus maintains that introducing common indoor plants, especially the above noted, into indoor spaces can significantly improve the quality of indoor air.