Spider Plants for Inexpensive Air Purification

When I first moved to Kentucky, I was living in a old apartment with synthetic everything and a freeway right outside my bedroom window. Being overwhelmed with the poor indoor air quality and too broke to buy an electic air purifier, I purchased my first spider plant. Three years later, after many moves and lots of neglect, my first spider plant is still with me and a companion to several more that I have aquired that clean my air and add a touch of nature to my home.

Why did I choose spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum)? Well first, they are cheap and easy to find. Second, in my experience, they low-maintenance and nearly impossible to kill. While I was attending Massage School, working full time, and dating the crazy person who became my husband, I was basically never home. So my spider plants were extremely neglected, left in a fairly dark house and almost never watered. And they might have looked pretty ugly for a while, but they are alive and flourishing today. But the best reason for owning a spider plant is that there are numerous studies that prove that they contribute to good indoor air quality. Not only do they eliminate carbon dioxide like all plants, but they remove other toxins including benzene, formaldehyde, trichlorethylene...and that's important if you're aiming for a healthy home.

Now if the spider plant isn't your style, there are other house plants that filter indoor air as well. The list includes (with links to wikipedia):

English Ivy (Hedera helix)
Golden pothos or Devil's ivy (Scindapsus aures or Epipremnum aureum)
Peace lily (Spathiphyllum 'Mauna Loa')
Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)
Bamboo palm or reed palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii)
Snake plant or mother-in-law's tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii')
Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron oxycardium, syn. Philodendron cordatum)
Selloum philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum, syn. Philodendron selloum)
Elephant ear philodendron (Philodendron domesticum)
Red-edged dracaena (Dracaena marginata)
Cornstalk dracaena (Dracaena fragans 'Massangeana')
Janet Craig dracaena (Dracaena deremensis 'Janet Craig')
Warneck dracaena (Dracaena deremensis 'Warneckii')
Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)
Gerbera Daisy or Barberton daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
Pot Mum or Florist's Chrysanthemum (Chrysantheium morifolium)
Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

NASA recommends 15-18 plants to purify the air of an 1800 square foot home. So go out and get some and relish in the green foilage and clean air.

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