Step Up Your House Plant Game

If I see another succulent terrarium or cactus planter I'm going to lose it. At some point succulents and cacti became known as the plants to have amongst the hipster set. They were deemed cute, easy to care for, and, for some reason, very cool. Other than adding a tiny bit of green to a space, there isn't much more to them. You may be thinking: "Do you really expect a houseplant to do more than just look cute?"

The answer: absolutely! In 1989 NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America conducted a study to find the best way to purify the air of toxins in space stations. The resulting study compiled a list of plants that could absorb a combination of benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toulene, and/or ammonia. That's right, succulent suckers, there's a whole list of non-succulent or cactus houseplants that can remove cancer causing, sometimes coma inducing, toxins from the air and produce oxygen in exchange for C02.

Here are my personal favorite toxin absorbing plants that are just as easy to care for as any succulent or cactus:

Red Edge Dracaena  (Dracaena Cincta)

The Look: Colorful variegated fringe. Looks good in any space that needs a little drama.

Care: Water weekly to keep soil moderately moist. Loves bright light. Poisonous to dogs and cats if consumed.

Filters: Benzene, Formaldehyde, Trichloroethylene, Xylene, and Toulene

Devil's Ivy (Epipremnum Aureum)

The Look: Lush jungle vibes. Works in just about any home. Let it go wild and crawl all over the house, or trim it up to keep it in check.

Care: Water when the soil feels dry. Needs indirect sunlight and grows well in low light. You really can't kill this one. Poisonous to dogs and cats if consumed.

Filters: Benzene, Formaldehyde, and Trichloroethylene 

English Ivy (Hedera Helix)

The Look: Classic & timeless crawler. Fits well in a traditional or formal looking home.
Care: Water weekly to keep soil moderately moist. Needs indirect sunlight or partial shade. Poisonous to dogs and cats if consumed.
Filters: Benzene, Formaldehyde, Trichloroethylene, Xylene, and Toulene

Snake Plant Aka Mother-In-Law's Tongue (Sansevieria Trifasciata)

The Look: Spikey vertical drama. Tall pointed leaves gives off a dessert or jungle vibe depending on your styling. Looks great in a minimalist modern home. 

Care: Water every few weeks. Let the soil dry out between waterings. Needs indirect sunlight and grows well in low light. Poisonous to dogs and cats if consumed.

Filters: Benzene, Formaldehyde, Trichloroethylene, Xylene, and Toulene

David J. KrauseComment