By Ruth Doherty published
With more of us working from home, it might be worth considering ways we can bring the outdoors in – and air purifying plants are a great start.
Not only have plants been an extremely popular interior décor trend over recent years, but, in a study carried out by NASA, they've also been proven to help improve the quality of indoor air.
See more: Home office ideas – that are smart and stylish
We took a look at the NASA plant study and Google searches to discover the most popular and the best air-purifying plants to line your home office shelves with.
- See: The top 10 house plants – that all interior design lovers should know about
Discover the best air purifying plants for your home office
These air purifying plants can have great health benefits – and, of course, they will make your home office look lovely, too.
1. Aloe vera
By far the most searched for plant was Aloe Vera, with 608,610 green-fingered Googlers looking to get their hands on the plant every month in the UK.
A NASA study revealed that chrysanthemums are able to absorb 53% of chemicals like Benzene – a carcinogenic substance found in products like paint, detergents and varnish removers. Not only an air purifier, according to Feng Shui, chrysanthemums bring happiness and laughter in the house too.
The third most commonly searched for indoor plant that can purify the air is the ficus tree. Also known as 'fig trees', these plants get around 86,610 searches every month. The most popular type is the weeping fig (googled over 5,000 times a month). These plants are great at purifying certain chemicals in the air and are able to remove around 47.4% of chemicals like formaldehyde.
- See: Monty Don's house plant watering tip – keep yours in rude health
4. Peace lily
The beautiful peace lily is the fourth most popular indoor plant for purifying the air with 74,410 searches a month. Studies have shown this plant to be one of the most effective at purifying air, even more so than Aloe Vera.
Whilst Aloe Vera is able to remove chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde, it was not as effective as the peace lily in cleaning the air of trichloroethylene and ammonia. These plants are great for keeping in the bathroom too, as they help curb mildew.
5. Spider plant
Spider plants have massively increased in popularity over the last five years as a house plant (peaking in popularity around June last year) and garner around 57,480 Google searches a month. However, not only are they trendy, they are known to purify the air too, being great carbon monoxide absorbers – city dwellers take note.
- See: 5 low maintenance house plants – and their amazing health benefits
6. Snake plant
Also known as the 'mother-in-law’s-tongue', the snake plant has crept in at number six of the top 10 air purifying plants, being Googled almost 45,000 times a month. It is not as effective at making cleaner indoor air as other plants on this list, but the NASA study found it has potential to filter four of the five main toxins involved in the effects of what is known as 'sick building syndrome' (the name for symptoms you only get while in a particular building, usually an office).
7. Dragon tree
An extremely easy-to-grow house plant, the dragon tree comes in seventh place of the most popular indoor air purifying plants, being searched for over 21,000 times a month. Studies have shown it filters out many toxins in the air, including xylene and toluene.
8. Gerbera daisy
A colourful addition to your home office, gerbera daisies are extremely good at purifying your indoor air. Of all the plants tested, they came in third place. They are also pretty popular too, with over 16,000 internet users looking to purchase these flowers each month.
9. Chinese evergreen
This leafy plant garners over 12,000 searches a month, and looks great in any home, no matter your interior décor style. In addition to cleansing your indoor air, the Chinese evergreen represents positive energy in Feng Shui and therefore is the perfect plant to bring some positivity into our WFH environments.
See more: The top 10 garden trends
10. English ivy
It’s no secret that hanging plants are extremely popular in interior design, which could account for the 12,030 searches a month that English ivy gets. They are great at purifying the air in your home and have medicinal properties, too. Herbalists use it for many respiratory conditions, like asthma.
Ruth Doherty is an interiors writer who has worked for Homes & Gardens and Ideal Home magazines among many others.
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