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Breathe Better! Top 7 Plants and Flowers for Better Indoor Air Quality

Breathe Better! Top 7 Plants and Flowers for Better Indoor Air Quality

posted: 2019-10-08 17:00:00 +0800

On the smoggy days in Hong Kong it’s best to stay inside but our indoor air quality is often compromised too with poor circulation, chemical cleaners, and dirty air conditioners. Indoor air pollution can include toxic emissions that are bad for your health like benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene.

While most plants have natural air purifying properties, NASA performed a Clean Air Study which found that there are some plants that are more effective than others in removing airborne toxins, carcinogens, dust, and germs.

“The answer to these problems is obvious,” the NASA report says. “If man is to move into closed environments, on Earth or in space, he must take along nature’s life support system.”

It’s the perfect and valid reason to have more flowers, flower bouquets, plants and more in your home at all times! Here are the 7 most effective plants and flowers to improve your indoor air quality.

English Ivy

Flower Shop Plants - Congratulations Plant PL03 - L76600520 Photo

Ivy, garden croton, and Guiana chestnut in a decorative vase.

NASA says that this versatile plant is the number one indoor houseplant when it comes to its air purifiers. Most people assume that this plant needs to be outside as they’re often growing over walls and such but they thrive inside and like to be crowded in small pots and look lovely in hanging baskets. Ivy is effective at removing formaldehyde and benzene and can also combat mold. Perfect for humid Hong Kong summers!

Gerber Daisy

Florist Flower Bouquet - Black.Pink Sunflower Bouquet - L53531 Photo

A lovely flower bouquet of pink Gerber daisies and matching greens.

Not only are Gerber daisies delightful to look it they’re extremely effective detoxifiers of indoor air. Gerbers are especially good at removing formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene which are common elements in many household cleaners. If you’re growing Gerber daisies, make sure that they are in a room with lots of natural light and that soil is moist and has good drainage.


Florist Flower in Vase - CNY florist Deco CL17 - L76604774 Photo

Pink chrysanthemum flower bouquet with red pussy willow and Australia red Leucadendron

Chrysanthemums are another stunning flower with fantastic air purifying qualities. They’re effective in removing ammonia and benzene which are often found in plastics and detergents. Make sure these beautiful blooms have access to indirect sunlight and good air flow.

Bamboo palm

Flower Shop Plants - Nandina Plant RC88 - CF20130A3 Photo

Sacred/Heavenly bamboo, slightly different than the chamaedorea bamboo but with the same upward large stalks.

Chamaedorea bamboo is a popular plant that’s very easy to care for. They’re great indoor plants because they love direct sunlight so they can be placed in a window and they’re pet-friendly. They’re especially great at removing formaldehyde and benzene from the air.

Chinese Evergreen

Florist Flower Arrangement - CNY florist Deco CL02 - L76610661 Photo

Pink Chinese evergreen leaves with calla lilies and Jerusalem cherry.

This pretty plant loves humidity making it perfect for Hong Kong living. It needs medium to low light conditions and is effective at removing formaldehyde and benzene, often found in detergents and cosmetics, making this plant perfect for a bathroom setting.

Peace Lily

Flower Shop Plants - Pink anthurium Plant MQ1 - CF20125A3 Photo

This pink anthurium has very similar flowers to that of a peace lily and the two are often mistaken even though peace lily blooms are white.

Peace lilies are sturdy plants with beautiful white flowers. Keeping them in low light settings and watering weekly keep them happy. Peace lilies remove benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and xylene from the air. Anthuriums, or Flamingo lilies, are also effective air purifiers and look similar to a peace lily with brighter coloured flowers if you’re looking to add more colour to a room.

Rubber Plant

Flower Shop Plants - Hrouse Green Plant P03 - L36668447 Photo

Purple bell flowers with rubber plant, fittonia, and sansevieria

Rubber plants are a very hardy plant that love bright light. They’re an easy plant to keep and maintain for even for those that have a propensity to kill plants. They can grow in a small pot or a large pot in which they can grown to be large indoor trees. They also remove xylene, benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the air.

This is a Hong Kong GGB original 'Breathe Better! Top 7 Plants and Flowers for Better Indoor Air Quality' blogpost.
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blog written by: # Danielle Roberts (89)
Danielle Roberts, Editor

Danielle is a Canadian freelance writer and ESL teacher who has called Hong Kong home since 2016.     > more...

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