Easy-to-grow peace lilies and spider plants make great indoor air purifiers

Peace lilies and spider plants help improve indoor air quality. Besides their aesthetic appeal, these plants are like a free air freshener and with just a little effort on our part to keep them healthy, we can have the air in our homes filtered, free of cost.

Peace lilies and spider plants grow very easily. In fact, they proliferate so fast that many people just throw away the extra plants that grow in their pots. They can also be bought quite cheaply from any good nursery .

“Any indoor plant has the ability to trap suspended particulate matter in the air in homes. These plants have minute hairs on their leaves which trap this matter and clean up the air,” says Dr. Yellappa Reddy, former Secretary, Department of Ecology and Environment, Government of Karnataka.

Improves oxygen level

“The plants also absorb the carbon dioxide that we breathe out and release oxygen in the daytime during photosynthesis. Plants, like us, need air to live. So naturally, the oxygen level in a house improves with plants that are kept indoors,” says Dr Reddy.

Priya Mascarenhas, a business woman and avid gardener, says, “Peace lilies and spider plants multiply without much effort. Grow them on your balcony or garden first and then bring them into your house to clean up the air. They grow well in semi-shade and can be potted in a mixture of kitchen compost and red earth.”

However, Priya advises, “Don’t keep them inside all the time, as they are not purely indoor plants. Take them out in the evening or after a day to get sunshine and to ensure they remain healthy. They are absolutely safe air purifiers as against the chemical ones we use.”

Dr. Reddy believes that the aroma of the flowers on an indoor plant soothes the mind and the eyes. “Spider plants are very good air purifiers, especially for homes with new carpets and wood, since they filter out formaldehyde from the air which is expelled in new interiors,” he says.

A word of caution: Remember that some plants are poisonous if eaten by pets or children. But the peace lily and the spider plant are safe, even if your pet or little one, decides to chew on the leaves.