Living Well

Living Well: Detoxify Your Home With Houseplants

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CT STYLE) -- Houseplants are not only a great way to add color to your home, but they're also effective at removing hazardous toxins from the air.

"I think it's very beneficial to have houseplants inside your house, or any kind of dwelling," said Scott Hickman, the co-founder of G.R.O.W.E.R.S. at Greenbrier, an organization for adults with developmental disabilities. "Plants use carbon dioxide to help them grow and they give off oxygen from that."

While Hickman says every plant helps clean the air, some are better than others, like the snake plant.

"It's got very thick leaves, but it's got lots of vents in those leaves, which really are very efficient at filtering the air," Hickman said. "Snake plants may be at the top of the list of plants for filtering the air."

"Snake plants may be at the top of the list of plants for filtering the air."

From snakes to spiders, the spider plant is also a great option.

"There are green versions of it and there are variegated versions of it that are very attractive," Hickman explained.

Spider plants not only remove mold and other allergens, but they're also easy to grow.

"Boston ferns are a plant that was used widely during Victorian times in England," Hickman said.

The frilly fern is low maintenance and has been found to remove more formaldehyde than any other plant.

Jade plants are not only beautiful, but they're also one of the best plants at removing toluene, used in nail polish, paints, glues, and even emitted by cars.

"In the winter time, they probably don't need to be watered more than every two or three weeks," Hickman explained.

And if you're looking for height, opt for a palm.

"Aesthetically they're beautiful plants," Hickman said of the palm. "They do need a fair amount of light and with most of the plants also, keep in mind that the healthier the plant is, the better it's going to be at filtering air."

"Keep in mind that the healthier the plant is, the better it's going to be at filtering air."

To get the biggest benefit, Hickman recommends having 10 to 15 medium sized plants in your home six to eight inch pots.

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