With rising pollution and growing heat, you might be worried about keeping your home clean or about saving the environment in your limited capacity. Here are a few plants which can be grown in your vicinity to purify the air around you and slowly help the world become a safer place. You could even want to breathe cleaner air simply to safeguard your health or the health of your family. Whatever your reasons are, growing a plant should not be a challenge. Instead, it should be a fun, healthy activity which benefits you and those around you.
All plants have the ability to produce the oxygen that we require to survive and aid the water cycle to bring you the cooling of the rain, so if you have any hesitation about growing plants you should never think twice. But the following plants are unique because they have the extra special power to remove several harmful toxins and pests in your surrounding, which will easily help in making your home, and your city a much better place to live in.
What’s more, all of these plants have immense strength and will survive the colds, the heat and the monsoon of India, without you having to take extra efforts in growing them!
The Peace Lily is unique because it is extremely easy to grow, and is able to survive indoors. In fact, the Peace Lily is so peaceful that even NASA enlists it as one of the best natural air purifiers.
It is able to fight off benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, ammonia, xylene, toluene and several other known toxins emitted from your electronics or furniture.
To grow this champion inside your house ensure that you grow it indoors, in a shaded environment and water it frequently, but not very frequently. This floral beauty survives temperatures of more than 30 degree Celsius and will definitely add an element of peace to your house. It is an extremely easy-to-grow plant.
Placement: Close to a window, but not directly under it. Away from harsh heat.
Watering: When the potted-soil feels dry to touch. Depending on your local weather once or twice a week is sufficient.
Soil: Peat-based potting soil that contains composted bark, along with sand or perlite. Ideally, your soil should be light and springy (to allow proper drainage) and have little to no odour.
These sturdy plants survive all the difficult indoor solutions while helping your home rid of pollutants such as benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene from the air.
This beautiful indoor plant is known to have survived long vacations without water as well as extreme heat. The plant, however, does not appreciate harsh sunlight or extreme colds. This is an extremely easy-to-grow plant and will survive every challenge you throw its way
Placement: Anywhere – Bathrooms, corners of rooms with windows, or even hallways. As long as it receives some amount of indirect sunlight this plant will be your best friend.
Watering: Allow the soil to dry out before watering again.
Soil: Well-draining soil, preferably an equal mix of potting soil, perlite and sand.
This is a plant that has been thoroughly researched and has been proven to be the best plant to fight off VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) such as methane, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide as well as formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.
These extremely low maintenance plants grow fast and are self-sufficient. Their big leaves can be dark or bright green and show its resilience towards poor lighting conditions – the darker the leaves, the better it will survive indoors in a variety of temperature all the way up to 30 degrees Celsius. The Spider Plant is an extremely low maintenance plant.
Placement: Indoors, away from direct harsh sunlight.
Watering: The lesser light the plant receives, the less you must water. Remember to water thoroughly when the top layer of the soil feels dry.
Soil: Any mixture of well-draining soil is ideal.
The Warneck Dracaena is a plant that is truly at war – to survive (in various light conditions) and at war to fight off benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the air.
The plant survives extreme heat, but does like direct sun, making it an easy fit inside homes. The little shrub has deep green leaves perfectly complimenting every style of home decor. You may want to be careful of the amount of tampering this plant receives since excessive interference will harm the leaves.
Placement: In well-lit rooms, with ample indirect light. Taking it out into the sun once in a while will also benefit the richness of the plant.
Watering: Misting twice or thrice a week and water thoroughly every week and this plant will show the benefits of its fighting capacity.
Soil: All soil types with a neutral PH balance are fit. Avoid fertilising the soil since this plant does not like most chemicals.
If you prefer a dash of colour in your home, the Croton is a plant for you. With its bright red and yellow leaves, this plant helps with conversations and with an element of sturdy, easy-to-grow beauty.
Not only that, but this plant is also great at fighting off air pollutants within the house including those pesky Particulate Matter.
The small plant will slowly grow and survive temperatures across India with little difficulty since it is an indigenous plant to the subcontinent.
Placement: In a bright naturally lit room, the more indirect light the plant receives, the deeper the hues of the leaves.
Watering: Only and only when the soil feels dry to touch.
Soil: Well-draining and well-nourished soil, which should be given organic compost regularly.
This small indoor palm is able to fight off most air pollutants. Despite being slow growing, the palm can reach up to 6 feet if not clipped regularly.
The palm regularly blooms with yellow flowers adding that special feeling of colour and joy to your home.
It is a great air purifier to grow indoors and to fight off toxins and common pollutants that come from outside your house. The plant is able to withstand extreme temperatures and the roots tend to grow downwards.
Placement: Indoors, near a window or near a partially shaded area.
Watering: Chemical-free watering once the bottom of the pot feels dry. Avoid all excessive water.
Soil: Arid, acidic soil is best suited for this plant, which drains extremely well. Mixing the soil with sand tends to do the trick usually.
Another shrub of the Dracaena family, this plant grows up to 6 feet in height and can be pruned regularly. The beautiful leaves tend to have colours of green and red, which will surely add a great look to your home.
The plant is able to survive extremely hot and cold temperatures and is an ideal plant to grow in any part of India.
A perfect plant to grow indoors, it is effective in removing benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene. This is a plant that will survive most adverse conditions.
Placement: In a room with moderate to low sunlight. The colour of the leaves gets richer the lesser light it receives, but beware not to leave it in the dark completely. Indirect shaded light is perfect.
Watering: Simply moisten the topsoil periodically and do not flood the pot at all.
Soil: Well-draining soil is key to growing this at your home.
These short and easily available house plants have a beautiful shape and a cute look. They do not grow very large, so you can rest assured that they will not take up too much space in your house.
The leaves naturally secret a lemony scent that will surely keep away mosquitoes and other insects and will also fight several toxins in the air.
The fern is a natural tropical plant and will thrive in the heat of India and even survive mild winters. Growing these small plants at home is extremely easy and they take a long time to grow into bigger plants.
Placement: Indoors, shaded from direct light.
Watering: Water it as needed to keep the potting mixture moist but never soggy.
Soil: Well-drained, acidic soil with a pH of 4 to 7. This adaptable plant tolerates sea air and salty soil.
Another Dracaena, this entire genus is great to get rid of harmful toxins. The Janet Craig is no different. It is effective in cleaning benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the air.
The palm-like shrub grows well in arid and harsh weather conditions. However, it does not like direct sunlight and should be grown indoors. The Janet Craig is the slowest growing plant of its species so don’t be alarmed and allow it to take its sweet time.
Placement: Indoors, in a room with bright indirect sunlight. If it is losing leaves, the plant is giving you a sign that it requires more light.
Watering: The shrub is able to endure both draught and humidity very well. Let the soil dry between waterings. It doesn’t need a lot of water in normal household settings.
Soil: Proper drainage is essential for keeping this plant healthy, especially if you’re keeping it in a container.
This is a herb that does extremely well in the Indian climate and is used by farmers to keep away pests. The wonderful lemon scent will also add an aroma around your home.
Since it is a herb indigenous to the Indian subcontinent, climate change and humidity is never an issue with this plant. The perennial herb has several medicinal properties and can even be eaten or added to tea decoctions.
Placement: Lemongrass can be grown outdoors, in backyards, balconies, terrace and home gardens.
Watering: Water every day since the herb is able to withstand higher amounts of rainfall, but will not like under-watering.
Soil: Well-drained and well-aerated soil, without any clumps and without withered leaves of other plants.
This may have been the first plant you started growing at your home, and it will continue to be a tradition passed on for generations. The medicinal plant keeps away pest and is considered one of the best air-purifiers that are local to India.
Dried Tulsi leaves are also used as mosquito repellents. The Tulsi can grow rather large and will get beautiful flowers that will bloom throughout the year. It is an extremely easy-to-grow plant, which will not require a lot of maintenance.
Placement: Outdoors with bright direct sunlight. Or in verandahs of your homes as a sign of a good omen.
Watering: Watering every day will aid the plant to survive the extreme heats of the summers. Reduce the watering in winters and during the monsoons let the plant thrive on its own.
Soil: Well fertilised soil with a neutral PH balance is ideal.
The lavender is a purple beauty that will adorn your home and your surroundings. It is a flowering plant that could bloom throughout the year and will keep away insects and soothe your pets because of its fragrance. It enjoys the Indian climate and is easy to care for.
Placement: Thrives in bright sunlight. Windowsills or balconies will look even better with a lavender plant growing on them.
Water: Water sparingly and pull back during winter months; growing lavender in a terracotta pot would be your best bet. Dampness is not good for the lavender.
Soil: Soil mix with an inch of limestone at the bottom will aid the growth. Fertilise with Lime to add to the scent of the floral plant. Do not use an excessively big pot.
If you’ve been to a festival or a wedding you have most likely noticed the Chrysanthemum. It is another flowering plant that is effective against benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, ammonia, xylene and toluene.
This is a plant native to Asia and can be grown anywhere in India. It is also able to tolerate extreme heat and harsh winters. The different colours of the flower can help you pick the best variety to match the style and decor of your home.
Placement: Outdoors, in bright sunlight.
Watering: Overwatering and stagnant water are to be avoided with your Chrysanthemum.
Soil: Chrysanthemum plants can be grown in any kind of soil. Drainage is a factor to be considered.
An outdoor short palm, the dwarf date palm is noticeable for its small size. It is often called the pygmy plant. Despite its miniature height, the plant is one of the most effective outdoor plants at fighting formaldehyde, xylene and toluene. Like all palms, the Dwarf Date Palm enjoys arid and hot weather and could even survive heat above 45 degrees Celsius. Dwarf Date Palm is a slow growing and low maintenance palm plant.
Placement: Outdoors with bright direct sunlight.
Watering: Water it often when you observe 1-2″ topsoil is dry.
Soil: Fast-draining soil is ideal.
Sacred to India and possibly one of the best native Indian plants. The Banana is effective in cleaning formaldehyde from the air. The fruits of the short tree are also edible and extremely healthy.
The big leafy tree will add a great element to your building compound or your farm. Of course, it is grown across India and can survive the various weather conditions of the subcontinent. The fast-growing plant is extremely decorative and will give a breezy feel to your compound or society and bear you tasty fruits every year. What else, it can be grown as a dwarf plant in large pots as well.
Placement: Outdoors, in building compounds where there is ample space for the plant to become tall and as big as a tree.
Watering: Regular watering, particularly in summers. Not to be watered during monsoons.
Soil: Lots of organic matter and a well-draining soil. Stagnant water will be hazardous for the banana.
The myth of the study and resilient money plant arises from the fact that it can survive several conditions. The creeper is able to thrive under bright sunlight and inside your homes. These are one of the few plants that breathe in carbon dioxide during the night. Not only do they release oxygen a lot more than most other plants, but they also grow very fast and can survive a great range of temperatures. The money plant does not require a lot of maintenance and will grow soon.
Placement: Ideally indoors under the shade, but can be grown outdoors with more watering.
Watering: Moist soil is the best, but during its growth period or during the monsoon, the plant will accept a higher frequency of water.
Soil: Most types of soil work with this creeper. Drainage is important for a healthier life.
Another medicinal plant known around the world as the ideal home cactus, this plant thrives under direct bright sunlight and indirect light. The succulent retains water and is effective against benzene and formaldehyde. It thrives under higher temperatures and humid climates. The unique cactus also fights off pests and heals wounds and rashes. Even though the aloe vera grows slowly it lives for several years and can become rather large under the appropriate conditions.
Placement: Under bright sunlight, whether it is indoors or outdoors – ensure that the plant receives direct sunlight.
Watering: Ensure that the pot is completely dry before you rewater.
Soil: Mixture that drains out most excess water immediately.
The unique name of the plant comes from its unique leaves which are pointy and have a beautiful pattern. The leaves will add a great style to your home. The plant is one of the few plants that take in carbon dioxide at night and it is effective against benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene from the air.
The plant is indigenous to India and therefore can survive a wide range of temperatures including extreme heat. The snake plant is perhaps one of the most sturdy and resilient plants.
Placement: Ideally indoors, though bright direct light is recommended for the best growth.
Watering: Less to moderate watering, and once a month in winters.
Soil: Survives dry and poor soil conditions.
An extremely thick growing plant, the weeping fig can grow very large. It is found to be effective in cleaning benzene and formaldehyde.
The brilliant adaptability of the plant ensures that it survives in several environments and temperatures and can quickly grow to cover larger landscapes. This plant can grow very large and can grow quickly, so be prepared to prune and trim regularly.
Placement: Indoors or outdoors – can tolerate shaded light as well as direct light. However, it will grow much faster under direct light.
Watering: Regular watering is recommended.
Soil: Any well draining soil should suffice.
One of the most decorative plants, the String-of-Pearls has unique leaves which are round in shape and can retain water very well. The succulent is able to survive in various temperatures but does not like excessive heat throughout the day. Not only is it a beautiful plant to grow, but it is also very effective against common household toxins.
Placement: Ideally under direct sunlight, but away from windows (if kept indoors) to avoid excessive heat.
Watering: Once every week during summers.
Soil: A peat-based compost should not be used.
Used frequently to decorate Indian weddings and grounds, the Areca Palm is a sturdy palm that can survive the Indian climate very well. Its large green leaves add a sense of towering beauty to every space and corner it occupies. The palm is also extremely effective against formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.
Placement: Preferably indoors, but the palm will tolerate bright direct light as well.
Watering: Ensure that the water is chemical free as the plant is sensitive to chemicals. Moderate to less water aids the growth of the plant.
Soil: A rich, acidic soil that drains well. Mix the soil up with some sand to avoid the soil from becoming too heavy or clay-like.
Several of these plants are under NASA’s best air-purifying plants and each of them will benefit your surroundings. So worry not and allow the plants to decorate your home and to clean your air.