Do house plants purify your air?
We often get asked to recommend which house plants will purify your air at home.
Unfortunately, the answer is none of them. We're totally doing ourselves out of a marketing ploy here, but house plants won't purify your air to any meaningful level.
You wouldn't think this was the case if you look at houseplants on Pinterest, or read the endless lists recommending air purifying plants online.
There is a great (and quite short) National Geographic article about it here.
The research carried out in the 1970s and 1980s (some of which was done by NASA) found that house plants could remove volatile compounds and toxins in our air. However, it has since been proven that there were flaws with how this research was conducted and that it may have jumped the gun a bit.
More recent studies shows that plans do remove volatile compounds in our air but at a really slow rate. You'd need 10 plants per square foot, or say, 5,000 plants in your average size house to have any measurable impact.
Today NASA still grow plants on the international space station - but not for air quality, they believe it hugely improves peoples mental state. The NHS in the UK also encourage GPs to prescribe indoor and outdoor gardening, a connection with nature, to patient suffering with anxiety and loneliness.
So house plants won't purify our air, but they can still give us so much.
An escape, a hobby you can do at home that's accessible and fun, and endlessly evolving and changing. A great way to turn your brain off and step away from the desk. And the satisfaction and joy of being surrounded by beauty and gorgeous greenery in your own home.