Houseplants have been having a resurgence in popularity over the past few years but until recently their use has been mainly for decoration. Keeping houseplants that clean the air is becoming increasingly popular, especially as there is a growing awareness of indoor airborne pollutants, such as benzene, TCE (trichloroethylene), formaldehyde, xylene, and ammonia. These pollutants can cause a range of health problems and can be circulated throughout your house, including your kitchen, via varnishes, detergents, tobacco smoke, and window cleaners or, in the case of vehicle exhaust fumes, through an open window. So, with that in mind, houseplants need not be restricted to the living room or bedroom. We have compiled this list of the best kitchen plants that clean the air for you to consider for your kitchen.
The Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) is really effective at removing all five of the airborne pollutants mentioned above. It is a really useful houseplant to have because it is almost impossible to kill – great if you do not consider yourself particularly green-fingered. Peace Lilies are not big plants and do not take up too much space. Additionally, they require minimal light and are best for growing in darker rooms, making them ideal if you have a low light kitchen. Even if your kitchen is bright and airy, you could grow them in a shadier spot such as under a kitchen island. Keep them moist and feed every 6 to 12 weeks to make them flower every summer.
Chrysanthemums may seem a retro choice given their popularity through the 1970s, but they make great long-flowering kitchen plants. Like the Peace Lily, Chrysanthemums also clean the air of all five common kitchen pollutants. They are inexpensive too, costing far less than many the other plant in this list and can even be easily grown from seed. Chrysanthemums enjoy a well-lit situation so can be kept on your kitchen windowsill. Water them well and once they have finished flowering you could move them out of your kitchen and plant them in your garden.
There are many types of Dragon Tree (Dracaena) and each removes airborne toxins just as efficiently as the next. With several varieties to choose from of all of different sizes and colours, you can be sure to find one that is well suited to your kitchen. When young they are less than a meter high so can easily be grown in a pot on a kitchen table or island. As they mature you may have to move them to the floor – some species grow to just over two meters whereas others can reach four meters high! Unless you have incredibly high ceilings we recommend checking before you buy.
Removing four out of the five common airborne toxins, Mother-in-Laws Tongue, also known as the Snake Plant (Sansevieria), has easily made our list of best kitchen plants that clean the air. They are one of the best plants for injecting incredible architectural interest into a modern kitchen thanks to their strong, upright, variegated foliage. Mother-in-Laws Tongues are by far the hardest houseplant to kill as they prefer drier conditions and can last for incredibly long periods without watering. They are not fussy about light conditions either and although prefer a light kitchen, they do well in shadier spots too.
You normally find Ivy (Hedera) growing up trees in woodlands but they also make great plants for kitchens. Ivy is naturally a climbing plant, but in kitchen situations it will hang over the edge of a pot, forming a weeping habit that will emphasise the quaint beauty of a traditional kitchen. Combined with solid oak worktops, cabinets or shelves, the dark leaves of Ivy not only look great but also remove four of the five airborne pollutants that can accumulate within your kitchen.
So now you know the secret benefits of houseplants, you can breathe easy knowing that your plants are cleaning your kitchen air. What are your thoughts on plants in the kitchen Let us know in the comments below or share your photos of your kitchen plants on Facebook and Twitter.