Healthy plants to have in your home

Chemicals from building materials, furniture and even air fresheners can make indoor air toxic. But just getting some greenery can help, says B.C. Wolverton, PhD, a former NASA research scientist and the author of How to Grow Fresh Air.

"Houseplants give off oxygen and help remove chemicals like formaldehyde, a common indoor vapour that can cause respiratory and neurological problems, as well as cancer," he says. These three great picks may not cure asthma, but they can help you breathe easier.

English ivy

Available in all kinds of colours and shapes, this climbing vine helps clear out formaldehyde. It’s super versatile, too: you can grow it in hanging baskets, low planters, or even as topiary. It needs regular misting, though.


Bamboo palm

Great at removing formaldehyde from the air, the bamboo palm is also low-maintenance: just put it where it’ll get a couple of hours of direct sunlight and water it regularly.


Peace lily

A pro at removing a laundry list of toxins, including acetone, benzene, alcohols and ammonia, the peace lily is the only air-cleaning plant on our list that flowers. To keep it healthy and insect-free, you’ll need to wash the leaves occasionally.



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