Phantom’s eco tip: Plants – Nature’s air purifier

This week’s eco tip is courtesy of Monique Warner at

Plants are more than just a pretty feature for the home; they can play an important role in keeping the air clean!

The Boston fern (commonly known as the Sword fern or Nephrolepis exaltata) is ranked ninth on NASA’s list of top air purifying plants. Not only does it clean the air, without drawing on electrical and other energy resources in order to do so, making it a far better solution than a commercial air purifier.

Plants naturally filter and purify air by absorbing the toxins through their leaves. Certain plants have been found to be more efficient than others in removing toxins and could even play a role in reducing the incidence of asthma and allergies. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found that air inside homes is often 2-5 times more polluted than the air outside, many people have started introducing air-purifying plants in their homes and offices.

The Sword fern removes formaldehyde, xylene and toluene (a derivative of benzene) from indoor air while working as a natural humidifier. It grows well in bright filtered light, in partial shade or full shade. Keep your Boston fern’s soil damp, but avoid overwatering.

Other air-purifying plants include the Peace Lily, Areca Palm and the Mother-in-Law’s Tongue.

Sources and further reading:, Web Ecoist, Wiki How and Wikipedia.


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