From memory foam mattresses to the Dust Buster, NASA has provided us with a wealth of insight, innovation, and technology over the years. Recently, NASA has released archived documents such as its Graphics Standards Manual and wowed us with printable, futuristic posters like the ones from the Jet Propulsion Lab’s Visions of the Future series. But it isn’t all style guides and art posters.
NASA recently talked about how they garden in space, which got us thinking about a report they issued not long ago about the detoxifying effects of certain houseplants and the health benefits that can arise from them. Like nature’s air filter, these plants can clear up allergies, clean the air you breathe, and freshen up your home. Here’s a sampling of some of the best plants you can use to detoxify your home, all thanks to the big brains at NASA.
1. Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Snake Plant)
This evergreen perennial goes by several names, the least weird of which are mother-in-law’s tongue or snake plant. Its popularity stems from its ability to thrive in low light and with very little water. In the winter it only needs water every couple of months. In the NASA study, this plant removed four out of five toxins they tested, and is one of the few plants able to remove carbon dioxide from the air at night. However, it is toxic to dogs and cats, so if you’re a pet lover, try something else.
2. Spider Plant
The hardy spider plant gets its name due to its arching, long-stemmed leaves, making it a perfect hanging plant. A spider plant can grow with very little light, but it does love water in the summertime. It’s great for filtering formaldehyde and xylene from the air, and flowers once it reaches full maturity. It’s also non-toxic to pets, so dog and cat owners can grow the spider plant with total peace of mind.
3. Chrysanthemum (Pot Mum)
The chrysanthemum has colorful blooms of pink, yellow, white, orange, or red flowers. It needs more light than the other detoxifying plants listed here, so it’s best to leave your chrysanthemum near a window that gets bright sun. The mum is one of the best at purifying the air—but with one downside. It’s the only plant on the list that produces pollen, so allergy sufferers may want to steer clear. Like the snake plant, it’s also toxic to pets. So while it does a great job of cleaning the air, and it looks beautiful, it may not be for everyone.
Check out these great planters!