15 Plants That Improve Indoor Air Quality and Might Just Head Off a Bathroom Disaster

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aloeSure, indoor plants are green and pretty. They help stave off that old seasonal affective disorder, the winter blues, cabin fever…whatever. We all are probably aware they improve air quality by sucking up carbon monoxide; but the magic doesn’t end there. “Mother Nature Network” has a website dedicated to “improving your world” and an eye opening article written by Julie Knapp suggesting 15 plants to help make the air quality, and smell of your world a bit more pleasant.  

According to the article, NASA themselves did studies in the late ’80s in order to find out which plants helped purify the air in space facilities. The list they came up with includes some plants we’ve all heard of, like English Ivy. This common creeper’s purifying potential is astounding. Who could ever have guessed it possesses the amazing ability to reduce “airborne fecal-matter particles”?

English Ivy: Pulling crap from out of the sky.

Airborne? Seriously? I mean, how does one manage to accomplish that unless…oh, forget it. Let’s just agree this is one powerful plant. (Not to mention, one powerful and clearly misdirected uh…evacuation episode.) I’m picturing the ivy’s tentacles frantically reaching in multiple directions as they scramble to collect the wayward “material”.

Some of the plants that made the list may be foreign to you. For instance, I’m not familiar with the “mother-in-law’s tongue”. Actually, that’s not true; I’m very familiar. Unfortunately, my experience has nothing to do with plant life. This plant is purported to be top-notch for filtering formaldehyde. Ironically, formaldehyde is a commonly used chemical found in toilet paper and other “personal care” products. It seems to me that these two plants alone can take care of most of your bathroom worries.

Mother in Law's Tongue: At least the plant helps clear the air.

I suggest strategically placing one of each of these “stink and impurity powerhouses” on the back of your toilet and letting them duke it out. Forget those nasty, toxic cleaners. Go nuts, let loose and do what you will in the john; it’s okay…the plants will make it right.

On a more serious note, the plants listed in the article are supposed to help filter all kinds of potentially hazardous chemicals commonly found in the home, including trichloroethylene, benzene, xylene, carbon monoxide and other “volatile organic compounds” or VOCs. I don’t know what half of these are, but they definitely sound life threatening. I’m now on a personal mission to see if I can’t find a dream botanical that does windows.

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About Liz

Liz is a professional, custom picture framer based in Central New York. She and her contractor husband are currently renovating their second home together. At the time of this writing, they are not on speaking terms. Her love of making stuff with wood and DIY home projects began by watching her Dad. (It was also around this time Liz's incessant use of "colorful language" took root.) She's an avid gardener, stellar cook and doesn't throw like a girl: an all-around rad chick.

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2 thoughts on “15 Plants That Improve Indoor Air Quality and Might Just Head Off a Bathroom Disaster”

  1. Now I know why my Grandmama P. had so many of the “Snake” plants aka Mother-in-law plants in big pots on her front porch in Ga. I also have some of this same Ivy in a large pot on my deck along with a succulent in the middle! They live quite happily together Winter and Summer! Year round!


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