Believe it or not, the average American spends approximately 90 percent of her time indoors—and it’s not unrealistic to think that number might creep even higher in the frigid months of winter. To ensure the air filling your lungs is at its optimum, Chris Raimondi, landscape industry certified chairman of PLANET’s Indoor Specialty Group, recommends using houseplants to scrub the air of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). “Plants are one of the easiest ways to clean toxins from the air,” he says, explaining that the greenery purifies the atmosphere and digests gases. Check out his list of five easy-to-maintain foliage options.
Ivies (hedera species) prefer indirect light, like to be evenly watered, and don’t mind drying out occasionally.
Spider plants (chlorophytum species) are great pollution fighters, grow well in moderate light, and attract few insects.
Peace lilies (spathiphyllum species) should be kept moist and wilt quickly when they need to be watered, but recover nicely. (Caution: Peace lilies are toxic to cats and dogs.)
Ferns (nephrolepsis species) call for medium or bright indirect light; the Boston fern is a good pollution-fighting variety and requires little maintenance aside from removing dropping fronds.
Weeping fig trees (ficus species) do well in medium to high light and need not be watered until several signal leaves turn yellow; they’re sensitive to changes in light and cold drafts, but once established, entail little effort.