If you suffer from allergies, you’ve probably looked at your indoor plants and wondered if they are causing your problems. You also might be curious about the best indoor plants for asthma and allergies. We’ll discuss these today! The two biggest allergy causing houseplant problems are mold & pollen.
A great amount of houseplant allergies come from mold. If the soil is too moist, mold can grow. Mold can grow in the soil inside the pot, or on the outside of the pot in standing water. Mold can be more problematic during the humid summer months when soil is less likely to be dry. The best way to check you soil moisture content is to stick your finger one inch into the surface. Ideally, the topsoil should be dry, but the soil should be moist one inch under the surface. Some people see the topsoil is dry, which often leads to unnecessary watering.
Most indoor plant allergies come from pollen. If you have many houseplants and are worried about the quality of your air, you can always purchase an air purifier to keep your air clean.
Problematic Houseplants For Allergy Sufferers
Although bouquets are not houseplants, they are common in homes and have many pollen producing plants, including:
- African violets
- Bonsai trees
- Ficus (fig)
- Pine (Christmas trees, although without flowers, can carry a lot of dust and mold)
The Best Indoor Plants For Asthma & Allergies
Plants have the ability to convert our carbon dioxide into fresh oxygen, which we need. Some plants also have the ability to remove harmful elements in the air, including formaldehyde and benzene. Here are some of the best indoor plants for asthma and allergies.
Also known as yellow palm or butterfly palm, the areca palm is one of the most popular and graceful palms. It is tolerant of the indoor environment, releases copious amounts of moisture into the air, removes chemical toxins, and is beautiful. The areca is consistently rated among the best houseplants for removing all indoor air toxins tested. Best in direct, bright sunlight.
This large palm has fans six to 12 inch wide with four and 10 thick, shiny leaves. It is highly resistant to attack by most plant insects and is great for improving indoor air quality. It grows slowly and is easy to maintain. Best in direct, bright sunlight.
Easy to care for and a popular variety. The bamboo palm pumps much needed moisture into the indoor atmosphere, especially during winter months when heating systems dry the air. This palm is also one of the top-rated plants tested for the removal of benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde. Best in direct, bright sunlight.
Bred for toughness, it will tolerate dim light and cool temperatures, making it an excellent house plant. This plant is easy to grow and is great for removing chemical toxins from the indoor environment, particularly formaldehyde. Best in direct, bright sunlight to indirect, medium sunlight.
Dracaena “Janet Craig”
The dark-green leaves of dracaena “Janet Craig” make it an attractive plant. It is one of the best plants for removing trichloreoethylene. These plants can tolerate neglect and dimly lit environments. This plant does best in indirect, medium sunlight. It will tolerate dimly lit areas, but growth will be slow.
English Ivy is often used as ground cover in public atriums or lobbies. But to add interest, try growing it in topiary form or in hanging baskets. They are easy to grow and adapt to a variety of home environments. However, they do not generally do well in high temperatures. Best in indirect, medium sunlight to low sunlight.
Pothos “Devil’s Ivy”
One of the primary reasons Pothos is popular is it can tolerate lower light, lower humidity and cooler temperatures than many other plants. Pothos are rated one of the best houseplants for removing all indoor air toxins. Pothos also goes by a few other names: devil’s ivy, pothos ivy and has a few cultivars. The most common variety “Golden Pothos” gets the most use in the interior business. Two other varieties are “Marble Queen” with a streaky white on green and “Jade” which is green. Pothos does not like wet feet and the soil should not stay too moist. Every so often a Pothos could use a good pruning – but prune selectively. This will also promote new growth. Best in indirect, medium sunlight but it will also tolerate very low light.
This is a new ficus variety that is rapidly gaining in popularity. Its slender dark green leaves make it an extremely attractive plant. Its ability to help purify the air, ease of growth and resistance to insects make it an excellent choice for the home or office. It is much less finicky than the Ficus Benjamina. Like all species of ficus, expect some leaf drop until the plant adjusts to its new location. Best in direct, bright sunlight to indirect, medium sunlight.
Ferns are probably one of the oldest groups of plants. Many have been found as fossils dating back to prehistoric times. The Boston Fern’s stiff fronds arch out, drooping downward as they age. It is grown strictly for its foliage for it does not produce flowers. It is best displayed in a hanging basket or sitting upon a pedestal. As an indoor plant, the Boston Fern requires a certain amount of attention. It must have frequent misting and watering, or the leaves will quickly turn brown and begin to drop. It is the best for removing air pollutants, especially formaldehyde, and for adding humidity to the indoor environment. Best in indirect, medium sunlight.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
An outstanding foliage plant that also produces beautiful white spathes, the peace lily should always be included when seeking a variety of indoor plants. This plant has a high transpiration rate and enjoys the large water reservoir that hydroculture offers. It possesses all the qualities to make it one of the best indoor plants. The Peace Lily excels in the removal of alcohols, acetone, trichloroethylene, benzene and formaldehyde. Its ability to remove air pollutants and its excellent performance in all categories make it a most valuable houseplant. Best in indirect, medium sunlight to low sunlight.