Q. I was wondering if Dracaena, Ficus elastica, and peace lily break down car emissions?
Plants naturally absorb CO2 and convert it into oxygen and water. This is well-known basic plant physiology. As for other particulates, yes, plants have the ability to also clean the air of them. In fact, during the 1980s NASA conducted a study of this subject which is still used and referenced today. See the resulting report, Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution, for an explanation of how plants were tested and a detailed list of results.
If you find the NASA report too technical, try a Google search for plants that clean the air or for information about the NASA study. You will definitely find some websites with simpler information, although that information may not be as extensive.
For tips on a variety of gardening topics, see our Plant Information Guides.
- Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service
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