Ammonia is a dangerous substance and it doesn’t just exist in liquid form in your home. Ammonia is among a long list of chemical gases that exists in our home’s air. Its pungent smell can be hard to bear and can cause burning, itching, and irritation.
And if you think you can’t stand it, its worse for your pets who have a much more sensitive sense of smell and a smaller organism to fend off this chemical. People with allergies and asthma might also notice that they’re particularly sensitive to ammonia in the air.
Since ammonia gas can impact almost everyone, how exactly do you get rid of the ammonia in indoor air?
Besides obvious steps like cross ventilation or cleaning up the area, did you know that certain houseplants can also help remove ammonia from the air?
Let’s dive into just how ammonia gets into the indoor air and what the plants that can help you eliminate it are.
Where is This Ammonia Coming From?
Speaking about indoor air strictly, ammonia gases tend to come from biological or electronic equipment sources. In other words, it’s either naturally produced by humans, pets, plants, and microorganisms, or it’s given off from electronic devices like computers, monitors, or TVs.
If you have cats, the litter box will have ammonia, as will any other area in your home where urine has been able to seep through carpet or furnishings. Cigarette smoke can also produce ammonia gas.
Liquid ammonia takes very little to become a gas, so don’t discount your ammonia-based cleaning supplies.
What Houseplants Can Help Remove Ammonia From the Air?
The following is a list of commonly available houseplants that have been shown to purify ammonia from the air. The information is derived from Dr. Wolverton’s studies, which started with the NASA Clean Air Study in the 1980s and then continued on through Dr. Wolverton’s own independent firm.
It’s worth mentioning that most air quality experiments with plants are performed in closed chambers. You may need a lot more plants to achieve comparable results in a real room setting.
Rhapis excelsa (Lady Palm)
The broadleaf lady palm is a good air-purifying plant overall. In most experiments, it tends to show good results in removing most chemicals in the air that it’s been tested for. But in this case, it beat out all the other plants on the list, far surpassing the amount of ammonia that it could purify.
Even though this plant can turn your home into a tropical oasis, keep in mind that it can grow rather tall. You’ll need to control this, but it shouldn’t be an issue since the plant tends to grow rather slow once indoors. It’s also a safe plant for cats, dogs, other pets, as well as babies. Surprisingly, this tropical plant will do fine in interiors that are colder.
Anthurium andraeanum (Flamingo Lily)
The flamingo lily, or anthurium plant, was able to remove over 4,000 μg of ammonia from its surrounding air. Even though this plant might be a bit pricier than some other air-purifying plants, it’s very well worth the cost. Its vibrant red flowers (or spathes as they’re called) are known to bloom for a long time, this lily is quite attractive. The plant has glossy leaves, making it look as if it’s been polished. The plant is of medium size, growing to about 14 to 16 inches tall.
The red, waxy spathes of the flamingo plant.
When it comes to maintaining the plant, the anthurium will most love to be placed in front of a window. It likes filtered light. It also likes to be surrounded by warmth, so don’t put it near an air conditioning vent that’s constantly blasting cold air.
This plant is known to be toxic to cats and dogs, but luckily, it’s small enough to be put up high on a shelf.
Homalomena sp. (Emerald Gem)
Also known as the emerald gem plant, the homalomena thrives in indirect sunlight. It’s a medium-sized plant with glossy leaves that can adapt to virtually any home environment. The plant requires just the right amount of watering, so it may take some practice at first to figure out just what this plant needs. The plant is mildly toxic to pets, so you’ll need to put it on a shelf with about 16 inches of space needed in height for the plant.
Liriope spicata (Lilyturf)
The lilyturf is a grass-like plant that resembles a lavender with its purple blooms. Even though it looks like an unruly grass that’s intended to be planted outside next to your walkway, this plant is a lily and can work as a houseplant. Make sure to water it well, or else this plant will develop brown leafy tips.
The lilyturf is non-toxic to dogs and cats.
Chrysanthemum morifolium (Florist’s Chrysanthemum)
This plant has so many names – pot mum, garden mum, florist’s mum, chrysanth, and probably quite a few more. It’s a popular plant to gift for mother’s day, but it’s also a great plant to remove ammonia from the air. It’s commonly used outside because of its large, daisy-like flowers. It can work as a houseplant, although the plant will be much smaller indoors.
This plant is easy to maintain and attractive to look at, but it won’t last as long as some of the other plants on this list. This plant is toxic to dogs and cats, so it’s another plant that needs to be placed out of reach.
6 More Plants that Can Help You Eliminate Ammonia
And in case you’d like to add even more houseplants to clean the ammonia from the air, I’ll leave you with six more plants that can help you do just that.
- removed 3,100 μg of ammonia per hour.
Tulip “Yellow Present”
- removed 2,815 μg of ammonia per hour.
- removed 2,453 μg of ammonia per hour.
- removed 1,480 μg of ammonia per hour.
- removed 1,269 μg of ammonia per hour.
- removed 984 μg of ammonia per hour.