Houseplants that purify air

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The Best Indoor Air Purifying Plants

Top 10 Purifying Indoor Plants

Plants have been known to improve mood and productivity while also reducing stress and fatigue. They’re also effective air purifiers, catching toxins and replacing that with clean oxygen.

NASA did some research back in 1989 and determined that some houseplants can absorb harmful toxins in the air through normal photosynthesis process. This was a breakthrough since these indoor plants can survive in small spaces with less maintenance required. Perfect for space station habitats.

If these plants are good enough for the brainy guys at NASA, then who are we to disagree.

Here are 9 indoor plants that make for efficient natural air purifiers:

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Spider Plants

These plants are tough as nails and easy to maintain! They can survive neglect and reproduce quickly. NASA was able to determine that spider plants are able to get rid of toxins such as formaldehyde, xylene and toluene. They are also known to absorb mould and allergens.

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Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has long been used to treat cuts, bruises and burns, but this small plant is also an efficient air pollutant catcher, removing formaldehyde and benzene toxins.

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Devil’s Ivy (Golden Pothos)

Practically indestructible, this leafy plant has the ability to thrive in a variety of conditions. This toughy will rid the air of formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, and trichloroethylene. Warning: Keep this plant away from pets as it can be toxic to them. Has the NASA seal of approval.

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English Ivy

Commonly found outdoors, English Ivy can be placed inside the home to remove benzene and formaldehyde toxins. It’s also effective in catching faecal-based particles in the air as well as mould spores. The leaves and berries can be poisonous though, so keep it well out of reach from pets and children.

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Areca Palm

If you have a larger space, consider planting an areca palm. This non-toxic plant eliminates carbon monoxide, benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and more.

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Peace Lilies

Like the Devil’s Ivy, Peace lilies also earn NASA’s seal of approval by making it to the top 3 plants for removing toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene and ammonia. It is best placed in damp areas like bathrooms as it traps mould spores. Give it enough light for flowers to bloom, as those flowers are known to absorb harmful vapours from alcohol and acetone. The downside though is that Peace lilies are toxic to cats, dogs and children.

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Boston Fern

Another ideal plant for humid bathrooms is the Boston fern. These thick ferns filter out irritating toxins such as xylene and formaldehyde.

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Snake Plant

Another ideal plant for humid bathrooms is the Boston fern. These thick ferns filter out irritating toxins such as xylene and formaldehyde.

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Flamingo Lily

This exotic flowering plant is a pretty addition to coffee tables. Just a bit of daily misting should prolong its flowers. They are known to be effective against formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, and ammonia.

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Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemums have pretty flowers often used in bouquet arrangements or given as a token for special occasions. They are also used for medicinal purposes and have also found their way into the recipes of many chefs. Best of all, they are the top-ranked air purifying plant, effectively removing benzene, trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, and ammonia. Did I mention they’re pretty to look at?

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We don’t need to give you the hard sell on houseplants: They instantly add color, vibrancy, and a breath of fresh air to your space, no matter the size. As it turns out, these greens — ferns, palms, and ivy to name a few — also breath a little life into you, too.

How do plants purify air?

Let’s take it back to science class: During photosynthesis (you remember that word, don’t ya?), plants convert the carbon dioxide we exhale into fresh oxygen and remove toxins from the air we breathe. NASA tested this theory in a landmark 1989 study when they examined how popular houseplants diffuse toxic chemicals including:

  • Formaldehyde, which can cause irritation to nose, mouth, and throat.
  • Benzane, which can cause irritation to eyes, drowsiness, dizziness, increase in heart rate, headaches, and confusion.
  • Trichlorothylene, which can cause dizziness, headache, nausea, and vomiting.

Through the study, they found several, no-fuss plants that actually filter out the bad stuff and easily grow indoors.

What plants are best for purifying air?

The plants below filter at least one or all of the three tested toxins: Formaldehyde, Benzene, and Trichloroethylene. They also happen to be some of the most tolerant, low-maintenance plants out there, which means it’s very hard to kill them.

Kimberly Queen Fern walmart.com $25.23

This easy-to-grow fern thrives in bright direct sunlight and mild temperatures.

Varigated Snake Plant amazon.com $8.99

This striped green can survive with little water and light.

Barberton Daisy teleflora.com $29.99

This colorful plant can grow in the indoors or outdoors.

Weeping Fig Tree walmart.com $19.99

This large indoor tree should be in a well-lit room and watered regularly.

Red-Edged Dracaena amazon.com $49.72

This evergreen can survive with or without sunlight.

Peace Lily amazon.com $22.00

A symbol of sympathy, this budded plant works well in partial sunlight and humid climates.

Broadleaf Lady Palm etsy.com $24.99

Perfect for indoors or outdoors, this plant can grow up to 14 feet.

Spider Plant amazon.com $11.90

Place this plant in direct sunlight and water often.

Devil’s Ivy amazon.com $5.69

This plant loves indirect sunlight and only needs to be watered when dry.

Flamingo Lily amazon.com $29.99

Naturally found in rainforests, this plant needs indrect sunlight, humid temperatures, and water to grow.

Chinese Evergreen amazon.com $14.99

This plant doesn’t need a lot of light or water to grow.

Bamboo Palm amazon.com $31.09

Place the palm in a well-soiled planter in indirect sunlight.

How many plants do you need to purify a room?

The more plants, the better. To reap the benefits, have at least two plants per 100 square feet. Keep in mind that plants with larger leaves — think: palms — purify air quicker. Bill Wolverton, the man behind the NASA study, recommends fern and ivy plants because they take up the most surface area.

Enhance Your Green Thumb

12 likes – View Post on Instagram A peace lily finds a new home – what a lovely post from @flourish_eo #happyplants #peace #thepowerofgreen

Craig recommends:

  • Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) With large, long leaves and white flowers, peace lilies can thrive with little watering and can help to remove ammonia from the air, so they make great indoor plants.
  • Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Fern) Popular in the 70’s, the Boston Fern is making a comeback. It’s easy to grow, thrives in humid conditions, likes to be indoors or in the shade and removes formaldehyde, benzene and xylene from the air. Keep away from air conditioners or heaters however as it can dry out quickly.
  • Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina) Particularly good at filtering formaldehyde, xylene and toluene, a bright spot with partial shade during the day will keep these air cleaning plants happy.
  • Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea) is a tight clumping palm that loves shade, improves air quality by removing formaldehyde from the air and is said to act as a natural humidifier.

Justin recommends:

  • Janet Craig (Dracaena) A slow growing plant with dark glossy leaves that requires minimal maintenance and is great for improving indoor air quality. The Dracaena is a popular choice for offices as it likes being out of direct sunlight. “It is good at removing formaldehyde, a common household toxin,” says Justin.

  • Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa) is a type of clumping fan palm with lush dark green foliage. While they can grow to over four metres tall, they are very slow growing. Justin recommends regular and thorough watering. They remove formaldehyde, ammonia and xylene.

  • Zanzibar Gem (Zamilifolia) has beautiful glossy green foliage and thrives when neglected. It is resilient against drought, dry air, low light and bugs. It’s a popular choice for malls, restaurants, offices and pubs. Justin tells us, “it reduces pollutants, CO2 and carbon monoxide.”
  • Snake Plant or Mother-in-law’s Tongue (Sansevieria) is very hardy and can withstand most conditions. It has sculptural upright leaves with a distinct yellow bordering that grows to just over one metre tall. “It removes formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toleuene, and benzene from the air,” explains Justin.

Read our tips on styling with indoor plants around your home, or consider air plants for the ultimate in no fuss indoor plants

These Pothos Plant Benefits are science-backed and confirmed in various studies. And, don’t forget, it’s a low care houseplant that can grow without sunlight!

Pothos is a tropical vine, which is commonly grown as a houseplant. It’s widely grown indoors for ornamental purposes and due to its low maintenance and tolerance to low light conditions. However, there’s more than that–Several amazing Golden Pothos Plant Benefits, attested in recent research and studies, which makes it one of the most beneficial houseplants.

Also Read: Snake Plant Benefits

Common Names: Devil’s ivy, Devil’s vine, Golden pothos, Silvervine, Taro vine, Money plant, Silver pothos, Moneyplant

Botanical Name: Epipremnum aureum

1. Low Maintenance Plant

Pothos is a low maintenance houseplant that does well in a variety of conditions–both the sun and shade, moist and dry soil and a poor substrate. Although for best results locate it in bright indirect light and water only when the soil turns dry to the touch. In the case of low lighting conditions, it’ll become less variegated.

Note: According to this study, golden pothos plant can survive drought.

2. Easy to Propagate

Propagating pothos is one of the easiest things as compared to other houseplants. All you need to do is take 6 to 12 inches of cutting and snip off the lower leaves. Place this cutting in clean water and change the water once in a week. Plant the pothos in a pot as soon as the roots start to emerge.

Also Read: Best Flowering Houseplants

3. A Plant that Grows without Sunlight

Pothos can grow without direct sunlight; it’s a forgiving houseplant that grows even in low lighting and drought like condition in cool temperature. These plants will show less variegation and slow growth but won’t die. Also, improver air circulation and air-conditioned offices don’t have much effect on this plant. Although the leaves are soft, the plant is tough! Learn more about such plants here.

4. Air Purifying Houseplant

Pothos is very apt at removing VOCs and toxins from the surrounding air. According to the clean air study by NASA, pothos plant removes pollutants such as benzene, toluene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene from the air. The harmful effect of these pollutants can’t be underestimated and here’s how these pollutants harm us:

Note: Check out this Japanese study here, which confirms the air purifying capability of the pothos plant.

Also Read: Create a Tropical Garden in Cold Climate

Benzene

The frequent exposure to benzene is from tobacco smoke, vehicle exhausts, gas stations, and industrial emissions. The seemingly harmless stuff such as paints, glues, detergents, and furniture wax also raise the benzene levels in the air in indoor space. Exposure to benzene causes damage to the cells in bone marrow, which can lead to anemia. Long term exposure to benzene weakens our immune system, making us more susceptible to various diseases and ailments. Check out this detailed article to know more about benzene and its effects on human health.

Formaldehyde

Pressed wood products, carpets, cigarette smoke, and burning of appliances such as wood-burning stoves, kerosene heaters, and gas stoves without vents are the reason for formaldehyde exposure. Watery eyes, burning sensation in nose, eyes, throat can happen due to short term exposure. It can also lead to cancer and leukemia as stated by the National cancer institute. There are many other adverse effects of formaldehyde on human health, which are stated here in detail.

Also Read: Plants that Remove Formaldehyde

Carbon Monoxide

In the indoor space, carbon monoxide levels rise mostly because of gas heaters, wood fires, clogged chimneys, blocked vents, some electrical appliances. The people who are at high risk are infants, unborn babies, and elders. Also, if you have a chronic disease, respiratory problems, or anemia, CO exposure can affect you more than a healthy person. Vomiting, headache, nausea, and dizziness are linked to the breathing of CO gas. The high CO levels in the surrounding air can even cause unconsciousness and death. Here is an educational article on the adverse effects of CO.

Xylene

Adhesives, gasoline, nail paint, varnishes or rubber cement, xylene is present in all many household and industrial items. It affects the central nervous system when inhaled and can cause vomiting, nausea, dizziness, and headache. As the consistent exposure increases the effects become more noticeable and lethal. To know more about the xylene exposure risk, see this educational article.

Toluene

The evaporation of toluene from materials such as paint thinners, paints, gasoline, and nail polish leads to its increases concentration in the indoor space. Toluene affects the central nervous system and causes headaches, dizziness, or unconsciousness if you are exposed to it for a short period. Long term exposure to toluene had serious effects which can lead to cognitive impairment, incoordination, and loss of vision and hearing. Know more about this toxic agent in this post.

Pothos can remove formaldehyde and other VOCs effectively, an experiment was conducted recently by the support of NASA, learn more about that here.

5. It Increases Humidity

Humid air can protect you from cold and influenza as viruses can’t transmit easily in moist air, it also keeps your skin hydrated. Whereas, dry air multiplies the allergic reactions and dust & airborne pollutants. After knowing all these advantages of humid air, it’s good to know that pothos plant also increases humidity around it.

However, there’s no proper research to guide how many of these plants you need per room for this purpose, but the same NASA experiment also found out that golden pothos is one of the plants that increase humidity.

6. It Looks Great

This one is obvious! Pothos is a trailing plant that can be trained to grow on almost anything. The special feature of this houseplant is that you can have it as a trailing or climbing houseplant, whatever suits you. Plus, unlike other houseplants, it doesn’t become dull under lack of sunlight.

The variegated bright yellow and green leaves are heart-shaped and look attractive because of the waxy surface. We also added it in our list of heart-shaped indoor plants.

Also Read: Arum Lily Care and Growing

7. Versatile Plant

You can train pothos to grow in any desired way, making it a versatile plant for decorative purpose. Place it on a shelf, office desk, table, kitchen countertop or hang it from the window, stems cascading downwards. You can also train it in the form of a loop or any other shape.

8. Feng Shiu and Vastu

If you believe in the Feng Shui, then there are a multitude of golden pothos benefits according to it. Why? Because Feng Shui experts consider it as an energy force that cleanses the negative energy. It makes sense; after all, it does remove pollutants from the air. It is recommended to keep the pothos near WiFi, television, router, or computer. The potential benefits are reduced stress and improved sleep quality.

Vastu principles believe that this plant brings good luck and positive energy in households. Although planting it in the garden is not recommended by Vastu followers.

9. It’s Called Devil’s Ivy or Money Plant

This humble houseplant has many uncommon names. One of them is Devil’s Ivy because it is hard to kill. Moreover, some people consider it a weed. Also, in many countries, it’s called Money Plant, due to the belief that growing it can make you richer and never let you be short of money.

10. Calming Effect

A study conducted on 14 Japanese men found out that touching the leaves of golden pothos has a calming and peaceful effect on the mind. You can check it out here.

Also Read: Houseplants for Perfect Sleep

11. It Absorbs CO2 & Ozone

One of the best pothos plant health benefits is, it’s an efficient houseplant, when it comes to absorbing CO2, according to this Malaysian study.
One research on three common houseplants–Snake plant, spider plant, and pothos, outlines that these plants could also absorb ozone, which is a common indoor air pollutant. Read this educative article to learn how ozone is harmful to you if it’s present in your home and the sources of its exposure.

Also Read: Spider Plant Benefits

10 Best Clean Air House Plants

English Gardens 10 Best Clean Air House Plants

Selection is based on ease of growth and maintenance, resistance to pests, efficiency at removing chemical vapors, and transpiration rates.

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.

Raphis Palm

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.

Bamboo Palm

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.

Rubber Plant

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

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.

Ficus Alii

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.

10 Air Purifying Plants For Homes & Offices

Even in huge, busy cities, outdoor air is cleaner and preferable to indoor air. Why is that? One reason is that trees and plants are constantly cleaning the air outside. This suggests that the eco-minded homeowner or office dweller should go out and buy some plants – but which ones? With all the hype of “going green”, every plant on the market is being promoted as an air purifier! But not to worry – NASA has conducted an official study on the top 10 air purifying plants, assigning each one a score based on how well they remove chemical vapors, resist insects, and how easy they are to maintain for your home or green office space.

The Areca Palm

(Images via Plant Directions, EnvicoGarden)

NASA Purifying Score: 8.5

The top air purifying plant as ranked by NASA’s study is the Areca palm tree. Dubbed “the most efficient air humidifier” by MetaEfficient, the Areca can be counted on to keep your home or office moist during dry times and continuously remove chemical toxins from the air. During winter time, it can literally replace the use of electric humidifiers altogether!

The Lady Palm

(Images via Livick’s Palms, TyTy)

NASA Purifying Score: 8.5

Neck and neck with the Areca palm tree for NASA’s top-ranked air purifying plant is the Lady palm (or Rhapis excelsa.) A versatile plant, the lady can be kept in dry or humid climates (anywhere from 20-100 degrees Fahrenheit) and is fiercely resistant to most types of plant insects.

The Bamboo Palm

(Images via Blue Moon Candles, Plant Importers)

NASA Purifying Score: 8.4

Just a notch below the top 2 air purifying palms is the Bamboo palm (or Chamaedorea seifrizii.) Featured prominently in CasaSugar.com’s “Plants That Purify” series, the Bamboo palm thrives when kept moist (but not wet) in indirect sunlight. Provided these conditions are kept stable, the Bamboo palm can be counted on to purify the indoor air of anywhere you happen to be.

The Rubber Plant

(Image via HowStuffWorks, Great House Plants)

NASA Purifying Score: 8.0

Fourth on NASA’s scoring is the rubber plant (or Ficus robusta.) According to AvianWeb, rubber plants excel at removing chemical toxins (especially formaldehyde) from indoor air, requiring less light than many other plants and outperforming all other ficuses. A word of caution, though: rubber plant leaves can be toxic, so be mindful of that if you have pets roaming around!

The Dracaena

(Images via Natural Surrounding, House Of Plants)

NASA Purifying Score: 7.8

The Dracaena (or Dracaena deremensis) places fifth on NASA’s ranking with a 7.8 score. Bright and radiant, the Dracaena (nicknamed “Janet Craig”) will go to work purifying the air in your home or office as soon as it is brought into the room!

(Images via Overstock, OSU)

NASA Purifying Score: 7.8

If the air where you live has gotten stale and dry, English ivy (or Hedera helix) might be just the ticket! WebMD describes the effervescent plant as “a fix for allergies“, noting that 60% of airborne mold in the room vanished just 6 hours after English ivy was brought in. Ditto for 58% if airborne feces! Those with asthma, allergies, or the desire to breath cleaner, fresher air would do well to give English ivy a shot!

The Dwarf Date Palm

(Images via Just Palm Trees, SftraJan)

NASA Purifying Score: 7.8

While it doesn’t rank as high on the purifying scale as its 3 palm cousins, make no mistake: the Date palm tree (or Phoenix roebelinii)is still a very effective and elegant-looking way to both liven up the look of a room and lower the concentration of chemical toxins floating around in the air.

The Ficus Alii

(Images via Hionus Greenhouses, Dave’s Garden)

NASA Purifying Score: 7.7

The ficus alii (or Ficus macleilandii) is not as potent in its toxin-removing prowess as, say, the rubber plant, but it is still a fine addition to any home or office where clean air is lacking. While they are not terrible difficult to care for, Plant Care Guru warns that gloves should be worn while handling the plant if you have latex allergies.

The Boston Fern

(Images via Silk Plant USA, Country Living)

NASA Purifying Score: 7.5

Ninth on NASA’s ranking of top air purifying plants is the ever-popular Boston Fern (or Nephrolepis exalta.) Cool and relaxing, the Boston Fern has been called the “most efficient filtering plant” by MetaEfficient.com for its time-tested ability to expel mold and toxins from indoor air. Plus, it’s sure to make any home or office more forest-like!

The Peace Lilly

(Images via Prints of Scotland, Perry & Jaymes Florist)

NASA Purifying Score: 7.5

Rounding out NASA’s list is the peace lilly (or Spathiphyllum sp.) All that’s needed to keep and maintain this beautiful indoor air toxin killer is plenty of water and a modest amount of sunlight. Preserve these conditions at all time and you’ve got yourself an all-natural air purifier that will remain hard at work 24/7!

4 Powerful Air Purifying Plants
to Clean the Air in Your Home

It’s tempting to think that the air inside your house or office is fresh and clean—after all, it probably doesn’t have any noticeable odor, and if you’re reading this magazine you probably have the windows open every chance you get (weather permitting). But the truth is that indoor air

quality can be, well, deceiving. Unless all your furniture, paint, carpeting and flooring are organic, eco-friendly and pure, chances are there is some moderate to substantial off-gassing going on (off-gassing is when synthetic materials or chemicals naturally degrade, releasing harmful particles into the air).

“The air inside the average home is up to five times more polluted than the air outside”

In fact, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside the average home is up to five times more polluted than the air outside. While moderately alarming on a certain level, it’s really more of a catalyst for making positive changes in one’s life that not only freshen up the air, but also allow us to more intimately connect with nature—not merely when we’re outside, but in the comfort of our own living and working spaces. The remedy? Air purifying plants, of course.

The Power of Air Purifying Plants

I remember one night many years ago I came home late from a gathering with some close friends, and being that it was well past midnight, I decided to sneak into bed without turning the lights on. I fell into a deep, peaceful sleep with unusually vivid dreams. I awoke in the middle of the night—my body gently nudging me awake with a primal urge to use the bathroom. When I opened my eyes and took a deep breath I felt so invigorated and rejuvenated that it was absolutely remarkable, especially after only having slept for a few hours. I felt like I could have started my day filled with energy, right then and there, many hours ahead of my normal rising time. But that elation quickly turned to panic as I began to notice a large, black mass just a few feet from my face as my eyes became more sensitive to the darkness filling the room.

I gathered my courage and peered in closer to discover what was next to my bed—to my surprise, a towering bouquet of freshly cut flowers. Relieved, I took a deep breath to relax and noticed how fresh, clean and pure the air around the flowers was. It was literally oozing with oxygen and a light, fragrant scent that I had been unconsciously breathing in that night, which was nourishing every cell of my body as I slept (interesting side note: I later learned that the body’s oxygen demands go up while sleeping).

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Discover powerful insights and techniques for creating radiant health, happiness, prosperity, peace and flow in your life and relationships. We had visitors from out of town staying with us who departed before I returned that night, and one of them had left the flowers in their wake. Basking in their afterglow for just a few hours had noticeably improved my health and wellbeing. It was a poignant reminder of the power of plants to not just purify the air, but imbue it with life. I vowed never to be far from plants ever again.

From Toxic to Botanic

But besides providing some profoundly refreshing sleep, can air purifying plants really clean truly toxic air? Can they compete with the brute force of human industry that has caused more environmental destruction than any other force on the planet? In fact, yes. Very much so.

Enter Kamal Meattle, the tenacious, successful CEO of a large Indian software company. Kamal found his health rapidly deteriorating due to the foul air quality in the crowded capital city of New Delhi, India. Not one to sit idly by as his lung capacity precariously dwindled at around 30% of its normal capacity, Meattle began working with the Indian Institute of Technology and The Energy and Resources Institute to expand on NASA air quality research in the hopes he might find a solution to his dilemma.

You see, NASA had a small problem on their hands when it came to long-period manned space missions. They needed an efficient, lasting source of clean air to keep astronauts alive and thriving during extended interstellar travel. What they discovered is that a few common houseplants, and one in particular—Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (botanical name: Sansevieria trifasciata)—did the job wonderfully and were also powerful air purifiers to boot.

Meattle and his team used NASA’s findings to branch out and discover two more air purifying plants that formed a ‘holy trinity’ of clean air. In addition to Sansevieria trifasciata, they discovered that the Areca palm and the superstitiously named money plant, a long wandering vine, also produced copious amounts of clean air while simultaneously removing toxins.

After substantially improving his own health with the combo, in true CEO fashion, Meattle decided to scale up the project and attempt to purify a 20-year-old, 50,000-square-feet building that housed his nearly 300 employees. After some testing and tweaking they discovered that approximately six air purifying plants are required per person to meet their daily needs for fresh, clean, highly oxygenated air.

“Our experience points to an amazing increase in human productivity by over 20% by using these plants. And also a reduction in energy requirements in buildings by an outstanding 15%, because you need less fresh air. We are now replicating this in a 1.75-million-square-feet building, which will have 60,000 indoor air purifying plants,” stated Meattle in a recent TED Talk about his work. Meattle also mentions that these studies “have found that there is a 42% probability of one’s blood oxygen going up by one percent if one stays indoors in this building for 10 hours. The government of India has discovered or published a study to show that this is the healthiest building in New Delhi.”

What You Can Do to Thrive

Clearly indoor plants have immense therapeutic benefits on many levels. The question then becomes which are the most effective at improving air quality and removing toxins (and for some us, which go best with the new rug we just got) Beyond that, each air purifying plant has its own unique ‘personality’, preferring certain conditions over others, so be sure to consider your space and climate in relation to what the plant needs to thrive. That being said, the air purifying plants below are a hardy bunch and can handle a bit of stress and neglect so don’t limit yourself for lack of ‘ideal’ conditions.

The Best Air-Purifying Plants for Your Home

These air-purifying plants are ideal for people who want to spend more time with their plant. All of them require fertilizer once a month, as well as extra care like misting or repotting.

Bamboo palms (Chamaedorea seifrizii)

This sturdy plant is known for its easy elegance and height. It likes bright, but not direct sunlight, and does have preferences about its care. Bamboo palms also transpire a healthy dose of moisture into the air, making it a welcome addition in dry winter months.

Plant care: Keep the soil moist. Place bamboo palms where air circulates freely, and mist occasionally to prevent spider mites.

Non-toxic: Bamboo palms are safe to keep in a house with pets.

Eliminates: formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide, xylene, chloroform, and more

English ivy (Hedera helix)

This evergreen climbing plant is well adapted to indoor conditions. Different varieties will prefer different light situations, from bright, indirect light to low-light spaces. It’ll look especially picturesque growing from a hanging basket or around your windowsill.

Plant care: Water generously during growth, but don’t overwater during the winter.

Toxic to animals and humans: Although the English ivy thrives almost anywhere, it’s known to cause problems in dogs, farm animals, and humans when eaten. The chemicals in the sap can also cause severe contact dermatitis in humans, especially those with sensitive skin.

Eliminates: benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and more

Rubber plants (Ficus elastic)

Rubber plants are evergreen trees from India. Their roots grow upwards and often become entwined around the plant’s trunk, forming interesting shapes. These plants love bright, filtered light and a little attention now and then.

Plant care: Water moderately to keep the soil moist, especially in the winter. Prune the leaves and wipe them down to keep them looking pretty.

Toxic to animals: Rubber plants are toxic to cats and dogs.

Eliminates: carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and more

Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema)

These evergreen perennials are native to tropical forests in Asia. In addition to looking patterned and colorful, these pretty plants can remove many common toxins. But caring for these plants may require extra attention.

Plant care: Water moderately and allow compost to almost dry out before watering. Chinese evergreens like high humidity, a little regular misting, and getting repotted every few years.

Toxic to animals: Chinese evergreen plants are toxic to dogs.

Eliminates: benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and more

Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum)

In the 1980s, NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America discovered that peace lilies were one of the top three plants for removing common household toxins, even ammonia.

Plant care: Keep soil slightly moist. Peace lilies thrive in most lighting conditions, but too little light can prevent flowers from blooming.

Toxic to animals and humans: Despite its calming name, this beautiful plant is toxic to cats, dogs, and children. It’s best to keep this as an ornamental plant as it can cause burning, swelling, and skin irritation in adults.

Eliminates: formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene, ammonia, and more

Choosing the right air purifying plants for your home can detoxify the air in your living spaces, meaning your houseplants not only look lovely but work a little harder to clean the air you breathe in.

NASA’s Clean Air Study found that there are a number of air purifying plants that can detoxify your home from the airborne toxins, dusts and germs that can be found in a variety of household products, materials and furniture.

To give your home a healthy breath of fresh air, here’s our list of the best air purifying plants and where to keep them…

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1. Barberton Daisy

As well as injecting a cheerful burst of red, yellow, orange or pink into your home, the Barberton daisy is an effective cleanser of the toxins formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene, found in a range of household materials from paints to synthetic fibres.

Care advice: Place the plant in a room with plenty of natural light and keep the soil moist but well-drained.

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2. English Ivy

This easy-growing perennial vine is particularly effective at reducing airborne faecal particles which makes it the perfect air purifier for your bathroom or en suite. In addition, studies have shown that the ivy can also help combat mould levels in the home.

Care advice: Provide your English ivy with generous watering and four hours of direct sunlight a day, and it will return the love to you with clean, detoxified air.

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3. Snake Plant or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue

With this plant in your bedroom, you’re in for a great night’s sleep. Also known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, this yellow-tipped succulent releases oxygen at night, helping you to breathe better while sleeping. It is one of the best plants for filtering the air of formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, toluene, and trichloroethylene.

Care advice: Be mindful not to overwater, as the roots are prone to rot in moist soil.

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4. Chrysanthemum

Brighten up your kitchen or living room with a chrysanthemum. These pretty blooms help to filter out a host of toxins including ammonia and benzene, which is often found in plastics, detergents, and glue.

Care advice: This plant loves sunlight, so place it in a spot near a sunbathed window.

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5. Spider Plant

For those of you who are houseplant newbies, the resilient spider plant is the perfect choice. It will quietly battle toxins including carbon monoxide and xylene, a solvent used in the printing and rubber industries. If you have pets, this is one of the few houseplants that is non-toxic to animals.

Care advice: You can also repot the tiny ‘spiderettes’ and grow a whole family of plants that will pretty much take care of themselves… and you.

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6. Aloe Vera

A healing aloe plant is a lovely addition to your kitchen windowsill, as it loves a sunny spot. While being on hand to soothe any kitchen burns, this succulent will be purifying the air of formaldehyde and benzene, found in varnishes, floor finishes, and detergents.

Care advice: This plant will thrive in a sunny location.

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7. Broad Lady Palm

This is one of the few plants that can help reduce levels of ammonia that can be found in a range of cleaning products. They are expensive to buy fully-grown so you might want to shop around for a smaller one or start from seed.

Care advice: Humidity-loving, this plant will be very happy in your bathroom.

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8. Red-edged Dracaena or Dragon Tree

Trichloroethylene and xylene are amongst the pollutants fought by this spiky, slow-growing plant. The leaves have a bright red trim which add a flash of colour to your home.

Care advice: This plant has the potential to grow to 8ft, so keep it in a room with high ceilings and reasonable sunlight.

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9. Weeping Fig

Popular houseplants since the Victorian times, weeping figs can help to tackle levels of formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene.

Care advice: They are fairly fussy plants that don’t like change. Keep your weeping fig in bright, indirect light away from drafts, and it will be a trusty purifier for many years to come.

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10. Chinese Evergreen

This tropical plant is proven to be an effective cleanser of formaldehyde and benzene, found in detergents and cosmetics.

Care advice: The Chinese evergreen enjoys low-lit and humid conditions, so will thrive in your bathroom. If you choose to keep the plant somewhere else, remember to mist the leaves occasionally to prevent browning.

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1. Devil’s Ivy or pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Otherwise known as pothos or golden pothos, devil’s ivy is an easy to grow indoor houseplant that will fight off common household toxins. It adds instant colour to any room with cascading tendrils and grows well in water, pots and hanging baskets. The heartleaf philodendron has also been said to be harder to kill than to keep alive!

Toxins removed: xylene, benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.

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2. Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix Roebelenii)

Dwarf or Pygmy palms are the babies of the palm family. They are relatively easy to grow in partial shade, growing up to six to 10 feet with their fronds reaching six foot too!

Toxins removed: formaldehyde and xylene.

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3. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Also known as a spathiphyllum, peace lilies are an easy and undemanding plant to look after. Their glossy green leaves make the perfect addition to any room especially those spots with low light. Keep them happy with a weekly water and fertilise with a slow-release fertiliser in spring to promote growth and those glorious white flowers.

Toxins removed: benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene

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4. Philodendron

The heart-shaped philodendron is a luscious addition to indoor spaces. Philo’s are relatively easy to look after they just need moderate water and bright, indirect sunlight.

Toxins removed: formaldehyde.

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5. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Spider plants are the perfect choice for newbies and those with a bad track record when it comes to plants. They thrive in indirect sunlight and survive in just about any condition (they’ve been known to survive in temperatures as low as 2 degrees). Spider plants also send out shoots of baby spider plants called spiderettes.

Toxins removed: formaldehyde and xylene.

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6. Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum morifolium)

Chrysanthemums otherwise known as disbuds or mums are not only a great addition to a floral arrangement but they look great in your home and are known as one of the best air purifiers around. They are among the more difficult air purifiers to grow but the payoff is beautiful colourful blooms. They enjoy good air flow, bright indirect sunlight and watering with warm water only, making sure that they are allowed to dry fully in between drinks.

Toxins removed: ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene

7. Rubber plants (Ficus elastic)

These burgundy evergreen trees originated from India, they’re a very hardy plant that love bright, filtered light and weekly watering in summer and fortnightly watering in winter. Rubber plants can grow in a small pot or be encouraged to grow into a large indoor tree in pots or straight in the ground.

Toxins removed: xylene, benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.

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8. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata v. Bostoniesis)

This easy-to-grow fern is known for its sword-shaped fronds which makes it perfect for a hanging basket or pedestal. The Boston Fern thrives in humid environments and requires consistent moisture. Keep them happy with regular misting, moist soil and position them in indirect sunlight near windows, balconies and patios. In winter cut the fronds back by around 2-inches to help regenerate and grow in the warmer months.

Toxins removed: formaldehyde and xylene.

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9. Areca palms (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)

Areca palms are great for bigger spaces. They are a powerhouse when it comes to eliminating toxins and they are even non-toxic to both dogs and cats. Look after them with lots of water (a couple of times a week) during summer but not as much in winter.

Toxins removed: benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene

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10. Pineapple Plant

A recent study by NASA revealed that pineapple plants can actually put an end to snoring. Whilst they don’t remove any toxins from the air NASA claims that “pineapple plants produce oxygen and boost air quality at night which could improve sleep quality and cut out those snores.” These plants are very hardy and survive with very little water but be careful they are no match for frost they hate the cold.

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11. Dracaena “Janet Craig” (Dracaena Deremensis)

Go big or go home! Dracaena’s can grow up to 15-foot tall, making them perfect for filling voids and big spaces. These guys love indirect sunlight but under no circumstances should be placed in direct sunlight. Water them once a week in the warmer months but be careful too much water can cause root decay.

Toxins removed: xylene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde

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12. Ficus/Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)

The ficus is native to southeast Asia, grown most commonly indoors the Weeping Fig can grow between two and 10 feet tall. Like most other air purifiers ficus prefers bright, in direct sunlight and to be watered weekly, drying out fully between drinks.

Toxins removed: formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene.

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13. Snake Plant/Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Snake Plants otherwise known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue is a succulent plant that can grow up to two meters in height. It is a low maintenance plant that is hardy and thrives on neglect. Place them in somewhere tolerating bright even direct light for a couple of hours a day. Be careful not to overwater as they thrive in dry conditions.

Toxins removed: formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, benzene and xylene.

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14. Aloe Vera (Aloe vera or A. barbadensis)

Aloe Vera isn’t just handy for their anti-inflammatory properties repairing wounds and helping with sunburn but it turns out it is a great air purifier too. They thrive in warm well-lit rooms, growing brown spots on their leaves when the amount of harmful chemicals is extreme.

Toxins removed: formaldehyde.

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15. English ivy (Hedera helix)

You might recognise English ivy as the climber on many walls and trees outdoors but NASA claims that it is the number one indoor houseplant when it comes to its air purifiers. They grow well in small pots and prefer to be crowded. They look great in hanging baskets and you can even propagate a cutting in water in just a few days.

Toxins removed: formaldehyde and benzene.

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16. Flamingo Lily/Fleur (Anthurium andraeanum)

The Flamingo Lily is the perfect plant to add a pop of colour to any room, they flower 300 out of 365 days of the year. She loves bright indirect sunlight, to be watered one to two times a week and is particularly comfortable in more humid conditions like your bathroom and kitchen.

Toxins removed: Formaldehyde, Ammonia, Xylene, Toluene.

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17. Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa)

The Lady Palm is a great option when it comes to air cleaners. Contrary, to popular beliefs these palms prefer cooler temps ranging from 15-23 degrees.

Toxins removed: formaldehyde, ammonia and xylene

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18. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)

The Chinese Evergreen plant comes in many varieties and is one of the easiest indoor house plants to grow. They tolerate most conditions but thrive in well-drained soil, humid temps with medium to low light conditions. It is recommended that you fertilise your Chinese Evergreen plants twice a year.

Toxins removed: formaldehyde and xylene.

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19. Kimberly Queen Ferns (Nephrolepis obliterata)

The Australian native Kimberly Queen Fern thrives in outdoor conditions but they also make for the perfect indoor plants. They are perfect for newbies and beginners as their unique straight, narrow upright fronds require little to no care. Kimberly Queen Ferns don’t need to be pruned or cut back but make sure you keep them nice and moist with plenty of water and fertilise regularly in the warmer months.

Toxins removed: formaldehyde and benzene.

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20. Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)

These guys can grow pretty big (between four and 12 feet high) making them absolute formaldehyde filtering machines. They make great indoor additions as they are pet-friendly and are one of the few air cleaners that love a good dose of full sunlight.

Toxins removed: formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene.

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Looking for some indoor plants that will thrive on neglect? Watch the video below.

You Asked: Can Indoor Plants Really Purify the Air?

Plants are indispensable to human life. Through photosynthesis, they convert the carbon dioxide we exhale into fresh oxygen, and they can also remove toxins from the air we breathe.

One famous NASA experiment, published in 1989, found that indoor plants can scrub the air of cancer-causing volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde and benzene. (Those NASA researchers were looking for ways to effectively detoxify the air of space station environments.) Later research has found that soil microorganisms in potted plants also play a part in cleaning indoor air.

Based on this research, some scientists say house plants are effective natural air purifiers. And the bigger and leafier the plant, the better. “The amount of leaf surface area influences the rate of air purification,” says Bill Wolverton, a former NASA research scientist who conducted that 1989 plant study.

Wolverton says that, absent expensive testing, it’s impossible to guess how many plants might be needed to clean a room of its contaminants. But he usually recommends at least two “good sized” plants per 100 square feet of interior space. “The Boston fern is one of the most effective plants for removing airborne pollutants, but it is often difficult to grow indoors,” he says. “I usually recommend the golden pothos as my first choice, since it is a popular plant and easy to grow.”

But while Wolverton has long been a vocal advocate of indoor plants—he’s written books on the topic, and now operates a consulting company that advocates for the use of plants to clean contaminated air—other experts say the evidence that plants can effectively accomplish this feat is far from conclusive.

“There are no definitive studies to show that having indoor plants can significantly increase the air quality in the home to improve health in a measurable way,” says Luz Claudio, a professor of environmental medicine and public health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Claudio has reviewed the research on the air-quality benefits of indoor plants. She says there’s no question that plants are capable of removing volatile chemical toxins from the air “under laboratory conditions.” But in the real world—in your home, say, or in your office space—the notion that incorporating a few plants can purify your air doesn’t have much hard science to back it up.

Most research efforts to date—including the NASA study—placed indoor plants in small, sealed environments in order to assess how much air-scrubbing power they possessed. But those studies aren’t really applicable to what happens in a house, says Stanley Kays, a professor emeritus of horticulture at the University of Georgia.

Kays coauthored a 2009 study on the air-cleaning powers of 28 different indoor plants. While many of those plants could remove toxins from the air, “moving from a sealed container to a more open environment changes the dynamics tremendously,” he says.

MORE: What Green Spaces Can Do to Your Mood

In many cases, the air in your home completely turns over—that is, swaps places with outdoor air—once every hour. “There’s a phenomenal amount of air coming in and going out in most houses,” Kays says. “From what I’ve seen, in most instances air exchange with the exterior has a far greater effect on indoor air quality than plants.”

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Also, plants used in lab studies are grown in optimal conditions. They’re exposed to ample light in order to maximize photosynthesis, which improves a plant’s toxin-degrading abilities. “In the home, this isn’t the case at all,” Kays says. “The amount of light in many parts of a house is often just barely sufficient for photosynthesis.”

He knows many people will be disappointed by what he has to say, and he wants to make it clear he believes house plants are not only pleasant living companions, but that they also provide a number of evidence-based health benefits. Studies have shown plants can knock out stress by calming the sympathetic nervous system, and can also make people feel happier. More research shows spending time around nature has a positive effect on a person’s mood and energy levels.

“There are some real plusses to having plants around,” Kays says. “But at this time, it doesn’t look like plants sitting passively in a house are effective enough to make a major contribution to purifying indoor air.”

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Many people think that air pollution only consists of smog or car emissions. While these do constitute as outdoor air pollution, there is a much more dangerous kind of air pollution known as indoor air pollution.

Indoor air pollution is more hazardous than outdoor air pollution. It is a more concentrated type of pollution that is caused by inadequate ventilation, toxic products, humidity, and high temperatures. Thankfully, numerous plants clean the air.

Houseplants often get overlooked in their ability to remove toxins and air pollutants from our homes. Bringing in air purifying plants is a cheap and easy way to improve the air quality of your home while bringing color and texture into your space.

Several plants will filter out volatile compounds like formaldehyde and benzene, significantly improving the indoor air quality in your home. Here are 17 plants that clean the air.

Aloe is an easy-to-grow succulent plant that helps to clear benzene and formaldehyde from the air.

The Aloe vera plant loves the sun, making a sunny kitchen window an excellent spot to place the plant. Along with removing air pollutants, this plant contains a gel that can help to heal burns and cuts.

Warneck Dracaena (Dracaena deremensis warneckii)

The Warneck Dracaena will combat air pollutants that are released by varnishes and oils.

They grow quickly indoors and thrive in any light. Known for its white stripes along the edge, it can become to be 12 feet high. The Warneck Dracaena is one of the best indoor tree plants and looks beautiful in any location.

Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

The snake plant is one of the best indoor plants for ridding your home of dangerous formaldehyde, a chemical used in cleaning products, tissues, toilet paper, and personal care items.

It thrives in low light, and humid conditions, so consider making it one of your bathroom plants. They are also known for absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen at night.

Golden Pothos (Scindapsus aureus)

One of the best houseplants for clean air, the golden pothos is a fast-growing plant that removes formaldehyde toxins. It is also one of those fantastic hanging plants for baskets.

These indoor plants need bright, indirect light to survive. To avoid root rot, make sure you don’t overwater the plant.

Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)

These colorful Chrysanthemum plants do more than brighten a room with their vivid colors; they are also great for getting rid of indoor air pollutants.

They are mainly excellent at filtering out benzene, which is a common ingredient in paint, glue, plastics, and detergents. Place this plant in bright light to encourage the buds to open.

Red-edged Dracaena (Dracaena marginata)

There are many varieties of dracaena plants, but this variety brings a pop of color to the plant with its red edges. It is best for removing trichloroethylene, xylene, and formaldehyde.

It is slow to grow but can reach heights of 15 feet, so you’ll want to keep it in an area with high ceilings.

Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)

The Weeping Fig plant filters out numerous pollutants including benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde. These are toxins you typically find in furniture and carpeting.

They can be tricky to grow and maintain but thrive in bright, indirect light.

Azalea (Rhododendron simsii)

This beautiful flowering Azalea evergreen shrub will combat the formaldehyde found in foam insulation and plywood. They do best in colder temperatures and bright light.

To create a more humid environment for this plant, mist the plant every few days to keep the leaves moist. Remove any dead leaves that fall into the soil to help ward off disease.

English Ivy (Hedera helix)

According to a recent study, English ivy reduces airborne fecal-matter particles, as well as formaldehyde.

It is easy to care for and thrives in partial shade and fertile, moist soil. Once ivy becomes well established, they can tolerate dry conditions.

Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema Crispum)

The Chinese evergreen is an easy plant to care for and can filter out many different air pollutants.

As time and exposure continue, it will keep removing more toxins from the air. It will produce beautiful blooms and berries and is one of the best low light indoor plants.

Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii)

The bamboo palm, also known as the reed palm, is a small plant that thrives in shady indoor areas. It is one of the best indoor plants for removing trichloroethylene and benzene from indoor air, making it a great plant to place around furniture. It prefers, bright, indirect light, and thrives in areas of high humidity.

>> Further Reading: How to get rid of Spider Mites on your Plants

Heart Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron oxycardium)

A climbing vine, the heart-leaf philodendron isn’t a good option if you have pets or kids because it is toxic when eaten. The low-maintenance plants are ideal for removing VOCs from the air, especially formaldehyde. They thrive in indirect sunlight and take little maintenance to survive.

The peace lily only needs weekly watering and shade to thrive and produce beautiful blooms. These fragrant plants are ideal for removing formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and benzene. They are very forgiving plants and easy to care for and maintain.

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you’ll have a difficult time killing off this hardy houseplant.

The foliage and small white flowers battle formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and benzene. They also take care of xylene, a solvent used in rubber and leather, and in the printing industry. Spider plants are easy to grow and prefer cooler temperatures and dry soil.

Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)

The Boston fern removes more formaldehyde from the indoor air than any other plant. They are also great for eliminating benzene and xylene, toxins that enter your home through the garage. Unfortunately, they can be finicky, requiring weekly watering during their growing season, and monthly watering in the winter.

Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)

A brightly colored, flowering plant, the Gerbera Daisy is efficient at removing trichloroethylene, which is a common pollutant found in dry cleaning.

It loves the light and must have well-drained soil to survive. The cut blooms can last up to two weeks, continuing to rid the air of pollutants.

Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

The rubber plant is at the top of the list for removing formaldehyde. The office is a great spot to place these plants because most office furniture is made from particleboard that is held together by formaldehyde-based glues. These rubber plants are office plants that are slow growing and can survive in low lights.

To reduce the toxic chemicals in your home, bring in plants that clean the air to remove some of the most toxic of these chemicals from indoor air. Many houseplants are great for removing formaldehyde, a common toxic chemical that may cause cancer and triggers allergic reactions and asthma attacks. Not only do the plants listed here improve indoor air quality, but they also brighten up any room with vibrant colors and rich textures.

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