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Home » Top 10 Air Purifying House Plants

Top 10 Air Purifying House Plants

by Elyssa Goins
This article was fact checked.
Helpful: 100%

Another benefit other than displaying a plant within the home or office for visual purposes is the purification and filtering of certain toxins and pollutants within the air. Air purifying house plants will help you provide a healthy environment.

NASA ( National Aeronautics and Space Administration) tested all the air cleaning house plants listed below within their space stations (strange as that seems but true).

Clean Air Study

I have included the top 10 plants that were part of NASA’s clean air study (as mentioned above). For more information about the study check out the wiki article.

Which climbing and trailing plants would you like to grow as house plants? Here is a selection to suit everyone’s requirements with advice about caring, a description of plants and for some species – where to buy.

a peace lily air purifying house plant on a flower pot with a white background

Peace Lily – Spathiphyllum Wallisii

Removes: Benzene, Formaldehyde, Tricloroethylene, Xylene, and Tolune, Ammonia.

The peace lily gets top marks for removing toxins according to the clean air study. Peace lilies are fairly easy to plant, care for and maintain. They also look beautiful when they bloom and the foliage is quite attractive. This species is available to purchase in many places including DIY and garden centers. “So in terms of removing air pollutants, this plant is one to have around the home”.

a mother in laws tongue air purifying plant on a ceramic flower pot placed on a brown floor and beige wall

Mother In Laws Tongue – Sansevieria Trifasciata

Removes: Benzene, Formaldehyde, Tricloroethylene, Xylene, and Tolune.

The Mother In Laws Tongue is a very popular house plant – grown for its striking upright sword-like leaves. It’s easy to grow and makes very good air purifying house plants. A grower must avoid overwatering a Sansevieria Trifasciata and cold temperature conditions because too much cold watering can cause serious harm. This plant is flexible in terms of lighting and will tolerate low lighting conditions.

a red barberton daisy air purifying house plant with its leaves

Barberton Daisy – Gerbera Jamesonii

Removes: Benzene, Formaldehyde, Tricloroethylene.

An extremely attractive and popular flowering pot plant that is a perennial but treated as an annual in temperate regions indoors. Warm indoor temperatures and a good amount of sunlight help encourage blooms to last longer. The flowers are so attractive they’re used in wedding bouquets and for other decorative purposes. Also known as the Transvaal or Gerbera daisy.

a dragon tree air purifying house plant on a white pot with a brick styled brown wall

Dragon Tree – Dracaena Marginata

Removes: Benzene, Formaldehyde, Tricloroethylene, Xylene, and Tolune.

Love this plant! It’s so easy to care for and maintain and bounces back from neglect easily. It takes some years for a dragon tree to mature unless it’s purchased mature in height. There are a few varieties available with the most popular being the red-edged species. Worth having around the home for both decorative and air-purifying purposes.

a weeping fig air purifying house plant in a brown ceramic pot with white background

Weeping Fig – Ficus Benjamina

Removes: Formaldehyde, Xylene, and Tolune.

The weeping fig is a favorite of many households becoming a very popular ornamental plant. There are various sizes of this plant available and many are grown as bonsai. These air purifying house plants do not remove as many toxins as some of the above plants (as tested by NASA) but it removes some and like all plants, it’s obviously good for the environment.

a areca palm plant inside a flower shop

Areca Palm – Dypsis Lutescens

Removes: Formaldehyde, Xylene, and Tolune.

Not many plants can beat palms at being an attractive focal point within a home or office. The Areca is a cane palm with multiple stems growing from the soil and can be purchased about 5ft tall (grow up to about 8ft). This species is quite undemanding (the worst a grower can do to this plant is overwater it). A popular species from the Dypsis genus.

a pygmy date palm in a blue flower pot beside a window

Pygmy Date Palm – Phoenix Roebelenii

Removes: Formaldehyde, Xylene, and Tolune.

Also known as the dwarf palm because of how small the Phoenix roebelenii grows in height. The trunk is an attractive feature that grows up to 6 inches in diameter, brown in color. This feather-type species is a slow-growing ornamental palm that’s well adapted to growing indoors, unlike other phoenix plants.

a Boston fern plant hanging in a balcony

Boston Fern – Nephrolepis Exaltata

Removes: Formaldehyde, Xylene, and Tolune.

Ferns are not the easiest of plants to grow indoors because of their need for high humidity conditions. This plant – the Boston Fern is one of the easier species and very popular in temperate regions grown indoors. These are fantastic plants for displaying in a conservatory within hanging baskets or somewhere the plant’s fronds can hang over.

a spider plant with green leaves with a white background

Spider Plant – Chlorophytum Comosum

Removes: Formaldehyde, Xylene, and Tolune.

This is a plant we had many of within the home while growing up. Some looked good and others looked quite shabby (mum wasn’t a great plant carer – sorry mum). When taken care of properly and pruned right this popular house plant looks great. Once it begins to mature it produces lots of plantlets (small plants) that can be propagated.

a corn plant in a brown pot

Corn Plant – Dracaena Fragrans

Removes: Benzene, Formaldehyde, Xylene, and Tolune.

Like many dracaena house plants, the corn plant is easy to care for – tolerating low lighting conditions well and has low watering needs. An ornamental plant that looks great in many settings including offices, large living rooms, or hallways. There are a few varieties that display different leaf color variations.

Further Information

All plants clean air: The above plants all went through the clean air study with NASA. However, it is well known that all plants have some connection with improving air quality through photosynthesis. I would imagine having any type of plant indoors can help reduce toxic pollutants (no need to only choose the plants from the study).

Sick building syndrome: SBS is a term used for people who suffer some type of bad health symptoms without a specific illness diagnosed. One of the mentioned causes is from chemicals used within building materials inside the home which plants may help to remove (such as formaldehyde). There are various opinions from specialists about SBS and the term is not used as much today.

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Alexah Grun
Alexah Grun
1 year ago

I really appreciate articles like this because they give information to readers and at the same time help them understand what type of houseplant to get according to their needs and types. And because of this article, I was thinking about buying an air-purifying houseplant. Aside from the elegance that it will add to your home, it has many health benefits for the entire family. Thanks!

9 months ago

Delightful post

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