Most of us have air conditioners and HVAC systems installed in our homes, right? And many of you, quite rightly, believe that you’re doing a lot of good for your surrounding natural environment by contributing to reducing your carbon footprint and enhancing your sustainable living initiatives by using these cooling and insulating tools to improve the quality of your indoor air.
These technologically advanced tools have mostly been optimized to be energy savers and clear the air, if you will, by using eco-friendly mechanisms.
But did you know that there’s an even better and more natural way to keep the air that you breathe inside clean and fresh? Think about this logically for a moment. Also, try to remember what your high-school teachers once taught you about the necessary process of allowing green plants to produce their own carbon dioxide.
The rest of this article presents you with some magnificent air purifying plants that help to improve your indoor air quality.
EPA defines indoor air quality (IAQ) as ,
“Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants. Understanding and controlling common pollutants indoors can help reduce your risk of indoor health concerns. Health effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or, possibly, years later.“
25+ Best Air Purifying Plants to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Here is a list of 25+ best air purifying plants that can help you to improve indoor air quality.
1. English Ivy (Hedera helix)
Hedera helix, the English ivy, European ivy, common ivy, or just ivy, is a species of flowering plant in the family Araliaceae. Ivy is a very vigorous and aggressive woody evergreen vine and a very popular indoor houseplant for hanging baskets.
It is Ideal for pet-friendly homes. It reduces the amount of airborne fecal matter and absorbs harmful chemicals from cleaning solutions used on appliances, furniture and carpets. It also absorbs benzene commonly found in offices.
2. Boston Fern
Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Bostoniensis’) is a popular houseplant that offers both beauty and health benefits. It is a relatively tough, easy to propagate fern with a higher tolerance for light and dry conditions than other species. Boston ferns can be displayed in several ways, including on pedestals, in hanging baskets, as part of a grouping, or as lush specimen plants on the right windowsill.
It restores the necessary moisture in indoor air. This fern is ideal for those who suffer from dry skin and perfect for cold weather conditions. It helps eliminate traces of formaldehyde, toluene and xylene.
3. Red-edged Dracaena (Dracaena reflexa)
It remains green throughout the year. At maturity, white flowers bloom, followed by minute red/orange berries. Low maintenance and independent plant, it requires little maintenance and care from the home users. Effective in absorbing benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, toluene and xylene commonly found in varnish, lacquers and gasoline.
It is best for high-ceilinged rooms. Although it grows slowly, it can reach up to fifteen feet but it only requires moderate sunlight.
4. Flamingo Lily (Anthurium andraeanum)
Not the easiest plant to grow indoors, but is evergreen and always flowering. It also needs plenty of indirect light and prefers high humidity environments. It’s effective in removing ammonia, formaldehyde, toluene and xylene from home and office.
5. Barberton Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
It’s a beautiful plant that prefers lots of water and moist soil. Originally suitable for outdoor use but also found to be as effective indoors, it is best to keep the plant near plenty of natural light. Good for cleansing air of benzene and formaldehyde.
6. Reed Palm
Reed Palm or Chamaedorea seifrizii is a useful indoor palm because of its adaptability to the environment, exotic look and anti-pollutant abilities. It thrives in shady indoor spaces and very common in malls, offices, homes and courtyards. It is a relatively small, graceful palm with densely clumping, bamboo-like stems and feathery fronds that produce small flowers and berries.
It’s one of the best plants for filtering out benzene and trichloroethylene. To reduce formaldehyde, it can be strategically placed near or around furniture.
7. Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron oxycardium)
It’s a climbing plant which is not pet or children friendly because it is toxic when eaten. It can removes an entire variety of toxins in the air and useful for combating formaldehyde in wood surfaces.
8. Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)
Filters out typical pollutants: benzene, formaldehyde, toluene and xylene from carpeting and furniture. Extensive care is required for this plant, but when said and done with the right amount of water and light, it will endure for long time. However, it remains vulnerable to inconsistent light and temperature fluctuations.
9. Golden Pothos (Scindapsus aures)
It’s an evergreen plant that grows around the world and ideal as a decorative element in hanging baskets. It does not need direct sunlight, but the soil should be kept moist. It is mainly popular because it is easy to maintain.
10. Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)
Epipremnum aureum is a species of flowering plant in the arum family Araceae and a popular houseplant in temperate regions. It is called devil’s vine or devil’s ivy as it is almost impossible to kill, and it stays green even when kept in the dark. The plant has many common names, including golden pothos, Ceylon creeperhunter’s robe, ivy arum, money plant, silver vine, Solomon Islands ivy, marble queen, and taro vine.
This plant is efficient at removing indoor pollutants such as formaldehyde, trichloroethene, toluene, xylene, and benzene. It is sometimes placed on top of the aquarium and allowed to grow roots in the water. This is beneficial to the plant and the aquarium as it absorbs many nitrates and uses them for growth.
11. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema Crispum)
Provided proper growing conditions present, it requires little effort to thrive on its own and little light to flourish. The longer it remains in the room, the stronger it is in removing toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde from the indoor atmosphere.
12. Elephant Ear Philodendron
Elephant ears are the common name for a group of Philodendron
Plants that thrive indoors year-round without complaint and are grown for their large, heart-shaped leaves.
According to the NASA Clean Air Study led by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in association with the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) to research ways to clean the air in space stations, Elephant Ear Philodendron is among the indoor plants that can absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen through photosynthesis. It also provides a natural way of removing volatile organic pollutants such as formaldehyde.
13. Janet Craig Dracaena
One of the most popular plants from Dracaenas species is also able to grow in darker areas and is effective in its ability to handle dryness. Janet Craig Dracaena is also tested as the air-filtering plants that can remove benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, toluene, and xylene.
14. Warneckii Dracaena (Dracaena deremensis)
Warneckii Dracaena (Dracaena deremensis) is a popular small house and office plant that produces dark striped gray-green leaves, also known as striped Dracaena.
Dracaena deremensis has also been approved by the NASA Clean Air Study as a plant air cleaner that removes formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, xylene, and trichloroethylene from the air for healthier breathing.
15. Garden Mum
NASA-recommended plant for effectively removing ammonia, benzene, xylene and formaldehyde from indoor air. Widely popular and not expensive to source and keep. It can also be used outdoors once finished blooming.
16. Spider Plant (Chlorophytumcomosum)
It’s a commonly found plant and easy to grow indoors. Within 2 days reduces up to 90% of toxins in indoor air. Leaves also grow quickly and help reduce mold and allergens. Perfect for people who are allergic to dust, it is ideal for home dwellers who are not knowledgeable in the care of plants.
This plant can thrive on its own with little attention and is also a pet and children-friendly plant. It should be considered for use as a decorative element and air cleanser absorbing formaldehyde, toluene, and xylene in industrial work areas. Has the ability to absorb solvents found in rubber, leather and materials used in printing (paper) industries.
17. Pot Mum
Effective in maintaining humidity levels at stable rates. It helps to moisturize dry air. Leaves produce essential negative ions. It is not only an effective eliminator of dust, mold spores, allergens and bacteria but also boosts mental health and productivity. It is capable of removing volatile organic pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene toluene, and xylene.
18. Lady Palm (Rhapisexcelsa)
It grows up to 6 feet tall and ideal for thriving in dark corners of the home. It can tolerate all temperatures but still need plenty of water. It also needs proper drainage to prevent root rot. NASA-recommended plant for effectively cleansing the air of most commonly found indoor toxins like benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene toluene, xylene and ammonia.
19. Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)
Garden Mum is part of this group of plant species. It is also popular and known as a perennial plant by horticulturists. It enjoys direct sunlight but only requires a minimal amount of water. The plant blooms beautifully in a variety of colors. This plant effectively purifies indoor air removing toxins like benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene toluene, xylene and ammonia.
20. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
It improves indoor air quality by up to sixty percent removing volatile organic pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, toluene, xylene and ammonia. It reduces levels of mold spores by absorbing them through leaves. Continues to circulate these through roots and used to manufacture their own food. Great for bathroom tiles, keeping it free from mildew.
21. Aloe Vera
It is one of the most famous plants for all-round healing abilities. The gel inside plants helps heal cuts and burns. Importantly, it is effective for improving indoor air quality absorbing pollutants like benzene and formaldehyde. It is a useful by-product of conventional cleaners that contain harmful chemicals.
Aloe Vera is easy to grow as well and a hardy plant that thrives. Already popularl for its use as a cleansing and health by-product for over six thousand years, it is also known as the plant of immortality.
22. Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
It’s a popular bright flowering plant effective in removing chemical substance like formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, usually found in clothing brought back from dry-cleaning. So, this small plant is ideal for bedroom and/or home laundry. Handy as office plant for filtering out benzene found in inks. It can also remove volatile organic pollutants like benzene and trichloroethylene
23. Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
Also known as Mother in Law’s Tongue, it filters out formaldehyde usually found in toilet paper, toiletries and commercial cleaning products. It is ideal for the bathroom and also good for the bedroom because it absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen at night. It removes pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, toluene, and xylene.
24. Azalea (Rhododendron simsii)
As a flowering shrub, it is effective in combating formaldehyde from plywood and foam. The plant prefers cool temperatures. Recommended to be placed in basement areas but still needs brightness. The plant needs to remain moist in order to flourish, and dead leaves need to be removed to prevent disease.
The Eucalyptus plant can be a bit difficult to find in household form, but if you can find one, consider adding it to your list of household plants. The scent from these plants can help to lower congestion problems and ward off colds. You can use the dried leaves throughout the winter for your home for everything from cold remedies to aromatherapy.
26. African Violets
African Violets are purple in color and grow very well in artificial lights, so they are perfect for those homes that do not have access to direct sunlight. They can help to stimulate adrenaline release and can increase the flow of oxygen to the brain, which can help you to relax.
Whether these plants are used specifically to help improve and cleanse indoor air, it should also be remembered that they remain an effective min-green lung within the home. Through necessity, many homes have installed eco-friendly air conditioning (heating and cooling) systems and/or HVAC systems.
But not only are plants great natural alternatives to these instruments, but they are also effective energy and cost savers too. No excessive energy use is required through even alternative sustainable sources. There are no maintenance costs either, and it is worth reminding readers that these plants remain versatile and hardy in its ability to thrive naturally on its own.
When sourcing these plants for the first time, always remember to follow the instructions provided by the nursery handler to ensure that they are properly looked after. As was indicated under one listed plant above, also strive to be strategic in where plants can be placed. This enhances its ability to absorb the common toxins mentioned throughout this article.
Also, don’t forget its aesthetic function. What can be more pleasing than beautifying the home naturally, even cost-effectively, by decorating it with plants?