8 Air Purifying Plants to Improve Indoor Air Quality

8 Air Purifying Plants to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Do you feel like you’ve been coughing and sneezing a lot lately? Or does your throat feel congested? This could be due to the poor air quality at your home or office. Indoor air quality could be affected by a number of factors such as the building’s HVAC system or the inflow of contaminated outdoor air. Some of these factors are obviously beyond your control. In such a case, there are things you could do on your own to improve the indoor air quality, one of which is to introduce air-purifying plants. Read more to learn about eight air-cleaning plants you can grow to improve indoor air quality.

The interest around using plants to purify air started when NASA conducted a study on using houseplants to purify the air in space facilities. Ultimately, what they found was that there several plants that filter out common volatile organic compounds (VOCs). For the average household, VOCs can be emitted from sources like paint, aerosol sprays, cleansers and disinfectants, pesticide, and automotive products. The effects of VOCs can include: eye, nose, and throat irritations, headaches, and fatigue. To combat these irritants, consider growing the following eight air-cleaning houseplants.


1. Bamboo Palm
Also referred to as reed palm, the bamboo palm grows to about 5-7 feet tall and can thrive in shady indoor places. Bamboo palms prefer some humidity, indirect light, and a temperature between 65 to 80 degrees. According to NASA, Bamboo Palm can help filter formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.

2. Broadleaf Leaf Palm
The broadleaf leaf palms make great indoor plants for spacious indoor areas like offices and living rooms. This particular plant can grow up to 14 feet tall so pruning is required to keep the tree to a manageable height. The leaf palm is effective at filtering formaldehyde, xylene and toluene, and ammonia.

3. Peace Lily
Peace lilies are one of the more attractive houseplants to have at home or in the office. Peace lilies prefer medium to low light and do not require frequent watering. They are effective at filtering benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene, and ammonia. Peace lilies are toxic to pets so should not be considered by dog and cat owners.

4. Snake Plant
The snake plant is really easy to care for. They can survive in low light conditions and do not require frequent watering. There are around 70 species of snake plants. Some of the more common species include Sansevieria and the cylindrical snake plant. They are effective at filtering the following toxins: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene. Snake plants are also toxic to dogs and cats.

5. Spider Plant
The spider plant can tolerate a lot of different conditions. As their name implies, the spider plant has many leaves, or spiderettes, hanging from the base of the plant. Spider plants can filter formaldehyde, xylene and toluene. Fortunately, these plants are not considered high risks to pets.

6. Dracaena marginata
The Dracaena marginata are attractive plants with vivid foliage. They thrive in temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees, and require relatively bright light. Also referred to as the dragon tree, the dracaena marginata can filter benzene, formaldehyde, xylene and toluene, and trichloroethylene. They are considered toxic to pets so pet owners should stay well away.

7. Heartleaf Philodendron
The heartleaf philodendron is a popular household plant because it can thrive in small pots for many years without too much maintenance. These plants can filter formaldehyde, which could be emitted from everyday products like glue, house cleaning products, and plywood. Pet owners should stay away as they are toxic to cats and dogs.

8. Weeping Fig
The weeping fig, also referred to as the ficus benjamina, requires bright light conditions and steady moisture to thrive. They can be great additions for those who are looking for great corner plants and indoor “trees”. The weeping fig can filter formaldehyde, xylene and toluene. They are also toxic to pets.

So what are you waiting for? Make your home or office a cleaner place by placing these household plants. Many of the eight household plants we mentioned are toxic to pets. The following are air-cleaning plants that are considered non-toxic to cats and dogs: dwarf date palm, areca palm, boston fern, barbeton daisy, and the rubber plant.