Since we spend most of our time indoors, healthy air quality should be a top priority. Read on to find out the top plants that aid in the removal of pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene and carbon monoxide.
Note: If you've got kids or pets, be sure to check if the plant is toxic before purchasing.
1. Devil's ivy
The Devil's ivy, also referred to as golden pothos or the money plant, is a house plant from the Araceae family. Devil's ivy is commonly used as a decorative element in homes, shopping malls, offices etc. Not only does this heart-like shaped yellow and green leafed plant reduce indoor air pollution, but it’s also believed by many that it brings luck into a home.
2. Chinese Evergreen
Chinese evergreen is an easy-care plant that thrives in low to medium light. It generally grows to one or two feet. Though it helps to maintain healthy air quality in the home, it is important to note that the Chinese evergreen contains an irritant that can be toxic to pets.
3. Mother-in-Law's Tongue
A hardy succulent, mother-in-law's tongue is a great houseplant for beginners and can survive in some of the toughest conditions, including a wide variety of temperatures and light conditions. However, be careful not to overwater (or to not water at all).
4. Spider Plant
This easy to care for houseplant thrives in bright, indirect light and works hard to remove the air of harmful pollutants like formaldehyde and benzene. Spider plants dislike soggy soil, so let them dry out slightly between waterings.
5. Rubber Tree
Rubber trees have been shown to absorb and break down harmful chemicals in the air. Their large, glossy leaves also take in the carbon dioxide we exhale and convert it to oxygen. Grow them in well-drained potting soil, water regularly and apply liquid fertilizer when they're actively growing.
6. Aloe vera
Aloes are easy-to-grow succulents and clean the air of benzene and formaldehyde when given off by paints, cleaners with chemical ingredients and other products. The plants need a sunny spot in your home. Grow them in a cactus potting mix or add perlite or sand to a regular potting mix to improve drainage. Use the gel from a piece of broken or cut aloe to treat minor burns.
7. Broad Lady Palm
Known as broad lady palm or broadleaf lady palm, this plant can reduce the ammonia found in some indoor cleaning products. It also filters out benzene, nitrogen oxide, formaldehyde, xylene and toluene. Tolerant of low light, these palms can grow to six feet tall, so they're ideal for dim corners. They like moist soil but need good drainage.
8. Parlor Palm
Parlor palms, popular during the Victorian Era, are still popular today, thanks in part to their ability to adapt to the low light conditions found in most homes. According to NASA's study on plants that clean the air, they can also remove benzene and trichloroethylene from your home or workplace.
9. Flamingo Lily
This evergreen plant, red anthurium, is also known as flamingo lily for its flamboyant flowers. Researchers for NASA’s Clean Air Study report it can cleanse indoor air of ammonia, toluene, xylene and formaldehyde. Anthuriums need bright, indirect light and high humidity, so mist them regularly and keep their soil moist, but not soggy.
10. Peace Lily
Known for its ability to fight against toxic gases such as formaldehyde and carbon monoxide, peace lilies are relatively easy to care for and even show signs of drooping when they need to be watered. They can be mildly toxic to pets and humans, so it's important to wash your hands after touching the plant.
11. Zanzibar Gem
The plant has air purifying qualities for the indoor environment. A Study from Department of Plant and Environmental Science at the University of Copenhagen from 2014 shows the plant is able to remove volatile organic compounds in this order of effectiveness: benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene at a molar flux of around 0.01 mol/(m2 day)