9 Air Cleaning Houseplants That Are Almost Impossible to Kill

Popular question : which is more polluted, indoor or outdoor air? 10 times out of 10, indoor air in your house, office or apartment is going to be worse than the air outside. Indoor air pollution has been ranked among the top 5 greatest risks to public health by the EPA, and stagnant indoor air allows pollutants to build up and stick to the things inside of your home.

Air cleaning houseplants can remove benzene, formaldehyde, acetone, carbon tetra chloride, chloroform, dichlorobenzene, ethyl acetate, methylene chloride, tetrachloroethylene, toluene, trichloroethylene and xylene . And these are just the most common of the more than 350 toxins found. We can help battle the effects of these pollutants simply by adorning our homes with these natural – and beautiful – air purifying systems. The best place to keep the plants are where we spend most of our time, in living areas and bedrooms.

Beyond air quality, plants just make people feel better. For example, hospital patients with air cleaning houseplants in their rooms were more positive and had lower blood pressure and stress levels.air cleaning houseplants

Image credit: Erik Karlsson

List of air cleaning houseplants that are almost impossible to kill :

1. Garden Mum

This plant was found by NASA to be a real air-purifying beast. It removes ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene from your home’s air. It’s popular and inexpensive, plus they can be planted outside too.

2. Spider Plant

Spider plants are among the easiest houseplants to grow, making them a great choice for beginners or forgetful owners. A fan of bright, indirect sunlight, spider plants will send out shoots with flowers that eventually grow into baby spider plants or spiderettes.

3. Dracaena

There are more than 40 different kinds of Dracaena plants, making it easy to find one that’s a perfect fit for your home or office. They’re common foliage plants with long, wide leaves that are often variegated with lines of white, cream, or red. Pet owners might want to select a different plant, however, as these are toxic to cats and dogs.

4. Ficus/Weeping Fig

Grow this low-maintenance houseplant in bright, indirect light and allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Although this plant has some serious air-cleaning abilities, it can also be taken outside in late spring and brought back indoors when temperatures are warm and well above freezing. They typically stand between 2 and 10 feet tall and removes benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde from indoor air.

5. Peace Lily

Easy to grow, these plants will flower for much of the summer. Just be aware that those flowers (like all flowers) do contribute some pollen and floral scents to the air, so you may want to avoid having a room full of them. Put peace lilies in a shady spot and keep the soil moist without overwatering. It removes ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.

6. Boston Fern

This plant likes cool locations with high humidity and indirect light. Bathrooms are a perfect spot for these little friends. They remove pollutants like xylene and formaldehyde from indoor air.

7. Snake Plant/Mother-in-Law’s Tongue

The mother-in-law’s tongue (one of many sanseverias) is tough to kill. It’s not high-maintenance, so you can ignore it on occasion (like how you sometimes try to ignore your mother-in-law’s words). Those can go for a month without water . The plants leaves are typically tall, stiff and vertical, but come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They don’t need much direct sunlight either. They remove benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and xylene from indoor air.

8. Bamboo Palm

Also known as the reed palm, this small palm thrives in shady indoor spaces and often produces flowers and small berries. It tops the list of plants best for filtering out both benzene and trichloroethylene. They’re also a good choice for placing around furniture that could be off-gassing formaldehyde.

9. Aloe Vera

This easy-to-grow, sun-loving succulent helps clear formaldehyde and benzene, which can be a byproduct of chemical-based cleaners, paints and more. Aloe is a smart choice for a sunny kitchen window. Beyond its air-clearing abilities, the gel inside an aloe plant can help heal cuts and burns.


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