Are you worried about the indoor air quality of your home as pollution and CO2 levels rise? Air-purifying plants are a pretty cool solution that not only removes toxins but also adds a spark to your rooms' ambiance. You've probably heard it before, plants have the great ability to keep the air fresh and clean. However, some houseplants have additional air-purifying benefits, making them a popular addition to homes and offices.
The Best Air-Purifying Plants for 2022
In 1989, NASA conducted a study on plants and discovered that they can absorb harmful toxins from the air, especially in enclosed spaces with little airflow. This study has been the basis for newer studies throughout the years on indoor plants and their air-purifying abilities. Around the early 2000s, indoor plants that clean the air became a thing and they haven't really decreased in popularity since. And they are especially popular now, seeing as the pandemic has forced us to spend even more time at home.
Want to improve your home's air quality and let plants help boost your mood and productivity at the same time? Then let's discover 15 air-purifying plants that do just that.
1. English Ivy (Hedera Helix)
Hedera Helix, the common ivy, English ivy, European ivy, or just ivy, is a species of flowering plant of the ivy genus in the family Araliaceae, native to most of Europe and western Asia. English ivy is a versatile houseplant that can be grown in many different situations. Ivies can be grown in hanging baskets, at the base of other houseplants, and in pots of their own. Ivy is often trained on trellis frames or wire topiary forms into various formal or whimsical shapes.
2. Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea Seifrizii)
The Chamaedorea Seifrizii - or Bamboo palm - is a member of the Arecaceae family hailing from forested regions of Central America – Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico. The Bamboo palm produces about ten or fifteen feathery, dark green fronds per cane. The stems are thick and covered with tan fiber that looks like bamboo. It does best in bright, indirect sunlight. Keep in mind that this plant naturally grows as an understory plant in forests. It has a good shade tolerance and is happy with filtered light or dappled sunlight.
3. Snake Plant (Dracaena Trifasciata)
Dracaena Trifasciata is a species of flowering plant in the family Asparagaceae, native to tropical West Africa from Nigeria east to the Congo. Also known as Mother-in-Law's Tongue, this yellow-tipped succulent releases oxygen at night, helping you to breathe better while sleeping. It is one of the best plants for filtering the air of formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, toluene, and trichloroethylene.
4. Rubber Plant (Ficus Elastica)
These burgundy evergreen trees originated from India, they’re a very hardy plant that loves bright, filtered light and weekly watering in summer and fortnightly watering in winter. Rubber plants can grow in a small pot or be encouraged to grow into a large indoor tree in pots or straight in the ground. Toxins removed: xylene, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.
5. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata)
Another great houseplant on the air-purifying plants list is the Boston fern. This easy-to-grow fern is known for its sword-shaped fronds which makes it perfect for a hanging basket or pedestal. The Boston fern thrives in humid environments and requires consistent moisture. Keep them happy with regular misting, moist soil, and position them in indirect sunlight near windows, balconies, and patios.
6. Golden Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum)
Also known as devil’s ivy, this plant may be as close as plants can get to indestructible. Pothos has shiny, heart-shaped leaves and comes in a number of natural and cultivated varieties to add interesting foliage to your home. It flourishes in a variety of conditions and can grow up to 8 feet long. It’s also considered one of the most effective indoor air-purifying plants for removing common toxins.
Read all about Pothos here: 'Pothos Plants - Care & All There’s to Know About This Houseplant'.
7. Calathea (Calathea Makoyana)
The Calathea plant has leaves that boast a fun pattern, making it an exotic and unique plant for home decorating. This plant changes the angle of its leaves throughout the day depending on the sun, so it might look like it’s moved throughout the day! The Calathea’s leaves will start to curl inward if it’s getting thirsty, so water as soon as you notice this and it should bounce back quickly. Helps eliminate benzene and carbon monoxide.
8. Dragon Tree (Dracaena Marginata)
Dracaena Marginata, more commonly known as a dragon tree, is an attractive plant with green sword-like, red-edged leaves. Native to Madagascar, the eye-catching spiky tree is known as a great entry plant for household gardeners - it's easy to care for, drought-tolerant, and nearly indestructible. The slow-growing plant can be planted year-round and boasts tiny white flowers in the spring (though it rarely flowers indoors). A great addition to your collection of air-purifying plants.
9. Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)
The Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia) is a herbaceous plant of the arum family (Araceae), commonly grown as a houseplant. Numerous horticultural varieties have been developed, and the plant is prized for its attractive foliage and ability to tolerate low light intensities. Dumb Cane is native to tropical America and the West Indies. Cultivated varieties typically have large simple leaves that are often variegated with other greens. If orchids are the high-maintenance beauty queens of indoor gardening, Dumb Cane is the natural beauty standing in the wings, just out of the spotlight.
10. Fiddle-Leaf Fig (Ficus Lyrata)
The Fiddle-Leaf Fig, also known as the Ficus Lyrata, graces the covers and photos of many design publications, bringing drama and height, and tying entire rooms together with its tall stature and enormous, elegant leaves. What some people don’t realize is that Fiddle Leaf Figs need to be positioned directly in front of a window despite where you’ve seen them in photos. They can be tricky to take care of while the plant acclimates to your space, and until you learn their watering schedule, but are more than worth the work.
11. Nerve Plant (Fittonia Albivenis)
Normally grown as a potted houseplant, the Nerve plant (Fittonia Albivenis) is a spreading evergreen perennial with delicately veined, deep-green leaves. Although the most popular vein color is silvery-white, you can also readily find varieties with veins in red, pink, white, and green. The Nerve plant is a low-growing creeper that is a perfect fit for terrariums or bottle gardens.
12. Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea Elegans)
The beautiful parlor palm, also known as Bella palm or tabletop palm, has long, shiny green leaves. Parlor palms are known to remove harmful chemicals such as benzene and trichloroethylene from the air. It does best in bright, filtered light with little watering. It is better to underwater your parlor palm than to overwater it. Expect to water them every 1-2 weeks. Parlor palms are also pet-safe, so you can keep them without worrying about your pet’s health.
13. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
The Peace lily is known for being a superstar when it comes to removing benzene from the air. In addition, its beautiful white flowers and light scent make this powerful air-purifying plant an attractive option for homeowners. Peace lilies need bright, filtered light and prefer warmer humid climates. Therefore, they need to be watered and misted frequently in the summer. You can get away with less watering in the winters but be careful not to let the soil dry out.
14. Kimberly Queen Fern (Nephrolepis Obliterata)
The Kimberly Queen Fern is a dense evergreen fern with a shapely form and gracefully arching fronds. Also known as the sword fern for its straight and narrow, upright leaves. It originated from Australia and it is easy to grow indoors and out. It performs well in the sun and the shade. They are fast-growing, full, and beautiful. They thrive in containers and make for an interesting hanging basket. Kimberly Queen Ferns offers the added benefit of reducing indoor air pollution and toxins in your home like formaldehyde.
15. Money Plant (Pachira Aquatica)
Pachira Aquatica is known by a large number of common names including water chestnut, Guiana chestnut, and Malabar chestnut. In addition, it is often commercially sold as a houseplant or bonsai under the name of money tree or money plant. Money trees typically have a distinctive long, thin trunk that is made up of intertwined stems that are plaited together. This is done when grown in a nursery. Cultivators slowly braid the supple young, green trunks before they turn hard and woody while the money tree grows. Each branch sports five big, bright green leaves. You can learn more about the Money Plant in the article 'Try Your Luck With a Money Tree'.