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35 Best Indoor Plants That Clean the Air and Remove Toxins

The best indoor plants will thrive inside while simultaneously cleaning the air and making your home’s interior safer.

By: THURSD. | 15-03-2022 | 18 min read Houseplants

Houseplants are as popular as ever at the moment. They are beautiful. They make us happy. And studies show that keeping houseplants around can reduce stress and anxiety, boost your creativity and attention span, and even improve your self-esteem. And if that's not enough, they also have the ability to clean the air and remove toxins. 

These Indoor Plants That Clean the Air Will Improve Your Home

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. 

 

Images via @paz_plantlife & @plantsdff

 

Even though you'd have to fill up every available space in your home with plants to match the horsepower of an air-purifier - according to NASA you would need 2 to 3 plants per 10 m2 for them to create an effect on the air quality - we all know that our mental well-being has an influence on our physical well-being, so there's really no reason not to fill up your home with beautiful greens.

Let's discover 35 indoor plants that clean the air will help remove toxins and create a better overall air quality in your home. 

1. Aloe Vera (Aloe Vera)

The aloe vera plant acts as an air purifier by removing harmful pollutants known as VOCs from the air, taking up carbon dioxide, and providing abundant oxygen back into the air around it. It's a succulent, so it's easy to maintain and doesn't require much water at all.

 

Aloe Vera (Aloe Vera) - on Thursd

Aloe Vera via @sve.moje.biljcice

 

2. Areca Palm (Dypsis Lutescens)

The Areca Palm is one of the most popular and attractive palms with golden stems and yellow-green fronds. Also known as the Golden Cane Palm or Butterfly Palm, the leaves curve upwards in multiple stems to create a butterfly look. The Areca Palm is very adaptable and can be grown in full sun to part shade or in a bright spot indoors. It will give any corner a touch of natural and tropical detail.

 

Areca Palm (Dypsis Lutescens) - on Thursd

Areca Palm via @pottymouth.ie

 

3. Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena Sanderiana)

The Dracaena Sanderiana resembles bamboo but is not a true bamboo at all. It is grown as a houseplant outside of the tropical zone. It performs well in containers with partial shade outdoors or bright but indirect light indoors. The bright green strappy leaves are widely spaced along the upright stems, giving the plant an open, airy appearance. The stems are often trained into a variety of shapes and it is popular with Feng Shui. Rarely blooms as a house plant.

 

Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena Sanderiana) - on Thursd

Lucky Bamboo via @about._flower

 

4. Banana Plant (Musa Acuminata 'Dwarf Cavendish')

Musa or the Banana is one of the most well-known fruits in the world, as well as being delicious and nutritious some varieties can be grown easily and effectively as houseplants. Although true Banana plants are far too large for any house, the Dwarf Musa Banana, or Dwarf Cavendish, fits right in. They can of course be grown in other rooms of the house, but a conservatory is an ideal situation, often giving humid, bright, and spacious living accommodation which this plant craves and ultimately needs in order to do well.

 

Banana Plant (Musa Acuminata 'Dwarf Cavendish') - on Thursd

Banana plant via @gravelpitshop

 

5. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata)

The Nephrolepis Exaltata, also known as the Boston Fern, has graceful green, drooping fronds that are naturally cut in such a way to give a ruffled looking effect, and therefore it looks really good in a hanging basket or in a place where the fronds can hang down over something, for example on the edge of a bookcase or shelf. It's also one of the top-rated plants for removing air pollutants from the air and because of its almost insatiable appetite for water, it pumps out large amounts of water vapor into the nearby air, thereby increasing humidity.

 

Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata) - on Thursd

Boston Fern via @plantsdff

 

6. Broadleaf Lady Palm (Rhapis Exelsa)

Rhapis Excelsa, also known as broadleaf lady palm or bamboo palm, is a species of fan palm in the genus Rhapis, probably native to southern China and Taiwan. It is not known in the wild; all known plants come from cultivated groups in China. On the stems are fan-shaped, glossy green fronds that each has between five and eight narrow, lance-shaped segments. Because this palm is extremely tolerant of low-light conditions, it's popular to grow indoors as a houseplant. 

 

Broadleaf Lady Palm (Rhapis Exelsa) - on Thursd

Broadleaf Lady Palm via @sunshinecoastindoorplanthire

 

7. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)

While most houseplants require a bit of effort in providing appropriate growing conditions, growing Chinese evergreens can make even the novice indoor gardener look like an expert. This tropical foliage plant is one of the most durable houseplants you can grow, tolerating poor light, dry air, and drought. This gem of a plant is one of the most popular houseplants grown in the home due to its ease of care. You can find Chinese evergreen plants in many varieties, including variegated forms.

 

Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema) - on Thursd

Chinese Evergreen via @chicagogardener

 

8. Pot Mum (Chrysanthemum)

The Pot Mum, aka the Chrysanthemum, is a classic houseplant often brought as a present at Christmas, Easter, or Mother's Day. In some parts of the world, it's given to a person as a symbolism of motherhood, for example shortly after the recipient has given birth. Chrysanthemums are normally only temporary guests in our homes; the duration of their stay usually mirrors how long they are in bloom, which in ideal conditions is around 6 - 8 weeks.

 

Pot Mum (Chrysanthemum) - on Thursd

Chrysanthemum via @nadeekakosgallana

 

9. Dendrobium Orchid (Orchidaceae Dendrobium)

Dendrobium orchids are popular orchids that flower from the top of the canes when mature, with each spike producing 5 to 20 flowers that last from one to three months. Some hybrids and species have the added appeal of producing fragrant flowers. When the blooms are done, cut the sprays just where they meet the canes. Many Dendrobiums are deciduous and will drop their leaves before the onset of winter.

 

Dendrobium Orchid (Orchidaceae Dendrobium) - on Thursd

Dendrobium orchid via @lopylia

 

10. Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum)

Pothos - also called Devil’s Ivy - is a tropical vine plant that has adapted well as a hardy houseplant. It has shiny, heart-shaped leaves and comes in a number of natural and cultivated varieties to add interesting foliage to your home. Pothos featured in NASA’s Clean Air Study, was proven to remove indoor pollutants such as formaldehyde, trichloroethene, toluene, xylene, and benzene. Many of these are found in common cleaning products we use in our homes.

 

Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum) - on Thursd

Devil's Ivy via @fromthegardenroom

 

11. Dracaena Janet Craig (Dracaena Fragrans)

Dracaena Fragrans, is a flowering plant species that is native throughout tropical Africa, from Sudan south to Mozambique, west to Côte d'Ivoire, and southwest to Angola, growing in upland regions at 600–2,250 m altitude. It is also known as striped dracaena, compact dracaena, and corn plant. Dracaena Janet Craig is an interior workhorse, popular for decades, used frequently as a floor plant in interior situations or mass planted in beds. Survives in low light levels, grows best in filtered light.

 

Dracaena Janet Craig (Dracaena Fragrans) - on Thursd

Dracaena Janet Craig via @plantulamx

 

12. 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). 

 

Dragon Tree (Dracaena Marginata) - on Thursd

Dragon Tree via @torontoparadiseplants

 

13. 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.

 

Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia) - on Thursd

Dumb Cane via @roosaroosi.lillepood

 

14. Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix Roebelenii)

Phoenix roebelenii, with common names of dwarf date palm, pygmy date palm, miniature date palm, or robellini palm, is a species of date palm native to southeastern Asia, from southwestern China, northern Laos, and northern Vietnam. The Latin specific epithet roebelenii honors the orchid collector Carl Roebelen. A neat dwarf palm, slow-growing, cold hardy. Happy in a big pot, by a pool, indoors or out.

 

Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix Roebelenii) - on Thursd

Dwarf Date Palm via @viherpajaofficial

 

15. Elephant Ear (Colocasia)

Elephant ear plants, or Colocasia, are tropical plants grown from tubers or from rooted plants. Elephant ears have very large heart-shaped leaves borne on 2 to 3 foot (61-91 cm.) petiole or leaf stalks. The colors of the foliage may be anywhere from purplish-black, green, or green/white variegated. When growing Colocasia inside, be sure to choose a fairly large container to pot the plant in. Elephant Ear plants can attain a good size, so you will want to be prepared.

 

Elephant Ear (Colocasia) - on Thursd

Elephant Ear via @hplants.wowwow

 

16. 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.

 

English Ivy (Hedera Helix) - on Thursd

English Ivy via @shrimpcromer

 

17. 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.

 

Fiddle-Leaf Fig (Ficus Lyrata) - on Thursd

Fiddle-Leaf Fig via @entremantosyficus

 

18. 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.

 

Nerve Plant (Fittonia Albivenis) - on Thursd

Nerve plant via @my_green_mess

 

19. Flamingo Lily (Anthurium Andraeanum)

With glossy green leaves and rich red blooms, the Flamingo Lily, also known as Anthurium Andraeanum, is one of the most stunning plants to grow indoors. Also known as Painter’s Palette, it will add a touch of luxury to an indoor space. Thankfully, anthuriums aren’t hard to care for and will thrive indoors when provided with the right growing conditions.

 

Flamingo Lily (Anthurium Andraeanum) - on Thursd

Flamingo Lily via @sheishloni

 

20. Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera Jamesonii)

Also known as Transvaal daisies or gerber daisies, gerbera daisies are attention-getters with showy, long-lasting blooms, short stems, and impressive, bright green foliage. Gerbera daisies are relatively simple to grow outdoors, but growing gerbera daisies indoors can be tricky. The plants, often given as gifts, are usually grown for a single blooming season before being discarded. However, if you can provide the right growing conditions, your gerbera daisy may survive for two or three years. 

 

Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera Jamesonii) - on Thursd

Gerbera Daisy via @paulo181

 

21. 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 offer the added benefit of reducing indoor air pollution and toxins in your home like formaldehyde.

 

Kimberly Queen Fern (Nephrolepis Obliterata) - on Thursd

Kimberly Queen Fern via @afro_platina

 

22. King of Hearts (Homalomena Rubescens)

The King of Hearts is as attractive as it is proficient at removing ammonia from the atmosphere. The Homalomena Rubescens is a plant from the Alocasia and Philodendron families. King of Hearts will do great in many homes with its red stems and heart-shaped leaves. Because it is a tropical plant, it is important to always keep the soil slightly moist. You can let the plant dry slightly before watering again, make sure that the roots do not remain in the water because of the root rot that occurs. 

 

King of Hearts (Homalomena Rubescens) - on Thursd

King of Hearts via @noko_green

 

23. Lemon Button Fern (Nephrolepis Cordifolia 'Duffii') 

The lemon button fern is a beautiful plant, suited for both a novice and a professional collector. It’s easy to care for and is one of the more affordable houseplants you can buy. It also gives off a very slight lemony scent during the active growing months. And, on top of all of that, it’s completely non-toxic for your pets.

 

Lemon Button Fern (Nephrolepis Cordifolia 'Duffii')  - on Thursd

Lemon Button Fern via @namumini

 

24. Lily Turf (Liriope Muscari)

Lily Turf, also known as Monkey Grass, improves indoor air quality. It filters formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, and ammonia from the air. Lily Turf, a herbaceous, falls under the Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo category, a flowering evergreen that has a grass-like appearance. It produces small spikes of white or lavender flowers. The popular Lily Turf has a long history as a garden bedding plant, but you can also grow it successfully as a houseplant.

 

Lily Turf (Liriope Muscari) - on Thursd

Lily Turf via @la_planteraurbana

 

25. 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'.

 

Money plant Pachira Aquatica on Thursd

Money plant via @m.a.c.a.studio

 

26. 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. It is most commonly known as the snake plant, Saint George's sword, mother-in-law's tongue, and viper's bowstring hemp, among other names. This is a slow-growing plant that anyone can grow because of its low and high sunlight tolerance and ease of watering.

 

Snake Plant (Dracaena Trifasciata) - on Thursd

Snake plant via @lyrata.by

 

27. Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis Blume)

Phalaenopsis Blume, commonly known as moth orchids, is a genus of about seventy species of plants in the family Orchidaceae. Moth orchids are great year-round, but they're especially well-suited for cold days when you're spending a lot of time indoors. Their elegant flowers will brighten tables and windowsills in your home for months at a time. Don't be intimidated by their exotic appearance. They need very little to thrive inside.

 

Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis Blume) - on Thursd

Moth Orchid via @justaddice

28. Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea Elegans)

Chamaedorea Elegans, the Neanthe Bella Palm or Parlor Palm, is a species of small palm tree native to the rainforests in Southern Mexico and Guatemala. The Parlor Palm is one of the most heavily sold houseplant palms in the world. This lovely plant with deep green foliage was first discovered in Central America and brought back to the United States where it immediately became a popular indoor palm. It grows in attractive clumps with light-textured foliage cloaking thin trunks.

 

Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea Elegans) - on Thursd

Parlor Palm via @mundo_anima_

 

29. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Peace lilies make excellent houseplants for the home or office. These lovely plants not only brighten up a living space but are also excellent at cleaning the air of the room they are in. Most commonly, these plants have dark green leaves and white 'flowers'. What most people think of as the flower is actually a specialized leaf bract that grows hooded over the flowers. Like many popular indoor plants, peace lilies enjoy medium to low light. What kind of light you need to provide will depend more on what you want your peace lily plant to look like. Peace lilies that are placed in more light tend to produce the lovely white spathes and flowers more, while peace lilies in low light will bloom less and will look more like a traditional foliage plant.

 

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) - on Thursd

Peace Lily via @victorianhousejourney

 

30. Philodendron Selloum (Philodendron Bipinnatifidum)

Philodendrons are common houseplants that are also known to remove harmful chemicals from the air, formaldehyde being its chemical of choice to remove from the air. Philodendrons are easy to maintain and will make any room look great with their big dark green leaves. With its beautiful vivid green leaves and vigorous growth, the Philodendron Bipinnatifidum is quite the eye-catcher. It also goes by the name of Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum, Philodendron selloum, and horsehead philodendron. You can learn more about this houseplant in the article 'Philodendron Bipinnatifidum - An Easy to Care For Statement Plant'. 

 

Philodendron Selloum (Philodendron Bipinnatifidum) - on Thursd

Philodendron Bipinnatifidum via @brooklynplantology

 

31. Pineapple Plant (Bromeliad Ananas Comosus)

The Pineapple plant is the most well-known plant in the bromeliad family and by far the most popular bromeliad at the moment. The primeval version grows and produces blooms high in the rugged Cordilleras de los Andes mountains and deep in the warm jungles of Uruguay, where the plant can grow to a diameter of up to two meters. The pineapple plant has a very high level of ornamental value, and how could it not? Learn everything you need to know about this plant in the article 'The Stunning Display of the Pineapple Plant'.

 

Pineapple Plant (Bromeliad Ananas Comosus) - on Thursd

Pineapple plant via @leaves.and.living

 

32. Poinsettia (Euphorbia Pulcherrima)

Poinsettia is an indoor decorating plant originating in Mexico and scientifically known as Euphorbia Pulcherrima. It is a beautiful plant with red and green leaves. In a study, it was found that poinsettia plants are able to remove formaldehyde from the air. Like other indoor plants, Poinsettia also needs proper indirect bright sunlight for at least 4 to 5 hours a day. Proper irrigation once every 3 days or water whenever the top soil gets dry. Do not over irrigate the plants because excess water may rot the root.

 

Poinsettia (Euphorbia Pulcherrima) - on Thursd

Poinsettia via @lill_unni

 

33. Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

The Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica) could be the ideal houseplant for you if you want a tough but easy-going indoor plant that can reach staggering heights within just a few years. The shiny glossy leaves look great in most homes and although young plants start off small they will fill the space in an empty corner quickly. Even if you don't want to grow a really tall tree-like plant indoors, the Rubber Plant's size can be restricted to an extent with regular pruning. However you have to keep in mind these houseplants are determined to grow upwards, no matter what, and don't stay small and compact forever, eventually requiring a certain amount vertical of space.

 

Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica) - on Thursd

Rubber plant via @roslinna.amatorka

 

34. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)

Chlorophytum Comosum - usually called spider plant but also known as spider ivy, ribbon plant, and hen and chickens - is a species of evergreen perennial flowering plant. It is native to tropical and southern Africa but has become naturalized in other parts of the world, including western Australia. The Spider plant is among the most adaptable houseplants and is very easy to grow. A graceful plant that makes a statement anywhere - from a tabletop to a mantle, or with its lovely arching leaves as a hanging plant. The Spider Plant is also known for its tremendous air-purifying qualities, making it a healthy addition to your home as well.

 

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum) - on Thursd

Spider plant via @court.for.hort

 

35. Warneck Dracaena (Dracaena Deremensis Warneckii)

Dracaena Deremensis Warneckii is a fabulous, easy-care, statement plant with its lance-shaped leaves of white lines and shades of green. Ideal for offices with fluorescent lighting. The multi-stem version is a unique look that gives height and tiered levels of foliage for maximum indoor greenery to brighten up your home or office interiors, whilst filtering toxins from the atmosphere so you breathe easier.

 

Warneck Dracaena (Dracaena Deremensis Warneckii) - on Thursd

Warneck Dracaena via @plant_mode

 

Indoor Plants That Clean the Air

These 35 best indoor plants that clean the air and remove toxins can make an attractive addition to your home or office. Pick one or pick a few to grow. They’re mostly low-maintenance, easy to grow, and perfect for beginners. As a bonus, you’ll get cleaner air that’s safer to breathe! There are many more tips about indoor plants. There's a new green revolution going on. Whereas before people just had a few plants inside their homes, many now have become plant addicts, and fill up their houses with plants as much as possible. How about you?

 

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