Bringing a bit of nature into your home does more than brighten the atmosphere. Introducing houseplants into various rooms in the house can help reduce the chance of getting seasonal sicknesses (such as the common cold), remove airborne contaminants (volatile organic compounds, or VOCs), reduce the chance of headaches, lift your mood, decrease your blood pressure, reduce allergies, improve sleep and much more.
The 20 plants listed below are specifically known for their air purifying properties. And while an open window may feel like all the fresh air you need, did you know that everything from toilet paper to common household cleaners can contain chemicals and release toxins like formaldehyde? Or that VOCs like benzene can be released into the air by everything from the paint on your walls, to the printed material found in your home?
So why not breathe a bit easier and enjoy the beauty of a new houseplant at the same time! A warning for pet owners: some common plants can cause toxicity in pets. Please check this list of common poisonous plants before bringing home a house plant.
(All plants listed will clear CO2 and may clear more VOCs than noted.)
1. Golden pothos
Golden Pothos (Scindapsus aures): clears formaldehyde and other VOCs.
2. Ficus alii
Ficus Alii (Ficus maeleilandii alii): Good general air purifier.
3. Spider Plant
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum): Clears benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene.
4. Lady Palm
Lady Palm (Rhapis Excelsa): Good general air purifier.
5. Snake plant
Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’): Clears formaldehyde.
6. Aloe Vera
Aloe: Clears formaldehyde and benzene.
7. Moth Orchid
Orchid (Phalaenopsis): Clears formaldehyde.
8. Dwarf/Pygmy Date Palm
Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii): Clears formaldehyde and xylene.
9. Chinese evergreen
(Aglaonema Crispum ‘Deborah’): Clears air pollutants and toxins.
Chrysanthemums (Chrysantheium morifolium): Clears benzene.
11. Gerber daisy
(Gerbera jamesonii): Clears trichloroethylene and benzene.
12. Red-edged dracaena
(Dracaena marginata): Clears xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde.
13. Weeping fig
Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina): Clears formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene
14. English ivy
(Hedera helix): Clears airborne fecal-matter particles.
(Rhododendron simsii): Clears formaldehyde.
16. Heart leaf philodendron
(Philodendron oxycardium): Clears formaldehyde and many other air pollutants.
17. Warneck dracaena
(Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckii’): Clears pollutants such as those associated with varnishes and oils.
18. Boston Fern
Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata Bostoniensis): Clears formaldehyde. | Image credit: melissa b. via Flickr
19. Bamboo palm
(Chamaedorea sefritzii): Clears benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde.
20. Peace lily
(Spathiphyllum): Clears formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, toluene and xylene.