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Top 10 Houseplants for Cleaner Air

Top 10 Houseplants for Cleaner Air

Houseplants are our often-overlooked helpers in ridding the air of pollutants and toxins, counteracting outgassing and contributing to balanced internal humidity.

Find out which houseplants are our most effective allies in keeping your household air clean and pure.

It is suggested that one plant should be allowed for approximately 10 square yards of floor space, assuming average ceiling heights of 8 to 9 feet. This means that you need two or three plants to contribute to good air quality in the average domestic living room of about 20 to 25 square yards.

Research has shown that these 10 plants are the most effective all-around in counteracting offgassed chemicals and contributing to balanced internal humidity.

  • Areca palm
  • Reed palm
  • Dwarf date palm
  • Boston fern
  • Janet Craig dracaena
  • English ivy
  • Australian sword fern
  • Peace Lily
  • Rubber plant
  • Weeping fig

Although many plants like light, they do not all have to be placed near windows. Many indoor plants originated in the dense shade of tropical forests and have a high rate of photosynthesis. These are ideal for the home and can be placed in darker corners. When positioning plants, try to strike a balance between light and ventilation because the effect of plants on indoor air pollution appears to be reduced if they are set in a draft.

Read more: Home, Health & Safety, ,

Adapted from Your Naturally Healthy Home, by Alan Berman.Copyright (c) 2001 by Francis Lincoln Limited. Reprinted by permission of Rodale Press.
Adapted from Your Naturally Healthy Home, by Alan Berman.

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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+ add your own
2:26PM PDT on Sep 13, 2015

Beware!! Many of the plants listed are toxic to pets! Research each plant carefully before you bring it home if you have pets.

4:14AM PDT on Aug 28, 2015

Yes, indeed! My mother always had houseplants; she lived to age 90 and father to age 98. I have about a dozen houseplants in winter; put them outdoors in summer. They are my 'pets.'

10:00AM PST on Jan 29, 2015

Thanks for adding good article. Just bookmarked it.
Pint - HCG Drops

12:58AM PST on Jan 20, 2015

Good information. Love plants . I like to start them small an challenge my self to grow them . You do need to fertilize your plants once a week or every other . The thing of plants let them dry out before watering them again . If you keep them wet it will rot your roots an die . Spray the leaves instead of watering the soil . It helps the plant to breath .

Natasha (Healthcare Administrator

11:45AM PST on Nov 11, 2014

There are few more plants like Ficus "Alii" (Ficus macleilandii), Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum), Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) used as cleaner air.

Dredd (HVAC Training Specialist)

3:59AM PDT on May 4, 2013

Thank you.

4:16PM PDT on Mar 24, 2013

I definetly need a house plant to help my roommate and me breath better! I forgot that there are house plants out there that do just that! I need to get one as soon as I can!!

4:37PM PST on Mar 4, 2013

Thanks for the info.

8:56PM PST on Jan 14, 2013

Different plants have different abilities to clean up different toxic substances. The indoor air quality of your house is essential to your health. With these houseplants, you can filter the air without dumping large sums of money into electronic air screens. Read more here

12:08PM PST on Jan 4, 2013

Another solid contribution to the helpful / healing affects of plants in one's household. Thank you Care2!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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