Plants are amazing at improving indoor quality, which is why I’ve created a list of the 10 best plants for better air quality; the ones that help clear household toxins from the air. I love plants and flowers and I try to have a living item in every room of the house, if possible. Some of the plants listed, such as the Peace Lily, English Ivy, Rubber Plant and Azalea can be harmful to children and pets especially if ingested. Make sure you check with your local nursery if you’re ever in doubt or concerned though, or have a pet or child who likes to chew your greenery. A nursery can easily recommend safe alternatives. Luckily, this hasn’t been an issue for us ever and our peace lily and rubber plant have both been with us since before our son was born and also stayed with us throughout three moves! Here is a list of 10 plants for better air quality inside the home:
- English Ivy (Hedera helix) – This plant is often listed first in any studies or lists on the best plants to choose to improve indoor air quality. It’s the absolute best at absorbing formaldehyde, which is often found in conventional cleaning products, toilet paper and tissues, and personal care products. It’s also been proven to absorb airborne decal-matter particles (yuck!) It’s versatile enough that you can grow it in a pot on the floor, or hang it up.
- Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)– This one is good at getting rid of benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to take care of especially for those lacking a green thumb, and it’s also a safe one to have around if you have pets.
- Aloe (Aloe Vera) – This one is not only easy to grow and takes little maintenance, but it helps clear formaldehyde and benzene from the air. Benzene is a toxin commonly found in paint, plastic products, glue and detergent. The Aloe plant can also be used to help heal cuts and burns. I find it especially useful with a toddler romping around.
- Red-edged Dracaena (Dracaena marginata)– Another one that helps remove all types of pollutants from your home, plus adds a nice burst of colour with its red edges.
- Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina) – Keeping one of these in your main living space can help get rid of toxins that are normally found in carpeting and furniture, like benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde, the three worst VOCs. Weeping figs require a bit of a learning curve in their care factor, but will last a long time once you get the watering and light conditions perfected.
- Azalea (Rhododendron simsii) – This gorgeous shrub reduces formaldehyde from sources like foam insulation and plywood. Plus, since it does best in cooler weather, it’s a good option for a basement if you can find a spot that gets enough light.
- Peace Lily (Spathiphyllym) – Our peace lily requires only shade and weekly watering, and every once in a while provides us with some beautiful blooming flowers. This is also a top one for removing the worst three VOCs.
- Rubber Tree (Ficus elastica) – These are great at purifying the air and require minimal care. They even do well in dim lighting and cooler climates. I can vouch for the low-maintenance as I generally just water ours and that’s about it. I have found that it requires some sufficient light though, or else the leaves can dry up and fall off.
- Snake Plants (Sansevieria trifasciata) – These ones are awesome because they don’t require much water or light, meaning they’ll work well almost anywhere in your home. Snake plants absorb carbon dioxide and then release oxygen during the night (which most plants do during the day). The bedroom would be a great place for this one.
- Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii) – This type of palm works well in shady, indoor spaces. It often tops the list when it comes to plants that filter out benzene and trichloroethylene. They need to be well watered and do well in shade or indirect sunlight.
Alyssa @ Arts and Crackers says
We have a plant for helping air quality. I forgot which kind it is–I think the Red-edged Dracaena. I’m hoping to get more soon since our others died, so this list is very helpful! Thanks!
We have aloe and English ivy, I would love to add a peace lily and a weeping fig to our home!
Our peace lily is so low-maintenance, I highly recommend it!
Now I know what plants we need to get for our house next–thanks!