The following is a list of amazing plants you can grow indoors that help clean and purify the air you breathe. These plants are perfect for anyone who has allergies or frequent respiratory infections (colds, viruses, flus, etc.). They’re also just great for anyone who loves breathing clean air and gorgeous plants!
1. Aloe (Aloe Vera)
This easy-to-grow, sun-loving succulent helps clear formaldehyde and benzene, which can be a byproduct of chemical-based cleaners, paints and more. Aloe is a smart choice for a sunny kitchen window. Beyond its air clearing abilities, the gel inside an aloe plant can help heal cuts and burns.
You can also make smoothies with the inside flesh of the aloe (just avoid the outer green flesh as it will make you very regular!)
2. Spider Plant
Even if you tend to neglect houseplants, you’ll have a hard time killing this resilient plant. With lots of rich foliage and tiny white flowers, the spider plant cleans the air of chemicals including benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene, a solvent used in the leather, rubber and printing industries.
3. Gerber Daisy
This bright, flowering plant is effective at removing trichloroethylene, which you may bring home with your dry cleaning. It’s also good for filtering out the benzene that comes with inks. Add one to your laundry room or bedroom — presuming you can give it lots of light (south-facing windows are best!).
4. Snake Plant
Also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, this plant is one of the best for filtering out formaldehyde, which is common in cleaning products, toilet paper, tissues and personal care products. Put one in your bathroom — it’ll thrive with low light and steamy humid conditions while helping filter out air pollutants.
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4. Golden Pothos
Another powerful plant for tackling formaldehyde, this fast-growing vine will create a cascade of green from a hanging basket. This is the perfect plant for city dwellers because car pollution is a big concern and car exhaust is filled with formaldehyde.
Golden Pothos, also known as devil’s ivy, stays green even when kept in the dark.
The colorful flowers of a mum can do a lot more than brighten a home office or living room; the blooms also help filter out benzene, which is commonly found in glue, paint, plastics and detergent. This plant loves bright light, and to encourage buds to open, you’ll need to find a spot near an open window with direct sunlight.
6. Red-Edged Dracaena
The red edges of this easy dracaena bring a pop of color, and the shrub can grow to reach your ceiling. This plant is best for removing xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde, which can be introduced to indoor air through lacquers, varnishes and gasoline.
7. Weeping Fig
A ficus in your living room can help filter out pollutants that typically accompany carpeting and furniture such as formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene. Caring for a ficus can be tricky, but once you get the watering and light conditions right, they will last a long time.
Bring this beautiful flowering shrub into your home to combat formaldehyde from sources such as plywood or foam insulation. Because azaleas do best in cool areas around 60 to 65 degrees, they’re a good option for improving indoor air in your basement if you can find a bright spot.
9. English IVY
A study found that the plant reduces airborne fecal-matter particles (who knew that was an issue?!). It has also been shown to filter out formaldehyde found in some household cleaning products.
10. Warneck Dracaena
Combat pollutants associated with varnishes and oils with this dracaena. The Warneckii grows inside easily, even without direct sunlight. With striped leaves forming clusters atop a thin stem, this houseplant can be striking, especially if it reaches its potential height of 12 feet.
11. Chinese Evergreen
This easy-to-care-for plant can help filter out a variety of air pollutants and begins to remove more toxins as time and exposure continues. Even with low light, it will produce blooms and red berries.
12. Bamboo Palm
Also known as the reed palm, this small palm thrives in shady indoor spaces and often produces flowers and small berries. It tops the list of plants best for filtering out both benzene and trichloroethylene. They’re also a good choice for placing around furniture that could be off-gassing formaldehyde.
13. Heart Leaf Philodendron
This climbing vine plant isn’t a good option if you have kids or pets — it’s toxic when eaten, but it’s a workhorse for removing all kinds of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Philodendrons are particularly good at battling formaldehyde from sources like particleboard.
14. Peace Lily
Shade and weekly watering are all the peace lily needs to survive and produce blooms. It topped NASA’s list for removing all three of most common VOCs – formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene. It can also combat toluene and xylene.