August 17, 2016 4 min read

Did you know that the air inside the average home is up to five times more polluted than the air outside?Good thing indoor plants are becoming popular. Whether its in an office or home, they provide greenery and can actually be good for you!

Plants provide oxygen and purify the air. This is beneficial to indoor spaces because they act as nature's air purifiers. In fact, some plants can remove a room up to 89 percent of harmful volatile organic compounds (otherwise known as VOCs)like Formaldehyde (used in new furniture and carpet) and Xylene (used in thinners and rubber products).

It is recommended to introduce at least two mid-to-large-sized plants per 10 square metres of space. Just note that some of these are poisonous to pets, so choose accordingly.

Mother in Law Tongue Plant
Also known as the Snake Plant, or Mother-in-Law's Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata) is one of the most recommended plants for improving air quality. Mother in Laws removes at least 107 known air pollutants, including carbon monoxide and nitrogen monoxide, formaldehyde, chloroform, benzene, xylene, and trichloroethylene among many others.

This plant produces copious amounts of oxygen throughout the night, making it an excellent plant to keep in the bedroom.

Best of all, Mother in Laws is an extremely resilient plant that can go for weeks without water and seems to thrive in just about any light.

Golden Pothos
Golden Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum) is a hardy plant that can survive in lower light and colder temps. It is a powerful air purifying plant that will clean the air in your house very effectivelyand is great for offices and homes since it rids the air of carbon monoxide and formaldehyde.

Golden Pothos does best in rooms with indirect light and requires regular watering. Be warned, however, the leaves of the plant are toxic when ingested and if you have dogs, cats or small children, you may want to keep the plant suspended in a pot well out of reach.

Peace Lily

The peace lily (spathiphyllum) is an ideal plant for indoors. They are easy to grow and provide years of enjoyment. Peace lilies have large, dark green leaves and showy, spoon-shaped, white flowers and grow in a variety of sizes from 30 to 120 cm tall.

Keep your peace lily in a well-lit area, but out of direct sunlight. They do like damp soil, but avoid over-watering.

It’s a great general cleanser and air purifying plant that effectively removes all common indoor pollutants generated by furniture, electronics and cleaning products, so much so that it is one of NASA’s top-ranked plants for this purpose.Peace lilies also rank high on the air-purification scale, nearly on par with Boston ferns and English Ivy.

Bostern Fern
Boston ferns (Nephrolepis Exaltata)rank as one of the best plant air purifiers and they are also natural humidifers! They release an abundant amount of moisture into the air which will make for a pleasant environment.

They're favored for their soft, feathery leaves and it's those same large fronds that help rid the air of pollutants like formaldehyde, toulene and xylene, which are found in many paints, nail polishes and glues.

Studies have also shown that the Boston fern will also eliminate heavy metals, such as mercury and arsenic from the soil.

Boston ferns require more care than most in this list.  First, they don’t like direct light, so keep them out of windows. You’ll also need to mist and water them frequently to avoid leaf drop or the soil from drying out.

English Ivy
This climber ((Hedera Helix) is another air-cleaning powerhouse that ranks as high as the Boston Fern.

This amazing plant is known as "a fix for allergies", noting that 60% of airborne mold in the room vanished just 6 hours after English ivy was brought in. Those with asthma, allergies, or the desire to breath cleaner, fresher air should give this plant a shot.

English ivy is extremely easy to grow and it boasts aerial roots that will attach to additional surfaces to proliferate. Put them in hanging baskets to fill voids in your home. They grow well in mid to abundant light but hate high temperatures.

Dracaena Plant

The Dracaena (Dracaena deremensis) is one efficient air purifier! It can remove formaldehyde, at a rate of 1,328 micrograms per hour and xylene, at a rate of 154 micrograms per hour. Place Dracaena in newly carpeted or newly furnished rooms were formaldehyde levels are at the highest.

Caring for this plant is easy. Place in bright indirect sun (can tolerate dim areas) and allow the plant’s soil to dry out in between watering.

Rubber Plant

The rubber house plant (Ficus Robusta)provides moisture, eliminates bio effluents, takes away volatile organic compounds as well as suppresses air based microorganisms as soon as it’s put into a room

As the plant grows, it will become more skilled at eliminating toxic compounds present in the air. Reason why is because the more leaves it develops, more bacteria within the rubber plants leaves are present to extracting further toxic compounds from the air. The procedure subsequently emits clean air in to the surrounding environment.

Rubber plants are easy to care for. They accept a wide variety of lighting options. Keep the soil moist.

Areca Palm

The Areca Palm or Bamboo Palm (Dypsis lutescens) is another hardy plant that does an excellent job for eliminating formaldehydes, benzene and carbon monoxide. As an added benefit beyond air purification, it is also a natural humidifier, producing a liter of ambient water every 24 hours, making it a well suited plant for dry climates or those with breathing troubles.

Areca Palms grow rapidly and can become quite large (up to 20 feet in height), but you can limit their vertical reach by keeping them confined to smaller pots. They prefer bright, filtered light and enjoy being watered frequently when growing, however, in the winter months they tend to need less.