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Purifying Home Air Quality Using Indoor Plants

Last updated May. 11, 2018

Whenever the topic of air pollution is being discussed, the emphasis is always placed on the outdoor environment.

It is true that most human activities that contribute to air pollution are outdoor activities, however, this does not mean that the outdoor environment is always worse, or that we will be safer when we are indoors.

In many instances, the indoor air quality is worse than that of the outdoors. It may sound out of place but that is a simple truth. Indoor air pollution has been ranked among the top five environmental risks to public health.

Indoor air gets nasty when there is lack of ventilation. When the air is not moving as it should. Stale air means that pollutants build up in the room to the extent that they endanger our health.

Living in a home or working in an office that lacks proper ventilation exposes an individual to a condition known as ‘sick building syndrome’. The condition manifests in the form of a headache, dizziness, eye, ear, and nose irritation, and nausea.

Battling this problem has been the focus of some groups and organizations, including NASA. The most important viable solution seems to be easier than anyone can think initially: indoor plants for air purification.

There are items in a home that is capable of causing air pollution, there is a need to have a way of removing some of the contaminants from the air.

Things such as furnishings, upholstery, synthetic building materials, and cleaning agents all have the tendency to undermine air quality.

They are capable of emitting toxic substances like formaldehyde. Other sources of indoor air pollution include microorganisms like bacteria and molds, pollen from blooming plants, and other contaminants that can find their way into the building from external sources like car exhaust.

When a room is small and poorly ventilated, the condition can be really troublesome. As has been mentioned above, one of the best ways to tackle the menace of indoor air pollution is the use of indoor plants. The fact that plants purify the air is a common knowledge.

They take up one of the most significant air contaminant carbon dioxide (CO2) and use it during the process of photosynthesis and release oxygen in the process. During this process, it is not the only CO2 that is absorbed.

Other particulates in the air can be absorbed too. In a potted plant, there are some microorganisms in the potting soils that play a role in the air cleaning process as well.

Asides from their ability to control air quality, indoor plants also have other qualities that make them essential for homes and office buildings. They have some therapeutic and mental benefits.

It has been found that hospital patients that had plants in their rooms responded better to treatment. They can also help to minimize mental fatigue thereby encouraging productivity.


Moving Forward

Now that you understand the importance of having indoor plants in your home and how efficient they can be in improving air quality, how exactly do you take advantage of this?

Many assume that caring for indoor plants is one big deal. This is not the case at all. There are several plant species you can use indoors that are quite easy to maintain.

We will discuss some of the very best indoor plants in terms of efficiency at air cleaning and resilience. The plants have different requirements so you may need additional information about their sunlight and water requirements and other important factors.

You may also need to re-pot your plant if you do not like the current pot or when it outgrows the pot.

Important Indoor Plants That Purifies The Air

The following plants have been researched by NASA and found to be very efficient in air purification:


Garden Mum

This is one of the best plants in terms of air purification and it can be easily managed in any indoor setting. It has been found to be efficient in removing substances such as formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia, and xylene.

Another good thing about Garden Mum is the fact that they are easily available and inexpensive.

Spider Plant

This is one of the easiest home plants to grow and they have been found to be very efficient in removing formaldehyde and xylene.

Since they are so easy to grow, they are definitely the right choice for individuals who are still new to the idea of houseplants. They generally require direct sunlight.


These plants come in more than 40 different kinds so you will certainly find the one that will be the perfect thing to grace your home or office.

They have been found to be very efficient in air purification, removing substances like benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene. These plants can be toxic to cats and dogs so pet owners may have to avoid them.

Ficus/Weeping Fig

It is actually possible to grow Ficus as an indoor plant even though they get to 10 feet tall. It is a low maintenance plant and can be the ideal plant for those that are not used to caring for indoor plants. They are efficient in removing benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.


Peace Lily

This is one of the smallest plants in the list, but it is really efficient in indoor air purification. It is easy to grow, but you will not need much of it when it is flowering time as its pollen will definitely get into the air too.

It has been found effective in removing ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.

Boston Fern

These are plants that do better with high humidity and indirect light. They are relatively easy to grow and will do better in cool locations, but you need to make sure that they have enough moisture at all times. They can remove formaldehyde and xylene.


Snake Plant/Mother-in-Law’s Tongue

This is one of the easiest plants to raise indoors. Though you need to water it occasionally, it can stay without water for a long while and actually prefers drier conditions and sunlight. It is quite effective in removing benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene.

Bamboo Palm

This is one of the plants that thrive better in full or bright light, but they can also be grown indoors to help with air filtering. They are efficient in removing benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.


Aloe Vera

This is everyone’s darling. They are easy to care for and are reputed to have so many health benefits. What we can say here is that they are quite efficient in removing formaldehyde and are easy to care for.

Indoor plants can be very efficient in purifying the air and removing contaminants that can pose serious health challenge.

To get the best out of them, you also need them to be in good health. Take care of your indoor plants and they will, in turn, take care of your indoor air quality.

If you have any further questions, contact us and we would be happy to help you.