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13 Air Purifying Plants to Detox Your Home

Plants are well-known for their ability to improve mental health. If you’ve ever read up on the research surrounding forest bathing, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about. Nature therapy is real and it works!

However, the pandemic has shut down various outdoor spaces. While some places see the slow re-opening of their local parks, a lot of us are still stuck inside - or at least, have been for quite some time! It makes it tough to connect with the outdoors and reap all the benefits of nature.

And being inside all the time means you may have more carbon dioxide in your house and volatile organic compounds. Why? Simply put, it’s because you’re spending more time indoors.

Outside, air-purifying plants work away at detoxifying the air we breathe. But indoors, research shows that indoor spaces easily and quickly can become contaminated with volatile organic compounds and other chemicals released by the materials used to build the homes we live in.

The same research states that plants clear the air through photosynthesis, where carbon dioxide is removed and oxygen is returned, and they can help re-balance toxic materials in the air (Plus, again, there are a ton of benefits of bringing plants into your home!).

13 Plants That Purify The Air in Your Home

So… let’s break this down. What are the best air purifying plants? What should you know? Let’s dive in!

1. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)

This plant is effective at removing formaldehyde and benzene from your indoor air. Bonus: It also comes in various colors.

This little guy is used to medium or low light, making it one of the best low light air purifying plants out there. It also flourishes in humidity. This means your bathroom is often the ideal spot for it.

And the other good news? This guy takes minimal care. All you need to do is give it a mist of water occasionally to avoid it from turning a murky brown color.

Lastly, watch out for your cats or other pets. The Chinese Evergreen is toxic to most pets.

2. Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

This plant is already attributed as one of the best air purifying plants out there. And interestingly, a new genetically modified version of it is able to remove chloroform, benzene, and more from the air your breathe.

You’ll want to grow this plant near a window, preferably. However, it does tend to grow alright in low light. Watering also doesn’t have to be a hugely consistent thing, since the Pothos plants do best when drying out in between each watering.

3. English Ivy (Hedera Helix)

Not only does this plant have a seriously cool name, but it’s a classic. It looks elegant next to any decor. Plus, you can shape it as it grows, since its vine-like branches will climb and survive most structures you place near it.

This one doesn’t enjoy hot temperatures, so keeping it in your living space or room is ideal. It also does well in low to medium light, meaning you don’t necessarily need a direct sunlight source for this air-purifying plant.

Like others, this is also toxic to pets if ingested. However, it helps clear your indoor air of formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, and xylene.

4. Snake Plant (Sansevieria Laurentii)

The snake plant is a succulent, surviving tough conditions and persevering despite no light. You can easily get away with the occasional watering and even leave it, without a worry, when you eventually can head on a vacation.

Similar to English Ivy, the snake plant filters out formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, and xylene. It’s often suggested to bring this one into your bedroom since it releases oxygen at night which can help ease you into a restful sleep.

5. Corn Cane (Dracaena fragrans massangeana)

The corn cane, despite its name, is a beautiful tree-like plant that helps remove formaldehyde from the air you breathe. You should mist this plant daily to keep it in tip-top shape. It can also be kept in a more humid environment, like your bathroom, without problems.

It also only requires a medium amount of light. Thus, if you want to keep it in your bathroom, ensure there is some natural light flowing in!

Related Article: How to Start an Indoor Garden: Internal Growth

A Peace Lily plant on a wooden dresser.

6. Peace Lily (Sphathiphyllum)

The peace lily is as lovely as it sounds. It works to remove not just formaldehyde, but also carbon monoxide. Another low light option, you will want to ensure you keep the soil moist - but without overwatering. If you notice any droop, check that soil and top it up.

7. Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)

In NASA’s air-purifying plant and clean air study, the ficus proved to cleanse the air of formaldehyde, toluene, and xylene. It also makes for an excellent, low-maintenance house plant.

You’ll want to place it in a space that receives sunlight - it doesn’t need to be direct. It needs to be watered fairly often, while allowing the soil to dry in between each watering. Like other plants on this list, pet owners beware. The weeping fig can also be poisonous for many pets.

8. Kimberly Queen Fern (Nephrolepis Obliterata)

Ferns add a tropical vibe to your digs - and they can help purify your air ensuring you are breathing nothing but the best. The Queen Fern helps clear out formaldehyde and xylene.

During the first 8-12 weeks, this plant will shed its leaves. It also prefers humid conditions and indirect light. The soil should also be kept fairly moist - but not soaked!

A picture of Aloe Vera in someone's bedroom.

9. Aloe Vera

Who doesn’t love succulents? Stick to these guys if you just don’t seem to have good luck when it comes to plants, but you want to receive all the benefits of air-purifying plants.

Aloe vera isn’t just nice on the skin in gel form. It also helps filter out formaldehyde. Like other succulents, it thrives in the sunshine, so don’t be scared to place it in direct sunlight. And the occasional water is all it needs (so yup, you can sometimes forget you’re a plant mum or dad without doing any harm.).

10. Flamingo Lily (Anthurium)

This is one of the few air-purifying plants with flowers. Stunning in red, the flamingo lily removes ammonia, formaldehyde, and xylene from your indoor space.

You want a bit more light for this plant. And you’ll want to keep their soil moist. The lily also doesn’t like the cold air, so limiting this is best!

11. ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas)

The ZZ plant is the perfect office plant. It doesn’t require much light or water, but it helps purify the air you work in. Plus, it looks great!

Another cool thing about the ZZ plant? It flowers! This usually takes place in the middle of the summer or autumn. However, many people find the flowers unsightly. So if you don’t love them, you can easily remove them from the plant.

12. Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix Roebelenii)

The dwarf date removes formaldehyde and xylene. They easily grow in the shade, with little sunlight (but they do need some!). Surprisingly, these guys can grow up to six or ten feet so make sure you’ve got the space for it.

Ideally, you only want to water this guy when the soil dries. Avoid overwatering, but also ensure you keep a regular schedule so you don’t forget about it.

Orange and yellow mums (Chrysanthemums) in a field.

13. Mums (Chrysanthemum morifolium)

These floral plants look beautiful around your home and also help purify the air by eliminating formaldehyde, ammonia, benzene, and xylene.

They require indirect but bright sun and do well near airflow. Make sure you use only warm water to feed these ones, as well as let the soil dry fully in between each watering.

Get Out There & Start Purifying Your Life!

During these times, there is only so much within your control. But ensuring your air is as clean as it can be is definitely one of them. And like we said, plants and nature are like therapy - they just feel good!

So, clear that air. Get some plant friends. It’s so worth it!

Read This Next: Top 5 Benefits of Bringing Plants Into Your Home

Krista Bugden

Krista Bugden

"Believing in yourself is really half the battle," says Krista. Anything is possible and you really can achieve anything you set your mind to, is her motto. Physiotherapist, Piano player, skydiver, yogi, adventure traveler and energetic force of positivity, Krista is herself a (delightful) force to be reckoned with! As... Read More

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