9 Air-Cleaning Plants Your Home Needs
We don’t think too much about the air we breathe in our homes. Unfortunately, there can be many unwanted toxins lurking in the space we live. While air purifiers can tackle air purifying and detoxifying, they can also be noisy and expensive.
Luckily, there are a wide variety of plants that can be used just as effectively to clean the air around us. Not to mention a lush green plant adds a lot more to the decor of your home than a bulky air purifier.
Below, we’ve listed nine houseplants that do double duty. They’re welcomed additions to any home decor style while working hard to clean the air of toxins that can make you and your family sick. For a more comprehensive list of what can be lurking in your air, check out our article on common household VOCs.
Design by: Nikki Roxby
Benefits of the English Ivy: English Ivy is said to be the plant that provides the most air purification of all house plants, and also provides a timeless, elegant look as it grows and drapes from its planter. It’s great for homes with pets, as it removes things like fecal matter and pesticides from the air. However, you’ll want to keep English Ivy potted and away from pets and their curiosity — it’s invasive and poisonous to animals.
How to care for it: English Ivy grows best in moist soil and cooler temperatures. Looking to give some to a friend? Snip a small section and replant it — it’s that easy!
Image: Lauren Conrad
Benefits of the Rubber Plant: Although “rubber” doesn’t sound particularly cleansing, Rubber plants are excellent at purifying the air by emitting high oxygen content. Their smooth, thick, and oblong leaves make for a unique look. Rubber plants can grow up to eight feet tall.
How to care for it: Rubber plants are easy to care for, requiring indirect sunlight (think: behind a sheer). Water when the soil is dry, but not more — yellowing leaves indicate overwatering. This plant is also poisonous to cats and dogs.
Image: Crowning Glory Decor
Benefits of the Lady Palm: The lady palm brings the look of the tropics and a lot of do-good. The finger-like palms remove several toxins: formaldehyde, xylene, ammonia, and toluene, to name a few.
How to care for it: Lady palms prefer indirect sunlight and comfortable temperatures (60 to 80 degrees). Keep their soil fertilizer free, and refresh it every two years.
Image: Postive Med
Benefits of the Bamboo Palm: Bamboo Palm removes almost all of the same toxins as the lady palm, while also acting as a natural dehumidifier. Bamboo Palm also has significance in Feng Shui, where the number of stalks correlates to a certain prosperity or good luck.
How to care for it: Bamboo palm thrives in indirect light, comfortable temperatures, and rich soil. Water with purified, room temperature water when the soil begins to feel dry. Be sure your p0t has drainage — standing water is bad news for this good luck charm.
Image: In Honor of Design
Benefits of the Lilyturf: Lilyturf grows outward more than upward, which has earned it the lovely name, “Creeping Lilyturf”. Charming. However, Lilyturf rids your air of even creepier things, like formaldehyde and ammonia. It also earns points for its lavender-colored flowers that bloom in the summer and fall.
How to care for it: Lilyturf is usually found as ground cover outside but lives quite happily indoors as well. A mix of sun and shade, weekly waterings, and you’re on your way to one creepy, happy plant.
Image: We Are Scout
Benefits of the Spider Plant: Another plant with a less-than-appealing name that does a whole lot of good for your home. Count on them to take away 90% formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and toluene from your breathing space in just two days. Spider plant’s droopiness makes them a good-looking candidate for a hanging basket in your home.
How to care for it: Spider plants are a good choice for a new plant parent. In other words, they’re hard to kill. Keeping the soil moist and room not-too-hot will keep them happy and healthy.
Image: Decor Demon
Benefits of the Barberton Daisy: A beautiful Barberton Daisy is a cheery addition to any home, but the true beauty lies in what can’t be seen (poetic, right?). Barberton Daisy combats benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene. They also eat up carbon dioxide, letting off clean oxygen overnight. That’s a real reason to sleep easier.
How to care for it: A lover of the light, Barberton Daisy is at its best when bathed in sunlight. You may even consider giving them some outdoor time in the summer. With all of that exposure, be sure to keep the soil moist.
Image: Nalle’s House
Dwarf Date Palm
Benefits of the Dwarf Date Palm: Don’t let the name “dwarf” fool you — these attractive Asian palms can still grow up to 6 to 12 feet indoors with proper care! Their long palms make an impressive statement to any interior, while also working to remove toxins from your air.
How to care for it: These indoor palm plants don’t ask for much maintenance. They thrive in moist, fertile and well-draining soil, as well as bright or indirect sunlight. Bonus points if you water it with warm water. No need for pruning.