Houseplants that Improve Indoor Air Quality

Published on March 6th, 2017

From a young age we learn plants breathe in carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the environment. This cycle is why our forests and other plants are so important in maintaining a balance in the atmosphere. You can maintain this balance within your own home by housing certain plants that can remove harmful chemicals from the air inside your home. Removing these chemicals can purify the air you are breathing in and make the environment you live in much healthier.

Homes and offices can sometimes be more polluted than the outdoors. This pollution is caused by tight seals and insulation made with synthetic materials that emit harmful gases and chemicals into the air. Some of the most common indoor pollutants include formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethane. These can irritate eyes and skin, lead to allergic reactions and cause headaches; they have also been linked to more serious problems such as asthma, cancer, anemia, organ damage and birth defects.

All plants provide some degree of benefits to the air quality, but some tropical plants you may grow as houseplants in a cooler climate are most effective in purifying the air. Most of the plants suggested can be found at a garden center. Find out which plants can best reduce the toxic chemicals in your home:

  • Bamboo Palm
  • Chinese Evergreen
  • Dracaena
  • English Ivy
  • Ficus, or Wheeping Fig
  • Gerbera Daisy
  • Golden Pothos
  • Peace Lily
  • Philodendron
  • Pot Mum
  • Snake Plant
  • Spider Plant


For the best results, it is recommended to have at least one six-inch plant for every 100 square feet in your home. Strategically placing your plants throughout your home ensures you are purifying your air efficiently. Houseplants can also improve air quality by helping to maintain humidity levels and producing negative ions which attach themselves to dust and bacteria, removing them from the environment.

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