10 Plants That Are Air Purifiers

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You already know how indoor plants cheer up a dull office and beautify your house but did you know that many common plants are terrific as indoor air purifiers? It’s true, according to scientists at NASA and other respected scientific sources.  Indoor air purifiers are becoming more common as people tighten up their homes and offices in the interests of energy efficiency. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as well as cigarette smoke and other chemicals in the air can irritate respiratory tracts, cause headaches, and in some cases make indoor air quality worse than that outdoors – even in cities! Office plants can do wonders when it comes to cleaning up indoor pollution.

Here are 10 plants that are great choices for fighting indoor air pollution:

1. The Areca palm tree is, according to NASA, the top plant for purifying indoor air. It has the added bonus of being a terrific humidifier as well. In fact, you can turn off your humidifier in the winter in rooms with Areca palms.

2. The peace lily is the perfect plant for beginners. It’s a good all-around air purifier, it’s beautiful, and it’s easy to grow, even for those without green thumbs. They are readily available, often found in malls, retailers, and even floral departments of supermarkets.

3. English ivy is a great choice for stagnant dry air, and it is aces at removing airborne mold. According to WebMD.com, English ivy removes up to 60% of airborne mold in its vicinity after just six hours. It’s a great choice for those with allergies.

4. Aloe vera is one of the most common plants. It’s found in kitchens everywhere due to its healing properties for cooking burns. It also does a great job of getting formaldehyde out of the air. Add in the fact that it’s easy-care, and it’s a terrific all-around choice.

5. Spider plants are popular because of their beauty, and because of their charming habit of making “baby” spider plants, but they’re also very good at removing carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide from the air. It takes only 24 hours for spider plants to work their magic.

6. Heart-leaf philodendron is another popular beauty, and it is one of the best for eliminating formaldehyde from the air. It’s also easy care and grows at a satisfying rate.

7. Boston ferns add to any decor, beautifying even the most dull office space. They are also the number one plant for getting formaldehyde out of the air. All in all, they’re a great choice for combating indoor air pollution.

8. Dracaena is the perfect choice for getting VOCs out of the air of newly-carpeted rooms. It removes formaldehyde at a fast rate, and gets xylene out of the air too. They like lots of light, as long as it isn’t direct.

9. Date Palms add a touch of the tropics to your home or office, and they are good all-around air cleaners, taking out VOCs effectively.

For more information on the benefits of office plants or for a free consultations, contact Growing Expectations at info@interiorofficeplants.com.


  1. rich says:

    This concept is based on a NASA study. Those plants were on activated charcoal and had fans blowing air through the charcoal. The activated charcoal alone without any plants would tend to clean the air. If cleaning the air was as easy as a couple of house plants, why did the most extensive study on residential air quality find that 98% of the homes tested had formaldehyde exceeding the concentration recommended by the State of CA for just 8-hours.

    I’m not against house plant, just don’t expect them to make the air healthy to breath.

  2. interiorofficeplants says:

    Dear Rich,

    The NASA test, done in the 70″s, was only the first and was done as you say but here have been many other studies over the years. Many studies have been done in Great Britain, Australia as well as the U.S. And the criteria that was used varied in all. You are also forgetting that the is a square footage requirement for the plants to be successsful, one plant per 100 sq. ft.

    I think the newer research has confirmed the efficacy of plants in cleaning the air. That is why, just in the last yaer, two projects received LEED points for interior plantscaping in the overall LEED certification. Also, maney plant organizations like Plants and Green Plants for Green buildings are working very hard to have interior plantscaping part of every LEED certified project.

  3. […] to make it through rough times. Luckily office plants can be our greatest consolation to […]

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