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9 Air Cleaning Plants You Need for Your Home

By August 27, 2015Home

We live in a toxic world, plain and simple. From car exhaust to second-hand smoke, there is hardly a moment where our lungs are free from harmful pollutants.

Even in our homes we subject ourselves to the harshest of chemicals. Most of us probably use 3 or 4 chemical cleansers to rid kitchen and bathrooms of their major “yuck” factors. Then there’s the paint, air fresheners, and the bleach. The list of chemical contaminants in our homes could go on.

Fortunately, with the help of a few green leaves, we can clean the air in our home. Sounds crazy? Maybe not. A study conducted by NASA identified specific plants that are able to remove harmful contaminants from the air, including:

  • benzene (detergents, furniture wax, glue)
  • trichloroethylene (ink, paint, adhesive)
  • formaldehyde (paper towels, synthetic fabrics, paper bags)
  • ammonia (window cleaner, floor wax, fertilizer)
  • xylene (leather, tobacco, rubber)

Short term exposure to these toxic chemicals can lead to headaches, dizziness, heart problems, eye irritations, coughing, vomitting, drowsiness and confusion. Here are the plants you need for your home:

air cleaning plants

9 Air Cleaning Plants You Need for Your Home

Flamingo Lily: Featuring beautiful pink flowers, the Flamingo Lily will brighten any room in your home. The plant thrives in humid environments with indirect light. Allow the soil to dry in-between watering. In addition to its beautiful flowers, the Flamingo Lily can reduce lingering Formaldehyde, Xylene and Ammonia in the air.

Weeping Fig: Although it may takes a few weeks to adjust to your home, the Weeping Fig is great for reducing the Formaldehyde and Xylene from the air. It requires bright, indirect light and watering only when the soil feels dry.

Bamboo Palm: The low maintenance Bamboo Palm requires low to indirect sunlight and less frequent watering. This beautiful plant is effective at removing Formaldehyde and Xylene from the air.

Peace Lily: This beautiful sounding plant also produces beautiful flowers. While only requiring low light and weekly watering, the Peace Lily rids the air of Benzene, Trichloroethylene, Formaldehyde, Xylene and Ammonia.

Broadleaf Lady Palm: This tropical-looking plants is very easy on the eyes, but not so easy on the Ammonia, Formaldehyde and Xylene it cleans from the air.

Snake Plant: Relatively easy to maintain, the Snake Plant requires indirect sunlight and less frequent watering. Fortunately, Formaldehyde and Benzene do not stand a chance against the Snake Plant.

Boston Fern: Known as one of the better air cleaners, the Boston Fern can effectively remove Formaldehyde and Xylene from the air.  The Boston Fern thrives in humid environments with indirect sunlight. If you don’t exactly live in the ideal climate, try a humidifier to give the fern the environment it needs.

Spider Plant: Considered a great beginner plant, the Spider Plant can be easy to maintain. Bright indirect sunlight and adequate dry-out time between watering is the best for this plant. Spider Plants help clean the Formaldehyde and Benzene from the air.

Florist Chrysanthemum: This blooming plant enjoys a cool, bright location. The Chrysanthemum takes about 8 weeks to flower, but in the meanwhile, works its magic in reducing Formaldehyde, Benzene, Trichloroethylene, Xylene and Ammonia from the air.


*If you have pets, please do further research on any plant before adding it to your home. Some plants can be deadly for pets.

**Please make sure your home is well ventilated. These tips do not replace the advice of your doctor.



Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Yin says:

    Very helpful. Thank you!

  • Really interesting and well-written article! I love having many plants at home. They are beautiful and they clean the air, which is great! Thank you for sharing this list of air cleaning plants! I might take one Peace Lily. They are gorgeous!

    • Brown & Coconut says:

      Hi Christy! So glad you enjoyed the article. Plants are so lovely to have in the home and the fact that some can clean the air is such a wonderful bonus! You are so right; peace lilies are gorgeous! 🙂

  • germguardian says:

    There is a question i’m asking in my mind: are these plants able to live in any country and climate?

    • Brown & Coconut says:

      Hi there! Great question! It definitely depends on where you live and your climate. Some plants prefer humid environments, others simply require indirect sunlight. Depending on where you live, certain plants may do better than others. I’d suggest visiting your local garden center and checking out a few you like and the care instructions. 🙂

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