Scientific studies have proven that choosing air-purifying plants for your home helps detoxify the air in your living spaces, so not only do these houseplants look lovely, but they also clean the air you breathe in.
Several air-purifying plants can detoxify the air in your home from the airborne toxins and germs found in different household products or furniture.
Here are the best air-purifying plants and where to keep them to give your home a breath of fresh air.
ZZ Plant (Zanzibar gem)
ZZ plant is an eye-catching perennial with broad, attractive dark green leaves. Not only is this hardy plant beginner friendly, but it can remove toxins such as benzene, xylene, and toluene from the air. Water ZZ plants once every 2-3 weeks and keep them in bright, indirect sunlight.
Philodendrons are famous for their large, glossy green leaves and for purifying by removing formaldehyde, a chemical compound found in building materials. This plant’s care is simple, as it can quickly adapt to any indoor environment. To thrive, philodendrons require plenty of sunlight, water, and occasional fertilizer. Water your philodendron when the top 50-75% of the soil is dry.
English Ivy (Hedera helix)
English ivy is an easy-growing perennial vine that can effectively reduce airborne fecal particles, making this green vine the perfect air-purifying plant for your bathroom.
This perennial vine needs generous watering and prefers 2–5 hours of direct daily sunlight to return the love with clean, fresh, and detoxified air.
Aloe Vera (Aloe vera)
Aloe vera is a lovely addition to any windowsill, as it loves sunny areas. While you want aloe vera on hand to soothe burns, the plant also purifies the air from benzene and formaldehyde in detergents, floor finishes, and varnishes.
This succulent plant loves direct sunlight and thrives in all sunny locations. Aloe veras are succulents, which means they store water in their leaves. This means they don’t need to be watered as often as other plants. You should generally water your aloe vera plant every 2-3 weeks.
Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)
Weeping figs have been popular since the Victorian times and can help to tackle levels of toluene, xylene, and formaldehyde. Weeping figs are somewhat fussy plants that don’t like change and appreciate bright indirect light away from drafts, so keep your weeping fig near non-drafty windows, and it’ll be your trusty cleaner for many years.
Weeping figs are tropical plants that prefer moist, well-drained soil. They should be watered deeply when the top inch of soil is dry. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Overwatering is the most common cause of problems with weeping figs.
Devil’s Ivy / Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
Devil’s Ivy is famous for its waxy leaves and for keeping the air in your home clean. The pothos plant can withstand neglect and does well in most lighting conditions. Although they can thrive almost anywhere, Devil’s Ivy prefers brighter spots and loves moisture, making it a brilliant bathroom plant.
Devil’s Ivy can be watered every 1-2 weeks, depending on the climate and the size of the plant. In hot, dry climates, you may need to water your Devil’s Ivy more often. You may need to water it less often in cool, wet climates.
Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)
This hardy plant is one of the most popular houseplants for its striking look and low maintenance. The rubber plant is a natural humidifier proven to clean the air and brighten up any space. This easy-to-care-for plant can grow well in low light levels; although the Ficus elastica has air purifying benefits, it is toxic for pets, so keep it out of reach.
Water your rubber plant every 1-2 weeks with room temperature water, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.
The Flamingo Lily (Anthurium andraeanum)
Besides adding a unique pop of color to any room with its salmon-red heart-shaped leaves, the flamingo lily is an excellent air-purifying plant. Flamingo lilies prefer bright areas but not direct sunlight; they do well in humid areas like bathrooms and kitchens. To ensure this lily thrives, water it once or twice a week.
Bamboo Palm (Dypsis lutescens)
The bamboo palm makes a great focal point in any low-light room. This graceful plant has arching leaves that make excellent all-around air cleaners that are especially famed for getting rid of formaldehyde in the air. You must regularly water Bamboo Palms through their active growing season but keep their soil dry between waterings.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
Peace lilies are a long-time favorite houseplant thanks to their beauty, but not many know that this lily can also help filter out harmful compounds in the air. Peace lily plants can tolerate short periods of dryness, but their leaves can turn brown if you neglect them for too long. To keep peace lilies thriving, place them where they can receive bright indirect light and keep the soil consistently moist.
Famous for its unique patterned foliage, Calathea has an exotic feel that can brighten up any room. This exotic plant purifies the air by filtering out different compounds that can harm humans and pets. For your Calathea plant to thrive, place it in a bright and warm area and avoid direct sunlight. Water your Calathea when the top 2 inches of soil are dry.
Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum indicum)
Brighten up your living room or kitchen with this beautiful flower. Chrysanthemum helps filter out toxins, such as benzene and ammonia, often found in detergents, plastics, and glue.
Chrysanthemums love plenty of sunlight, so place them near a sun-bathed window and water every day or every other day, depending on the weather. Water the soil at the base of the plant, not the leaves. Water deeply so that the water reaches the roots.
Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot.
There’s a reason you see people hanging eucalyptus in their showers; this hardy plant purifies the air and keeps it fresh while also working as a natural decongestant. Eucalyptus plants can also open up the sinuses and relieve congestion caused by allergies and colds. Besides being known for its fragrant smell, eucalyptus is a great air purifier with numerous medicinal properties. Water your eucalyptus plant when the top inch of the soil is dry.
Make sure you keep eucalyptus away from your furry friends, as it can be toxic for them.
This originally appeared on Planet Natural.
Melissa Pino is a biologist, master gardener, and regular contributor for Planet Natural. Melissa's work focuses on promoting environmentally-friendly practices, helping people create healthy gardens and finding ways to achieve overall health and wellness.