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Air purifying plants: 20 of the best for your home


Devils Ivy

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1. Devil’s Ivy or pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Otherwise known as pothos or golden pothos, devil’s ivy is an easy to grow indoor houseplant that will fight off common household toxins. It adds instant colour to any room with cascading tendrils and grows well in water, pots and hanging baskets. The heartleaf philodendron has also been said to be harder to kill than to keep alive

Toxins removed: xylene, benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.

2. Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix Roebelenii)

Dwarf or Pygmy palms are the babies of the palm family. They are relatively easy to grow in partial shade, growing up to six to 10 feet with their fronds reaching six foot too!

Toxins removed: formaldehyde and xylene.

Peace Lily

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3. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Also known as a spathiphyllum, peace lilies are an easy and undemanding plant to look after. Their glossy green leaves make the perfect addition to any room especially those spots with low light. Keep them happy with a weekly water and fertilise with a slow-release fertiliser in spring to promote growth and those glorious white flowers.

Toxins removed: benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene

4. Philodendron

The heart-shaped philodendron is a luscious addition to indoor spaces. Philo’s are relatively easy to look after they just need moderate water and bright, indirect sunlight.

Toxins removed: formaldehyde.

Spider Plant

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5. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Spider plants are the perfect choice for newbies and those with a bad track record when it comes to plants. They thrive in indirect sunlight and survive in just about any condition (they’ve been known to survive in temperatures as low as 2 degrees). Spider plants also send out shoots of baby spider plants called spiderettes.

Toxins removed: formaldehyde and xylene.

6. Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum morifolium)

Chrysanthemums otherwise known as disbuds or mums are not only a great addition to a floral arrangement but they look great in your home and are known as one of the best air purifiers around. They are among the more difficult air purifiers to grow but the payoff is beautiful colourful blooms. They enjoy good air flow, bright indirect sunlight and watering with warm water only, making sure that they are allowed to dry fully in between drinks.

Toxins removed: ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene

Rubber tree

7. Rubber plants (Ficus elastic)

These burgundy evergreen trees originated from India, they’re a very hardy plant that love bright, filtered light and weekly watering in summer and fortnightly watering in winter. Rubber plants can grow in a small pot or be encouraged to grow into a large indoor tree in pots or straight in the ground.

Toxins removed: xylene, benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.

Boston Fern

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8. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata v. Bostoniesis)

This easy-to-grow fern is known for its sword-shaped fronds which makes it perfect for a hanging basket or pedestal. The Boston Fern thrives in humid environments and requires consistent moisture. Keep them happy with regular misting, moist soil and position them in indirect sunlight near windows, balconies and patios. In winter cut the fronds back by around 2-inches to help regenerate and grow in the warmer months. 

Toxins removed: formaldehyde and xylene.

Areca Palm

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9. Areca palms (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)

Areca palms are great for bigger spaces. They are a powerhouse when it comes to eliminating toxins and they are even non-toxic to both dogs and cats. Look after them with lots of water (a couple of times a week) during summer but not as much in winter.

Toxins removed: benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene

10. Pineapple Plant

A recent study by NASA revealed that pineapple plants can actually put an end to snoring. Whilst they don’t remove any toxins from the air NASA claims that “pineapple plants produce oxygen and boost air quality at night which could improve sleep quality and cut out those snores.” These plants are very hardy and survive with very little water but be careful they are no match for frost they hate the cold.

Dracaena

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11. Dracaena “Janet Craig” (Dracaena Deremensis)

Go big or go home! Dracaena’s can grow up to 15-foot tall, making them perfect for filling voids and big spaces. These guys love indirect sunlight but under no circumstances should be placed in direct sunlight. Water them once a week in the warmer months but be careful too much water can cause root decay.

Toxins removed: xylene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde

12. Ficus/Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)

The ficus is native to southeast Asia, grown most commonly indoors the Weeping Fig can grow between two and 10 feet tall. Like most other air purifiers ficus prefers bright, in direct sunlight and to be watered weekly, drying out fully between drinks.

Toxins removed: formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene.

Snake Plant

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13. Snake Plant/Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Snake Plants otherwise known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue is a succulent plant that can grow up to two meters in height. It is a low maintenance plant that is hardy and thrives on neglect. Place them in somewhere tolerating bright even direct light for a couple of hours a day. Be careful not to overwater as they thrive in dry conditions. 

Toxins removed: formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, benzene and xylene.

Aloe Vera

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14. Aloe Vera (Aloe vera or A. barbadensis)

Aloe Vera isn’t just handy for their anti-inflammatory properties repairing wounds and helping with sunburn but it turns out it is a great air purifier too. They thrive in warm well-lit rooms, growing brown spots on their leaves when the amount of harmful chemicals is extreme.

Toxins removed: formaldehyde.

English Ivy

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15. English ivy (Hedera helix)

You might recognise English ivy as the climber on many walls and trees outdoors but NASA claims that it is the number one indoor houseplant when it comes to its air purifiers. They grow well in small pots and prefer to be crowded. They look great in hanging baskets and you can even propagate a cutting in water in just a few days.

Toxins removed: formaldehyde and benzene.

Flamingo Lily

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16. Flamingo Lily/Fleur (Anthurium andraeanum)

The Flamingo Lily is the perfect plant to add a pop of colour to any room, they flower 300 out of 365 days of the year. She loves bright indirect sunlight, to be watered one to two times a week and is particularly comfortable in more humid conditions like your bathroom and kitchen.

Toxins removed: Formaldehyde, Ammonia, Xylene, Toluene.

17. Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa)

The Lady Palm is a great option when it comes to air cleaners. Contrary, to popular beliefs these palms prefer cooler temps ranging from 15-23 degrees.

Toxins removed: formaldehyde, ammonia and xylene

18. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)

The Chinese Evergreen plant comes in many varieties and is one of the easiest indoor house plants to grow. They tolerate most conditions but thrive in well-drained soil, humid temps with medium to low light conditions. It is recommended that you fertilise your Chinese Evergreen plants twice a year.

Toxins removed: formaldehyde and xylene.

19. Kimberly Queen Ferns (Nephrolepis obliterata)

The Australian native Kimberly Queen Fern thrives in outdoor conditions but they also make for the perfect indoor plants. They are perfect for newbies and beginners as their unique straight, narrow upright fronds require little to no care. Kimberly Queen Ferns don’t need to be pruned or cut back but make sure you keep them nice and moist with plenty of water and fertilise regularly in the warmer months.

Toxins removed: formaldehyde and benzene.

20. Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)

These guys can grow pretty big (between four and 12 feet high) making them absolute formaldehyde filtering machines. They make great indoor additions as they are pet-friendly and are one of the few air cleaners that love a good dose of full sunlight.

Toxins removed: formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene.

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Pet-friendly indoor plant plants

5 houseplants you can’t kill by overwatering

Looking for some indoor plants that will thrive on neglect? Watch the video below.

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