9 Houseplants That Purify Indoor Air

Plants inside the home not only look good, but also serve another purpose. They help purify the air, filtering out pollutants that are present inside our homes. These are by products of common household items and are emitted into the air over time. Read on to learn more about the compounds and the plants that you can use to filter them out.

1. Weeping Fig

Credit: yoppy / flickr.com

Credit: yoppy / flickr.com

The weeping fig is a ficus, a family of plants consisting of rubber trees, and is good in combating benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde,- compounds that are are brought into the home through furniture, wood flooring and carpeting. Place this plant somewhere in the home that gets some indirect sunlight, like near a window.

2. Peace Lily


This beautiful plant that thrives even in dimly lit areas filters out benzene, formaldehyde, trichlorethylene as well as xylene,toluene, and ammonia. Ammonia is found in cleaning products, solvents as well as textiles that are found in the home.

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3. Spider Plant


Chlorophytum comosum, more commonly known as the spider plant, absorbs and filters out 4 pollutants in the air: formaldehyde, xylene, benzene and carbon monoxide. Perfect in the garage and rooms near the garage , where carbon monoxide from car emissions are most prevalent.

4. Gerberas


Gerberas can filter out benzene and trichloroethylene, a by product of dry cleaning.

5. Boston Fern


Boston ferns are effective at filtering out formaldehyde, xylene and toluene. Xylene and toluene are compounds found in solvents such as paint thinners.

6. Dracaena

Credit: mauroguanandi / flickr.com

Credit: mauroguanandi / flickr.com

There are several of dracaenas out there, and most can be brought inside as house plants, like the Janet Craig and Dracaena reflexa, pictured above. They filter out formaldehyde, xylene and trichloroethylene being released by varnishes and paints.

7. Reed Palm


Also known as bamboo palm, this plant is an effective filter for trichloroethylyne and benzene. It’s also good at filtering out formaldehyde.

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Credit: Mark / flickr.com

Credit: Mark / flickr.com

These vines are perfect in removing most pollutants in the air but are highly toxic when ingested by humans and pets, so be careful where you place them if you plan to have some inside your home.

9. Snake Plant/ Mother-In-Law’s Tongue

Credit: Carl Lewis / flickr.com

Credit: Carl Lewis / flickr.com

The easy to grow and keep Sansevieria trifasciata is good for filtering out formaldehyde in areas of the house that are humid.