9 Houseplants Proven to Remove Toxins From Indoor Air

These plants may also do everything from reducing the amount of dust in your home to boosting your happiness.

5. Lady palm

A lady palm houseplantLamyai / Shutterstock.com

This palm excels at removing ammonia, landing it at No. 1 among Wolverton’s list of 50 air-cleansing plants for removing that unhealthy gas.

According to the National Institutes of Health, you can be exposed to ammonia at home if you use products that contain it, such as:

  • Window cleaners
  • Floor waxes
  • Smelling salts

6. English ivy

An English ivy houseplantzossia / Shutterstock.com

This vining plant’s air-purifying ability is more than just NASA-certified.

Researchers told the 2005 annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology about a study that found English ivy can clear the air of allergens such as airborne mold and even airborne dog feces, according to WebMD.

Also, in 2009, research out of the University of Georgia found English ivy had one of the five highest rates of air-contaminant removal out of 28 plants tested.

7. Golden pothos

A woman waters a pothos houseplantmykeyruna / Shutterstock.com

This vining plant is another air purifier known to tolerate neglect and lower light. It’s one of my favorites, along with the next plant on this list.

NASA studied golden pothos, Epipremnum aureum, which has green and yellow marbled leaves. But other varieties commonly seen at national retailers also bear distinctive foliage: Epipremnum aureum “Marble Queen” (green and white leaves) and Epipremnum aureum “Neon” (almost-florescent chartreuse leaves).

8. Peace lily

peace lilyJohn C Evans / Shutterstock.com

This houseplant will tolerate lower light — but it will bloom more with brighter light. It’s among few plants that will bloom reliably indoors.

Peace lilies are also well-rounded air cleaners. NASA found that they remove at least eight chemicals, particularly acetone, from the air.

9. Spider plant

A spider plantSascha Preussner / Shutterstock.com

If you want to clean your air on the cheap, this is your houseplant. Spider plants are relatively easy to keep alive, and they can effectively clone themselves.

They grow umbilical cord-like shoots that bear baby spider plants, as seen in this picture. So, expanding your spider plant collection is about as simple as snipping off a baby and putting it in potting soil.

A caution about plants

Now that you’re psyched to bring home air-friendly plants, one word of caution: If you have pets or children, be sure to look up whether any plant is hazardous before bringing it home.

The ASPCA maintains a searchable list of plants that are toxic to dogs, cats or horses. You can find lists of plants that are poisonous to humans on the websites of organizations like the nonprofit National Capital Poison Center and the University of California’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

For example, I can tell you as a dog owner that the ASPCA considers most plants on this list toxic to dogs. I choose to buy them anyway and keep them out of my dog’s reach. Depending on your little ones’ curiosity levels, though, you might want to simply not buy certain plants.

Do you have houseplants? Tell us about your experience, or your favorite plant to grow, by commenting below or over on our Facebook page.

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More


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