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Use Plants to Help Purify Your Indoor Air

While Hepa air filters are still one of the most effective ways to purify your indoor air, there is also a cheaper (and prettier!) way to clean your air. Plants!

A study published by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), with help from the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) suggesting certain plants could be used to rid indoor spaces of harmful toxins (VOCs) commonly found in homes (formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene and amonia, among others). In the study, researchers recommend one plant per 100 square feet for optimal resuts.

Here are a few to try:


Aloe Vera

aloe vera

Good for: cleaning formaldehyde and benzene (common in furniture and paints and many cleaning products) from the air

Bonus: Helps heal cuts



Spider plants

Spider plant

Good for: Cleaning benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene (found in some leather products) from the air

Bonus: This low maintenance plant is hard to kill!


Golden Pothos (Devil’s Ivy)

Devils Ivy

Good for: Cleaning formaldehyde from the air.

Bonus: This hearty plant stays green even with VERY little sunlight. 


Gerber Daisy

Gerber Daisy

Good for: Removing trichloroethylene (common in dry cleaning) from the air

Bonus: They’re pretty!




Good for: Cleaning benzene (common in glue, paint, plastics and detergent) from the air.

Bonus: Okay, maybe not a “bonus” but this plant needs alot of sunlight


Bamboo Palm

Bamboo palm

Good for: One of the best at filtering out both benzene and trichloroethylene.

Bonus: Thrives in shady indoor spaces (and sometimes flowers with small berries)


Red-edged dracaena

Red edged dracaena

Good for: Filtering xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde from the air.

Bonus: The red edges!


Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema Crispum ‘Deborah’)

Chinese evergreen

Good for:  Filtering out a variety of air pollutants and works more efficiently to do so, the longer you have it.

Bonus: You’ll have it for a long time because it’s easy to care for! (AND it produces blooms and red berries)


Source: Mother Nature Network (also lists more plants). For more on the NASA study and a breakdown of which chemicals are found in what, click here!


Or, if you still think you might need that HEPA filter, click here.

By Kathleen Siddell, October 2015

Photos: 123rf.com

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