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10 Plants That Will Improve the Air Quality in Your Home

03/25/2024 11:01AM ● By KAREN CASSIDY

In 1989, the NASA Clean Air Study found that many houseplants had the ability to improve air quality and remove toxic chemicals, such as those from paint, smoke, cleaning supplies, hairspray, solvents, and varnishes, from the air.

In fact, scientists found that through photosynthesis, the process of turning carbon dioxide into oxygen, some plants are able to actually cleanse the air of these toxins known as VOCs (volatile organic compounds such as benzene, formaldehyde, and others), which can cause breathing difficulties, irritation to the eyes, nose, lungs, and throat, and even cancer. And let’s not forget how increased oxygen levels in your home can boost your mood, improve overall health, and heighten your ability to focus.

Spider Plants, known for their spider- like look, are considered one of the most adaptable houseplants because they are easy to grow and require little care. They prefer shade and only weekly watering. Toxins they remove: Carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and xylene


Majesty Palms are beautiful tropical plants known for their graceful, long green fronds. they need bright, indirect light and watering every one to two weeks. They’re slow-growing plants but can grow to be over 10 feet tall.

Toxins they remove: Formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide


Dracaena Marginatas, also known as dragon trees, are hardy yet attractive plants with green sword-like leaves edged in red. They require watering only once or twice a month and can survive in low light. Toxins they remove: Benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene


Rubber Plants, with their large, deep green leaves, like bright indirect light, prefer moist, well-drained soil and require watering once every one to two weeks. Toxins they remove: Trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and benzene



Pothos, also known as golden pothos or Devil’s Ivy, are vine-like, trailing plants with heart-shaped leaves. They are easy to grow, require indirect sunlight, and only need to be watered once a week.

Toxins they remove: Formaldehyde, benzene, and toluene.


Peace Lilies are lovely flowering plants with dark green leaves and white flag-like “flowers.” They require bright, filtered light and prefer consistently moist soil. The leaves of peace lilies contain a compound that can cause swelling of the tongue or vomiting when ingested, so keep these plants away from kids and pets.

Toxins they remove: Benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, ammonia, and carbon dioxide


Ferns require plenty of humidity, generous watering, and lots of space and light, but not exposure to direct sunlight. They prefer rich, well-drained soil. Toxins they remove: Formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene


Snake Plants, also known as “Mother-in-Law’s Tongues,” are tall plants with stiff, sword-like leaves. These easy-to-grow plants are drought-tolerant and can thrive in low light, making them the go-to choice for offices. Toxins the remove: Formaldehyde and benzene


English Ivy plants are evergreen perennials with glossy dark green leaves that need bright indirect light and loose, well-drained soil. They require watering only when their soil is completely dry, roughly once a week. English ivy is toxic to humans and animals, so keep it away from children and pets. Toxins they remove: Formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, and carbon dioxide


Dracaena Warneckiis, also known as “Janet Craig” plants, have silver, green, and white sword-shaped leaves with a distinctive shimmer. They like bright, indirect light but can also tolerate low-light environments. They require watering only every one to two weeks and are toxic to cats and dogs. Toxins they remove: Formaldehyde, xylene, and trichloroethylene 

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