Air Cleaning

Top 10 Air Purifying House Plants

Another benefit other than displaying a plant within the home or office for visual purposes is the purification and filtering of certain toxins and pollutants within the air.

NASA ( National Aeronautics and Space Administration) tested all the air cleaning house plants listed below within their space stations (strange as that seems but true).

Clean Air Study

I have included the top 10 plants that were part of NASA's clean air study (as mentioned above). For more information about the study check out the wiki article.

Peace Lily - Spathiphyllum Wallisii

Peace Lily Picture

Removes: Benzene, Formaldehyde, Tricloroethylene, Xylene and Tolune, Ammonia.

The peace lily gets top marks for removing toxins according to the clean air study. Peace lilies are fairly easy plant's to care for and maintain. They also look beautiful when they bloom and the foliage is quite attractive. This species is available to purchase in many places including DIY and garden centers. "So in terms of removing air pollutants this plant is one to have a round the home".

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Mother In Laws Tongue - Sansevieria Trifasciata

Mother in laws tongue

Removes: Benzene, Formaldehyde, Tricloroethylene, Xylene and Tolune.

The Mother In Laws Tongue is a very popular house plant - grown for it's striking upright sword like leaves. It's easy to grow and makes a very good air filtering plant. A grower must avoid overwatering a Sansevieria Trifasciata and cold temperature conditions because too much cold and watering can cause serious harm. This plant is flexible in terms of lighting and will tolerate low lighting conditions.

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Barberton Daisy - Gerbera Jamesonii

Barberton Daisy with red flowers

Removes: Benzene, Formaldehyde,

An extremely attractive and popular flowering pot plant which is a perennial but treated as an annual in temperate regions indoors. Warm indoor temperatures and a good amount of sunlight helps encourage blooms to last longer. The flowers are so attractive they're used in wedding bouquets and for other decorative purposes. Also known as the Transvaal or Gerbera daisy

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Dragon Tree - Dracaena Marginata

Madagascar Dragon Tree

Removes: Benzene, Formaldehyde, Tricloroethylene, Xylene and Tolune.

Love this plant! It's so easy to care for and maintain and bounces back from neglect easily. It takes some years for a dragon tree to mature, unless it's purchased mature in height. There are a few varieties available with the most popular being the red edged species. Worth having around the home for both decorative and air purifying purposes.

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Weeping Fig - Ficus Benjamina

Picture of weeping fig

Removes: Formaldehyde, Xylene
and Tolune.

The weeping fig is a favorite of many households becoming a very popular ornamental plant. There are various sizes of this plant available and many are grown as bonsai. This plant does not remove as many toxins as some of the above plants (as tested by NASA) but it removes some and like all plants its obviously good for the environment.

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Areca Palm - Dypsis Lutescens

Areca palm

Removes: Formaldehyde, Xylene
and Tolune.

Not many plants can beat palms at being an attractive focal point within a home or office. The Areca is a cane palm with multiple stems growing from the soil and can be purchased about 5ft tall (grow up to about 8ft). This species is quite undemanding (the worst a grower can do to this plant is overwater it). A popular species from the Dypsis genus.

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Pygmy Date Palm - Phoenix Roebelenii

indoor pygmy date picture

Removes: Formaldehyde, Xylene and Tolune.

Also known as the dwarf palm because of how small the Phoenix Roebelenii grows in height. The trunk is an attractive feature that grows up to 6 inches in diameter, brown in color. This feather type species is a slow growing ornamental palm that's well adapted to growing indoors, unlike other phoenix plants.

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Boston Fern - Nephrolepis Exaltata

Boston ferns in hanging baskets

Removes: Formaldehyde, Xylene and Tolune.

Ferns are not the easiest of plants to grow indoors because of their need for high humidity conditions. This plant - the Boston Fern is one of the easier species and very popular in temperate regions grown indoors. These are fantastic plants for displaying in a conservatory within hanging baskets or somewhere the plants fronds can hang over.

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Spider Plant - Chlorophytum Comosum

Spider Plant

Removes: Formaldehyde, Xylene and Tolune.

This is a plant we had many of within the home while growing up. Some looking good and others looking quite shabby (mum wasn't a great plant carer - sorry mum). When taken care of properly and pruned right this popular house plant looks great. Once it begins to mature it produces lots of plantlets (small plants) that can be propagated.

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Corn Plant - Dracaena Fragrans

Dracaena Fragrans

Removes: Benzene, Formaldehyde, Xylene and Tolune.

Like many dracaena house plants the corn plant is easy to care for - tolerating low lighting conditions well and has low watering needs. An ornamental plant that looks great in many settings including offices, large living rooms, or hall ways. There are a few varieties that display different leaf color variations.

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Further Information

All plants clean air: The above plants all went through the clean air study with NASA. However, it is well known that all plants have some connection with improving air quality through photosynthesis. I would imagine having any type of plants indoors can help reduce toxic pollutants (no need to only choose the plants from the study).

Sick building syndrome: SBS is a term used for people who suffer some type of bad health symptoms without a specific illness diagnosed. One of the mentioned causes is from chemicals used within building materials inside the home which plants may help to remove (such as formaldehyde). There are various opinions from specialists about SBS and the term is not used as much today. See wiki article here.

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