Air Purifying House Plants

Ornamental potted plants are great for adding a touch of elegance to your home décor, whether draped gracefully over an entryway or stationed discreetly by a reading lamp. Not only that, but many plants even clean the air we breathe.

Back in the 1980s, while researching efficient air filtering options for long-term space stations, NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) scientists made an important discovery; after studying 19 species of houseplants, they noticed a correlation between indoor plants and improved air quality.

In this experiment, several rooms were filled with toxins such as Formaldehyde, Benzene, and Trichloroethylene and sealed off; some of the chambers contained common houseplants while others did not. Results showed that the chambers which contained the plants had significantly cleaner air quality.

Scientists explain that in addition to converting carbon dioxide to oxygen, houseplants extract VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from the atmosphere, essentially purifying it. This is because indoor plants, which are accustomed to low light conditions, must work harder than outdoor plants to achieve photosynthesis.

So how does this knowledge apply to our everyday lives? Insulation, lacquers, flammable solvents, epoxies and pressed woods are all common fixtures of every household and, like the toxins used in the NASA experiment, release dangerous fumes into the air. Inviting some plant life into your home is a simple, natural way to combat indoor air pollution. Some good varieties to look out for include:

  • Areca palm

  • Reed palm

  • Dwarf date palm

  • Boston fern

  • Janet Craig dracaena

  • English Ivy

  • Australian sword fern

  • Peace Lily

  • Rubber plant

3 Responses to “Air Purifying House Plants”

  1. fern plant says:


    My brother told me about a heartwarming item in the news outlining how an everyday couple employed the love of fresh vegetables to build a strong connection among the neighbors. Possibly we should give this a try.


  2. Kat Harison says:


    I really like this article and blog.


  3. andrew bolis says:


    Heya i would like to thank you for giving us that very informative post. it’s really a very interesting topic.


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