Best Indoor Plants for Air Quality

May 11, 2017

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Lead Copywriter

Green, lush plants sure look pretty around the house, but did you also know that they’re good for your health? Many plants help remove harmful toxins from the air.

Back in the 1980s, NASA studied the effects of indoor plants on air quality in space stations. They discovered that several plants filtered super scientific-sounding toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene and ammonia. Cliff notes: Some of these toxins can increase your risk of cancer and cause neurological abnormalities, while others are harmful to the environment and toxic to animals.

Below are some of the plants that NASA recommends for purifying your home. We selected the plants that filter the most toxins, but you can see the full list of NASA suggestions here.

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Peace Lily: This beautiful plant is not only easy to take care, but also knocks out all the toxins listed above. Peace lilies require little maintenance–a tiny bit of sun and once-a-week watering is sufficient. Ironically, though peace lilies filter airborne toxins, the plant is actually toxic to humans and animals if digested.

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English Ivy: This evergreen vine filters every chemical listed above except for ammonia. As for caring for your English ivy, make sure it gets plenty of light and its dirt stays moist. Because this is a climbing plant, consider putting a stake or wire frame in the pot to create a funky design. P.S. This plant is toxic to dogs and cats too.

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Snake plant: This easy-to-care-for plant filters all toxins mentioned above except for ammonia. There are many varieties of snake plants and lucky you, plant killers, they don’t require much sun or watering (only once every a couple of months). And yes, this plant is toxic to dogs and cats, so make sure it’s out of reach of your pets.

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Red-edged dracaena: Like the previous plants, this tropical plant filters everything but ammonia, and oh by the way, it is toxic to dogs and cats. These plants require partial sun and only need watering once or twice a week. From personal experience, we recommend keeping near a window.

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Chrysanthemum morifolium a.k.a. mum: Like the peace lily, this colorful plants knocks out all the toxins listed above. Mums do well with direct sunlight, so stick it near a window, and make sure that it gets watered two to three times a week. When indoors, mums only bloom once, so if you want it to rebloom, you’ll have to plant in the ground. And guess what? This plant is toxic to dogs and cats.