8 Easy Plants that Clean Your Indoor Air

The Situation

You spend approximately 90 percent of your life indoors. Have you ever stopped to think about the quality of the air you are breathing in your own home?

Studies show that our indoor air tends to be somewhere between 2 and 5 times as polluted as the air we are exposed to when outdoors.

The Pollutants

Some of these pollutants include synthetic fragrances from personal products, VOCs coming from household furnishings & paints, chemicals in cleaning/disinfecting/air freshening products, heated teflon cookware, percs from your drycleaning, and arts & craft materials, to name a few.

The Health Issues

This level of regularly inhaled air contaminants can lead to:

  • Respiratory issues
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Fatigue, headaches & anxiety
  • Eye, nose & throat irritations
  • Reproductive damage
  • Liver, spleen & blood issues
  • Damage to the nervous system

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An Added Complication

Compounding this issue of increasing indoor air pollutant sources is the fact that the energy crisis that occurred in the 70’s led to homebuilders focusing more on energy-tight windows.

So if your home was built after this era or the windows have been replaced, you have also been left with a lot less airflow. This means that you are basically stuck with all of these pollutants unless you either open your windows or filter your air.

What you can do

One of the ways you can promote indoor air filtration other than purchasing an expensive filtration system, is to pick up some houseplants. Certain plants are better at filtering air than others, so I have done the research for you.

Here is a list of 8 low-maintenance plants that filter your indoor air, for those of you who have (like myself) less than a green thumb.

English Ivy

This plant can get annoyingly out-of-hand growing in your backyard, but within the confines of a pot you’ve got an easy air filter that grows in the shade.

english ivy
low-maintenance plants that filter your indoor air

Mother-in-law’s Tongue

This cleverly named species, also known as snake plants, grows well in indirect light with the ability to drain properly for rotting prevention.

mother-in-law's tongue

Garden Mum

The garden mum, which is so popular in fall months, is also known by the name of Chrysanthemum. Due to its requirement of full sun, this would only work in homes that have access to a lot of natural lighting.

garden mum
low-maintenance plants that filter your indoor air

Peace Lily

It’s important to remember that these pleasantly named lilies are much more sensitive to overwatering than underwatering. They also need to be repotted occasionally as they outgrow their space.

peace lily

Spider Plant

These hardy plants are quite unique in their production of mini versions of themselves. By keeping them fairly cool and allow them to dry out a bit in between waterings, you should have a long-term relationship.

spider plant
low-maintenance plants that filter your indoor air


This plant is super flexible, requiring little light so that it will grow easily in places like bathrooms and offices. The pothos can also be grown in a vase of water, which is unusual. One thing to know if you have young children or pets though, is that the leaves are toxic if eaten.


Aloe Vera

The aloe plant is great not only for its air purifying properties, but also as an all-natural ointment for burns. Simply break a piece off, squeeze out the gel substance and rub it gently into your burn. Water this plant deeply, but infrequently; it can grow even in artificial light.

aloe vera
low-maintenance plants that filter your indoor air

Heartleaf Philodendron

heartleaf philodendron
low-maintenance plants that filter your indoor air

This plant keeps problem solving simple with its straightforward leaf color changes. If you find that the leaves are beginning to yellow, slow down on the water. If you start to see brown leaves, up the ante on that water. That about covers it!

Are houseplants a part of your life? Did you realize they multitasked as air filters?

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