House Plants That Clean Air With Little Sunshine

A lot of plants cultivated inside also replenish the air, filtering out pollutants and increasing the oxygen content in the building. Choosing widely available plants well suited to indoor lighting will help to make sure that every plant maintains its attractive look and achieves its full air-purifying potential.


A variety of species and cultivars of dracaena including the dragon tree (Dracaena marginata), “Janet Craig” dracaeana and “Warneck” dracaena can withstand low light and relatively dry air. Dracaenas are precious for their strap-like foliage, which is often variegated and shiny, and sometimes rises atop vertical stems. These plants can remove pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde and trichlorpethylene.

English Ivy

English ivy (Hedera helix) has a vining habit which makes it suitable for hanging baskets or indoor areas in which it can climb without damaging any underlying surface. This shade-tolerant plant removes benzene from the air, contains appealing, sometimes variegated leaves and prefers mild temperatures, suffering in warm areas of the home.

Golden Pothos

Golden pothos (Epipremnum aureum), or devil’s ivy, is among the easiest houseplants to cultivate successfully and rises relatively fast. This specimen features heart-shaped green leaves tinged with cream or gold which develop to a vining stem that is either allowed to hang or educated to climb. Golden pothos filters out formaldehyde and carbon monoxide.

Passion Lily

The peace lily (Spathiphyllum sp.) , sometimes also known as white flag, is among the few houseplants which will produce flowers in low light conditions while also filtering trichloroethylene and benzene from the air. The peace lily includes large, dark green leaves and attractive white spathes that appear above the foliage on stalks. Direct sunlight can burn peace lily leaves, which are broad and have a tendency to collect dust, requiring regular wiping.

Spider Plants

Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum), sometimes called airplane plants, which are low-maintenance and perfect for use in hanging baskets. These plants have long, thin, arching and sometimes variegated leaves, and sometimes create small flowers on prolonged aerial runners. Spider plants can absorb chemicals like benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and xylene from the air. They are easy to spread with all the plantlets that readily appear at the end of aerial runners.

Added Houseplants

A handful of additional houseplants also purify the air, can survive in relatively low light and are readily available. Formaldehyde-removing philodendron, often mistaken for pothos, features comparable leaf along with a vining habit which allows the plant stems to hang down or climb when given adequate support. Lily turf, Kimberly queen fern, schefflera and diffenbachia are also valuable in low-light insides due to their varying skills to capture the common indoor air pollutants benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene. Kimberly queen fern also improves air quality by releasing moisture to the air.

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