20 Kickass Plants To Purify Your Home

by Polly N on April 12, 2012

I have spoken about the dangers of toxins in our food and in our everyday beauty products before, but today I want to address the issue of toxins in and around your house because some 900 different pollutants have been found in indoor air. Yes, that’s 900!

Here are just some of the causes and sources of air pollution;

Formaldehyde  – a chemical used in everything from carpet to pressed wood products like plywood to bed linens. Formaldehyde is a colorless gas and a volatile organic compound, which is extremely common in our homes. Sources include resins and glues found in paneling, doors, furniture, wallboard, ceiling panels, and pressed-wood products like particleboard and plywood, carpets, wallpapers, flame-resistant, water-repellant, and shrink-proof materials. Formaldehyde can also come from gas stoves, glues, room deodorizers, cosmetics, personal care products, paper grocery bags, waxed paper, paper tissues and even feminine protection products.

Carbon Monoxide – an invisible, odorless, and tasteless gas produced by the incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels like gas and oil in devices like furnaces, gas ranges, and non-electric space and hot water heaters.

Combustion by-products (CBPs) – gases and particles created by cigarette smoking, fireplaces, woodstoves, furnaces, gas ranges, and non-electric space and hot water heaters.

Dust is being made around us all the time as the materials we use in our daily lives break down and shed microscopic particles. Household dust can contain tiny pieces of textiles, wood, and food; mold spores; pollens; insect fragments; furs and hairs; and particles of smoke, paint, nylon, rubber, fiberglass, plastic, and paper.

Particulates are tiny particles of soot and other materials. The biggest sources of indoor particulates are windblown dust from outside, house dust, and tobacco smoke. Secondary sources include wood stoves and appliances like furnaces and non-electric heaters.

Volatile Organic Compounds are carbon-based compounds that form vapors at room temperature. In the home, the presence of these chemicals in the air comes predominantly from two sources: the outgassing of synthetic materials like foams and plastics and the use of toxic cleaning products and other household chemicals. Common VOCs include benzene, toluene, xylene, vinyl chloride, naphthalene, methylene chloride, and perchloroethylene.

Okay, so that’s groce. But let’s remember that it’s not just about breathing in unclean air. These chemicals are just the tip of toxin iceberg because we are in contact with them everyday, day in, day out, and our bodies struggle to cope, especially if we are eating junk food, sitting on our asses all day, stressed to the max and constantly “ON”. Eventually, something has to give, and our body creates ailments and sometimes serious illness.

So, what can we do to reduce the pollutants? Go green! Get some kickass plants to purify the air so that you can breathe easy safe in the knowledge you are doing as much as you can to reduce your intake of harmful materials.

Here are the best 20 air purifying plants for your home according to ecolife;

1. Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata Bostoniensis). This is the number one plant in overall purifying performance.

2. Areca palm (Chyrsalidocarpus lutescens). Another top overall performer.

3. Lady palm (Rhapis excelsa).

4. Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii). One of the top rated plants for removing formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene. Also noted for high transpiration rates.

5. Rubber plant (Ficus robusta). Excels at removing formaldehyde.

6. Dracaena Janet Craig (Dracaena deremensis). Excels at removing formaldehyde.

7. English Ivy (Hedera helix). Excels at removing formaldehyde.

8. Dwarf date palm (Phoenix roebelenii). Especially recommended for removing xylene.

9. Ficus alii (Ficus macleilandii alii).

10. Peace lily (Spathiphyllum sp.). Excellent for removing alcohols, acetone, formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene.

11. Corn plant (Dracaena fragrans Massangeana). Another good choice for removing formaldehyde.

12. Golden pothos (Epipremnum aureum).

13. Kimberly queen fern (Nephrolepis obliterata). Good for removing formaldehyde and alcohols.

14. Florists mum (Chrysanthemum morifolium). A good seasonal choice for removing formaldehyde, benzene, and ammonia.

15. Gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii). Has a high transpiration rate.

16. Dracaena warneckei (Dracaena deremensis warneckei). Excels at removing benzene.

17. Dragon tree (Dracaena marginata). A top choice for removing xylene and trichloroethylene.

18. Schefflera (Brassaia actinophylla).

19. Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum).

20. Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina).

Here are a couple of pics of my ferns and my peace lily.



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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Tanya Alekseeva April 12, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Great article love! I’ve been meaning to get myself some ferns for over a year, thanks for the reminder- am on it!!! xTanya


polly April 12, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Thanks honey! How are you? You popped into my head the other day and i have been wondering how you are. Hows everything going with acid alkaline breakthrough – looks great btw! We should skype soon? xxx


Tanya Alekseeva April 23, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Got a bathroom full of ferns and a room full of peace lilies :))) Thanks again for the reminder! I’m super good, Skype we must! xx


Sky Bloom April 12, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Thank you for this plant list Polly. Do you know anything about the oxygen benefit of the Aloe Vera plant? I seem to remember reading somewhere that it puts out oxygen especially at night but I am not sure of this. If it is true then it would be a great plant for bedrooms. Do you know anything about this?
Thank you from Sky Bloom


polly April 12, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Hi sky, no im not sure actually – maybe worth a google? x


Sunni April 13, 2012 at 1:08 am

Thanks so much for posting this!! I have trying to determine what plants to have around the house and you just settled it!! I have never had any plants and I have been anxious to change that so thank you for the help! :)


Rick April 30, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Hey Polly, I grew up allergic to seemingly everything in my environment. I was told that house plants can easily hold/carry dust, and they could also grow mold in the dirt. Your article lists many plants that remove formaldehyde, but nothing seems to affect mold or dust.
Can you convince me that plants are more beneficial to people with allergies than they are (potentially) harmful?
Thanks for compiling the list.


polly April 30, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Hey Ricky, Im afraid Im no plant expert so your best bet is to check out what google says! ;o)


John October 12, 2012 at 11:25 pm

I can envisage some problems with this scheme because the air isn’t static. Differences in pressure on each side of a house cause the air to be changed IE it’s not as if we live in sealed containers and the air must eventually pass through the plants leaves. I would be interested to know if any scientific study has been made of a typical house with respect to what happens when the plants are present and when they are not. I don’t doubt that plants can absorb toxins but I am sceptical that much of the toxin reaches the plants.


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