Air purifying plants: the 10 best indoor plants for clean air


I am a student of agricultural sciences and a real country kid. At home, I love tending my small vegetable garden and spending time out in nature. When not outdoors, I love to write. Beyond gardening and writing, however, I am particularly passionate about wildlife.

Favourite fruit: currants and raspberries
Favourite vegetables: salsify, savoy cabbage and potatoes

Is your home stuffy? Improve your indoor atmosphere and remove airborne toxins with these ten air purifying houseplants.

Potted ivy on a shelf with vases
Some plants can help rid your indoor air of pollutants [Photo: Cozy Home/]

Dust, exhaust fumes, smog – a little fresh air in a big city has become something of a luxury. Poor air quality in your home can lead to dizziness, fatigue and even respiratory problems. But if you can’t afford an expensive air filter or a house in the countryside, do not worry. A few houseplants can turn carbon dioxide and other airborne pollutants into fresh oxygen for our lungs even in a small flat with no balcony. Here are ten plants that are perfect for bringing a breath of fresh air to your home. These green air fresheners are not only great for living rooms – they are excellent in bedrooms and offices too.

1. Weeping fig

The evergreen weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) is a popular houseplant. It is particularly easy to care for, only requiring regular watering so that the leaves do not dry out. But the ficus tree is more than just a beautiful decoration: it also reduces air pollutants. Xylene, toluene and formaldehyde, which are commonly found in adhesives and paints, can evaporate and enter our atmosphere. The weeping fig, however, absorbs these substances, improving your indoor air.

Ficus tree in a pot indoors
The weeping fig is a popular houseplant and cleans the air of pollutants such as xylene, toluene and formaldehyde [Photo: Tania_Wild/]

2. Moonflower

The moonflower (Ipomoea), also known as morning glory or bindweed, is more than just a beauty – it also works wonders on polluted air. For this reason, it is often used as an ornamental plant, especially in smoking areas. It is particularly good at extracting solvents: benzenes, xylene and other components of paints and adhesives have no chance against this flower. And while making your air clean, healthy and breathable, this beautiful plant truly shines with its brilliant white and moonlike flowers.

A white morning glory bloom
The moonflower is particularly effective in filtering solvents [Photo: Manfred Ruckszio/]

3. Snake plant

The snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata or Dracaena trifasciata) is a comforting, long-term companion thanks to its slow growth. It doesn’t need much care either, so it is also perfect for people without a green thumb. Just place it in a bright location, and your plant will be happy and healthy. To top it off, the snake plant also cleans the air of numerous pollutants and ensures a good oxygen supply. Simply put, it is essentially a natural air filter system.

 A snake plant in a white pot
The snake plant grows slowly, is easy to care for and also purifies the air [Photo: Stenko Vlad/]

4. Orchids

Delicate, beautiful and elegant – these are the words most people associate with orchids. But useful? Aside from looking good, orchids also clean up toxic fumes. In particular, the plant reliably absorbs xylene, toluene and formaldehyde from the air, creating a healthy indoor environment. In terms of orchid care, however, this plant is a diva. Orchids need a lot of attention and a skilled hand.

An orchid with pink flowers on a table
Orchids are a real feast for the eyes, while also being an effective air-purifier [Photo: Maria Sbytova/]

5. Kentia palm

The Kentia palm (Howea), which stems from the subtropics, is another popular houseplant. Not only does the Kentia palm exude a feeling of exoticism and holidays, it is also exceptionally robust and an ideal air filter. Placed in a semi-shaded location and with a little watering from time to time, this plant can live up to 40 years! Throughout these years, it filters the air of pollutants and produces an above-average amount of oxygen, ensuring a consistently healthy indoor climate.

Two kentia palms in pots
The Kentia palm not only grows very old, but also improves the indoor air considerably [Photo: deckorator/]

6. Dracaena

Dracaena, also known as dragon tree, is a great choice for removing pollutants from the air in your home. It is especially effective against formaldehyde: in just 24 hours, a dracaena can remove up to 70% of the harmful gas. Visually, dracaenas are impressive: dark green, wine-red and yellow varieties exude an exotic charm. Keep in mind, however, children and animals should not come into contact with the plant – the dragon tree is poisonous.

A potted dragon tree and two empty pots
Dracaenas clean the air, especially from formaldehyde [Photo: GoodMood Photo/]

7. Spider plant

The spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) is one of the most popular plants for air purification in city flats. It filters almost all formaldehyde from the air and converts it into oxygen. The plant also helps clean toxic air in smokers’ homes. In addition to its air filtering ability, the spider plant is particularly robust and low maintenance. It just needs a little water from time to time, and it can survive hands with less-than-green thumbs.

A potted spider plant on a table
Spider plants especially filter formaldehyde from indoor air [Photo: Bozhena Melnyk/]

8. Ivy

Ivy (Hedera) is one of the most effective air purifiers. This climbing plant can filter up to 90% of the benzenes (found in the exhaust fumes of cars, among other things) out of the air in just one day. On top of this, ivy provides a constant supply of oxygen. When growing on the wall of a house, the plant also acts like an air conditioner: In warmer seasons, it provides a pleasant room temperature; in cold weather, it has an insulating effect. This ensures a more comfortable indoor climate. Ivy is also well-suited as an indoor plant. However, the plant does not love the dry air in heated rooms so increase humidity around the plant by misting its leaves with water or placing a bowl of water on a radiator nearby.

Ivy in a hanging pot next to a window
Ivy can absorb up to 90% of benzenes in the air [Photo: Myimagine/]

9. Peace lily

Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum), also known as spath, are one of the most widely known houseplants. This evergreen plant is popular for its longevity and beautiful leaf shape. It is considered particularly robust and easily thrives given a little water and a bright location. But there is more to peace lilies than low-maintenance beauty: whether ammonia or benzene, the peace lily fights pollutants and stuffy air. That said, however, the plant is in fact poisonous and can cause allergic reactions in some people.

A potted peace lily with white bracts indoors
The peace lily filters indoor air, but is poisonous and should be kept away from children [Photo: John C Evans/]

10. Chrysanthemum

The chrysanthemum is not only one of the most beautiful air purifiers – it is also highly effective. It absorbs almost all airborne toxins – from ammonia to xylene – and ensures better air quality for your lungs. In spring and autumn, the various types of chrysanthemums flower in all sorts of colours. They then wither and form new shoots for the next flowering season. However, these beautiful plants have one disadvantage: they should be kept out of reach of pets, as chrysanthemums can be poisonous to dogs and cats.

Orange chrysanthemums on a wooden bench
Chrysanthemums are extremely effective against stuffy air and are also a feast for the eyes [Photo: Anna Nahabed/]

To ensure your houseplants thrive, they appreciate a regular dose of fertiliser. Our Plantura Liquid Houseplant Food is simple to apply when watering and works quickly and effectively.

Liquid Houseplant Food, 800ml
Liquid Houseplant Food, 800ml
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  • Perfect for a wide variety of houseplants & foliage plants
  • Liquid fertiliser for robust plants & healthy growth
  • Quick & easy application - child & pet friendly