Air Purifying House Plants: A Guide

If you’ve just moved into your New York City apartment and are looking to add some greenery, consider ones houseplants purify your home’s air. That’s right, some plants filter air—NASA’s even conducted a study on various plants to see which ones are a good bet. Here’s a list of some of the heavy lifters:

 

Peace Lily

The peace lily takes the cake (well, actually it shares it with a species of mum) when it comes to cleaning the air. These plants pretty much take every chemical of concern in the study—like carcinogens benzene and formaldehydes and ammonia—out of the air. They’re also very easy to take care of and don’t need too much water or light.

 

Hardy Garden Mum

Easily spotted in our area in the fall, these flowering plants are the other (aside from the peace lily) top purifier. Water a couple of times a week, fertilize monthly and enjoy their colorful display.

 

Pleomele

Also known as song of India, these houseplants are easy to take care of and attractive with yellow banded leaves. They’ll do okay in lower light but prefer indirect bright light. As long as you don’t overwater, they shouldn’t give you much trouble. 

 

English Ivy

Although not as big a superstar as the peace lily, this evergreen vine is a star air purifier in its own right, taking out benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, Xylene and toluene. It’s so easy to take care of this ivy that it’s even considered an invasive species.

 

Snake Plant

Also called mother in-law’s tongue, this evergreen has stiff tall leaves. Give them lots of sun, little water and you shouldn’t have issues with these houseplants.