8 Air-Purifying Indoor Plants

Although the myth of cacti being able to absorb harmful radiation from computers is far too common, some plants have been studied and proven to be efficient depolluting agents.
Here are the best indoor plants to help you improve the air quality of your home.

Areca Palm

areca palm
Air-purifying properties: Absorbs formaldehyde and xylene.
Strengths: Areca Palms are versy useful in absorbing toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from air fresheners, cigarette smoke, PVC windows, wallpaper and carpets.
Room choice: Any room will be a good choice, especially ones freshly painted.
Maintenance: Areca Palm needs light. Water it regularly, and spray the leaves. Room temperature should not go below 55°F (13°C).


Air-purifying properties: Absorbs formaldehyde and xylene.
Strengths: Fern is able to absorb various organic compounds that are both toxic and volatile. Such compounds are often present in adhesives, paint, and furniture. The plan is both very effective and low Maintenance.
Room choice: Try placing the fern in “wet”/humid areas, or bedrooms and living rooms.
Maintenance: Fern needs only indirect sunlight. Try to water it frequently, especially during spring and summer. Let the soil dry. Ideal temperature is between 50°F (10°C) and 70°F (20°C).

Dragon tree (or Dracaena)

Air-purifying properties: Absorbs trichlorethylene, xylene, toluene and carbon monoxide.
Strengths: Dracaena fights against most volatile organic compounds like cigarette smoke, ink, air fresheners, building materials or even water heaters.
Room choice: Any room where one would smoke inside (bedroom, office, etc.)
Maintenance: A little bit of water and light. Spray the plant to prevent mites. Any yellowing of leaves is due to the plant aging. Trim it regularly. Ideal temperature is between 60°F (15°C) and 77°F (25°C).


Air-purifying properties: Very effective against carbon monoxide. It also absorbs toluene and benzene.
Strengths: Gets rid of toxic VOCs from paint, cooking, cigarette smoke, detergents, etc.
Room choice: Any room will do. Its sap can irritate the skin, so be careful.
Maintenance: Place it in the shade.

The Queen of the Night (or Epiphyllum oxypetalum)

queen of the night
Air-purifying properties: Absorbs trichlorethylene, benzene, ammonia, xylene and formaldehyde.
Strengths: The Queen of the Night has a great ability to filter from the air various sealants, glues, varnish, polishing compounds and cleaning products.
Room choice: All the rooms.
Maintenance: Easily maintained with a little light. Pick a high-humidity environment. Ideal temperature is between 64°F (18°C) and 72°F (22°C).

Dwarf Fan Palm (Chamaerops)

dwarf fan palm
Air-purifying properties: Absorbs ammonia, xylene and formaldehyde.
Strengths: Efficient against paint, air freshners, cleaning products, and even nail polish.
Room choice: In the bathroom or kitchen.
Maintenance: Does not need a lot of light or humidity. During the winter, leave the soil to dry out. Ideal temperature is between 50°F (10°C) and 70°F (20°C).


Air-purifying properties: One of the best plants to rid your home of amonia.
Strengths: Effective against toxic VOCs, in particular cleaning products.
Room choice: Wherever amonia is used.
Maintenance: Anywhere with a lot of sun for a longer flowering period. Also needs plenty of water. Doesn’t need any temperature changes, and is best kept in areas between 64°F (18°C) and 72°F (22°C).


ivy plant
Air-purifying properties: Filters out formaldehyde.
Strengths: Easy to grow, strong and effective. It removes toxic VOCs from cigarette smoke and solvents.
Room choice: Any room.
Maintenance: Ivy doesn’t any much light or water. Ideal temperature is between 60°F (15°C) and 72°F (22°C). Spray it to prevent mites.


Dust: Plants attract dust, but the dust on their leaves is not suspended in the air anymore. You only need to dust the plants with a cloth and a little bit of water (like any basic furniture wash).
Pollen: Indoor plants (alaso known as “evergreen”) rarely bloom in homes. They are usually from tropical origins and do not get enough light. The presence of pollen is therefore very rare.
Mold and fungi: They only appear if you water your plants too much.

Be aware that some plants can be toxic for people. If ingested, some of their leaves can lead to dire consequences. Be careful with small children and pets. Most often, leaves, flowers, sap and roots will cause skin irritation, or induce vomiting/diarrhea.
Take a look at our “dangerous indoor plants” article for more information.

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