Home Science 11 NASA-Approved Houseplants That Are Guaranteed To Improve Indoor Air Quality

11 NASA-Approved Houseplants That Are Guaranteed To Improve Indoor Air Quality


Air pollution is a very serious environmental issue we’re dealing with every day. And what’s even more alarming, it is not just outside the comfort of our homes. You might think that staying at home rather than going out and breathing in those chemicals is safer for you, but it seems that it’s pretty much the same.

In the late 80’s, NASA identified the major causes of indoor air pollution and found out that these chemicals are most commonly produced by synthetic building materials and office equipment (furnishings) and they emit volatile organic compounds such as Benzene, Ethylbenzene, Trichloromethane (also called chloroform).

Another factor that contributed to the indoor air pollution were people, especially the ones residing in a closed, poorly ventilated area.

For that matter, they began studying various houseplants and revealed their extraordinary effect of improving indoor air quality by absorbing and breaking down the harmful compounds that are circulating through the air.

And the good news here is that these plants can be found at your local florist. So, you better hurry up and pick up your own air-purifier, because according to researchers these 11 houseplants will work their magic and improve your indoor air quality in no time!

1. Aloe Vera

I’m sure that we’ve all heard of aloe vera’s extraordinary health benefits. The leaf of the Aloe Vera contains a clear, slimy gel that’s rich in enzymes, vitamins, amino-acids and many other healing compounds that have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits.

It heals all kinds of skin conditions such as psoriasis and helps the process of wound healing.

It is also a natural air-cleaner which improves the quality of the air by absorbing formaldehyde.

2. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)

These plants are among the easiest houseplants to cultivate, which makes them the perfect choice for forgetful owners. The only thing they need is bright and indirect sunlight.

They’ll bloom into flowers that’ll eventually grow into baby spider plants. One of their greatest potentials is cleansing the air from harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde and xylene.

3. Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera Jamesonii)

My favorite flower so far, Its Highness – The Gerbera Daisy. These beauties have the ability to remove trichloroethylene and benzene from the air.

If you decide to buy one for your home keep in mind that they need a well-drained soil, so make sure your pots have drainage holes. Also, make sure they are exposed to a direct sunlight every day for at least six hours.

4. Garden Mum (Chrysanthemum Morifolium)

According to the NASA research, this plant was among the air-purifying champions. It managed to filter out the indoor air by absorbing benzene (a chemical commonly found in household detergents as well as paints, plastics, and some glue products), formaldehyde, xylene, and ammonia.

The best way to nurture a chrysanthemum is by exposing them to a direct sunlight. Once they are finished blooming, they can be planted outside.

5. Ficus/Weeping Fig (Ficus Benjamina)

While the ficus is a tree in its native home, when this plant is taken and nurtured indoors, it usually grows between 2 or 10 feet tall. It requires bright, indirect light and not so frequent watering.

In fact, the best way to know if it needs water is to check the soil if it’s already dry.  Besides its beneficial abilities to absorb chemicals in the air such as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene, this plant can also reside outside when the temperatures are higher.

6. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum “Mauna Loa”)

These plants are smaller compared to the all the others on the list, but they’re still widely known for their air-cleaning potential. Peace lilies are very easy to grow, and their culmination is throughout the summer period when they bloom fragrant flowers.

However, like every other flower, they release pollen and floral scents to the air. So, if you want to avoid filling the room with that, put the plant in a shadier spot and maintain their soil moist, but be careful with overwatering them.

Their extraordinary air-purifying abilities remove ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from the air.

7. Snake Plant/Mother-In-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria Laurentii)

It’s one of the most resilient plants of all. It’s actually very easy to grow one, seeing that it doesn’t need frequent watering and prefers drier conditions under indirect sunlight.

It also improves the air quality inside our home by removing toxic chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde (commonly found in cleaning products, toilet paper, tissues and personal care products), trichloroethylene, and xylene.

8. Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea Seifritzii)

Bamboo palms are best known for filtering benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene from the air. They can also grow tall up to 12 feet high which makes them exciting and pet-friendly decorations for your home.

However, they require bright light and full exposure to sunlight.

9. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata v. Bostoniensis)

Ferns are known to be one of the most popular houseplants which besides the health benefits they provide they also enrich the space which they inhabit.

These plants act as humidifiers and help to moisture the air, so they are the perfect gift for people who suffer from dry skin and similar skin issues. They remove pollutants as formaldehyde from the air.

The best way to cultivate your fern is to keep in direct sunlight and mist the leaves with water regularly.

10. Dracaena (Dracaena Spp.)

Seeing that Dracaena has over 40 different kinds of plants, it is very easy to find the perfect fit for your house or office. They are foliage plants with wide and long leaves which are decorated with red, white or creamy colors.

Dracaena plants help remove the benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene and improve the air quality really quick.

However, if you own a pet, you might want to pick another one from the list after all, because these plants are known to be toxic to cats and dogs.

11. English Ivy (Hedera Felix)

If you are a pet owner, these plants are perfect for your home because they reduce the amount of airborne fecal matter. They are also beneficial for your health because they absorb formaldehyde which is usually found in household cleaning products.

Several studies have shown that keeping an English Ivy on your desk will help you sharpen your focus because it has the ability to remove traces of benzene which is commonly found in every office equipment.


Stephanie Reeds


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