Air Purifying Houseplants


I've heard that certain plants are good for purifying the air indoors. Which plants work best for this? Thank you,Carol


With the emphasis on energy efficiency in our homes, clean indoor air has become a health topic of concern. Tightening up our homes to become energy efficient has reduced the air flow exchange between the outside and inside and as a result indoor air quality is suffering. This is one reason why I opted to use green building materials whenever possible at my new Garden Home Retreat. Using products like BioBased soy insulation which contains no formaldehyde, low VOC paints and the LennoxPureAir(tm) Air Purification System can help combat the growing problem of indoor air pollution and provide me with a healthier, more comfortable living environment.

NASA has had to deal with keeping healthy air in the space station and so in conjunction with the Associated Landscape Contractors of America, after a 2 year study, they came up with a list of plants known to purify and revitalize the air we breathe by removing key pollutants, formaldehyde and carbon monoxide to name just a couple. Below are some key plants and general care requirements for growing them in your home. I would recommend that you add 15 - 20 good size plants in at least 6 - 8 inch pots for an 1800 - 2000 square foot home.

  • Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii) - bright filtered or indirect light, water sparingly in winter, neutral to acidic soil, minimum temperature of 61 degrees F.
  • Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)- filtered light, high humidity, water moderately and allow some drying in winter, minimum temperature 45 degrees F.
  • Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans) - full light with shade from hot sun, moderate humidity, water sparingly in winter, minimum temperature 55 degrees F.
  • Dragon Tree (Dracaena draco) - full light with shade from hot sun, water sparingly in winter, moderate humidity, minimum temperature 55 degrees F.
  • Elephant Ear (Philodendron domesticum)- bright filtered light, mist daily in summer, water sparingly in winter, support stems with moss pole, minimum temperature 59 degrees F.
  • English Ivy (Hedera helix) - bright indirect to low light, keep moist, grow as a topiary or in a hanging basket, hardy zones 5 ,6, 7, 8, 9, and 10.
  • Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) - requires bright light, excellent drainage, plant crown 1/2 inch above surface of soil, keep the old leaves picked off, minimum temperature 60 degrees F.
  • Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) - full or bright filtered light, light water in winter, minimum temperature 45 degrees F.
  • Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum 'Mauna Loa')- indirect to bright light, high humidity, minimum temperature 59 degrees F.
  • Red Edge Dracaena (Dracaena marginata 'Tricolor')- full light with shade from hot sun, keep moist in summer, water sparingly in winter, minimum temperature 55 degrees F.
  • Ribbon Plant (Dracaena sanderiana)- full light with shade from hot sun, moderate humidity, water sparingly in winter, minimum temperature 55 degrees F.
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