Inspiration Guide

Plants That Purify Air


Shake off the blues with a breath of fresh air by filling your home with houseplants that purify the air. According to a NASA study, houseplants scrub the air clean, add moisture to dry air and provide beautiful greenery.

Adding plants to your home is a surefire way to brighten your mood. Besides adding warmth and texture to your home, houseplants also improve air quality and have been scientifically proven to reduce stress and increase productivity.

Hard-Working Houseplants

A bedroom filled with houseplants

Hard-working houseplants trap and absorb up to 87 percent of volatile organic compounds found in ordinary household items such as cleaning products, carpet and ink. Some houseplants, such as peace lilies and rubber trees, also eat up mold spores and bacteria inside your home, making it a safer environment. Many houseplants grow easily and last for years with little care.

Tip: Place your plants in a spot where you will see them on a regular basis. That way you’ll be able to enjoy them to their fullest and notice immediately if there are any problems. Remember: Overwatering is the number one cause of houseplant death.

What Houseplants Need

Houseplants in containers

  • Light. Check the plant tag to find out how much light your plant needs. Place plants away from heat vents and cold drafts.
  • Container. Select a pretty container for your new houseplant.
  • Water. Using room temperature water, add H2O when the top inch of soil is dry. Keep soil consistently moist, but not wet or soggy.
  • Check. Don’t overwater or allow the plant to sit in standing water; it’s the primary reason houseplants die.
  • Feed. Want to know when to feed? Only from spring until early fall. When you bring your houseplant home, let it adjust before feeding.

Houseplants that Purify the Air

Shelves filled with houseplants

  • Aglaonema
  • Bonsai (any kind)
  • Bromeliad
  • Dracaena
  • Fern
  • Fiddle leaf fig
  • Monstera, known as split-leaf philodendron or Swiss cheese plant
  • Orchid
  • Palm, like Areca and Majesty
  • Peace lily
  • Pothos
  • Rubber tree
  • Snake plant
  • ZZ plant

Best Places in Your Home for Houseplants

A bathroom filled with houseplants

Once you’ve selected your favorite houseplants and understand their light requirements, you’ll want to seek out the best places in your home to put them. Consider putting a fiddle leaf fig in a container next to a sofa. Or try a unique container filled with dracaena next to your bed.

You could also group several snake plants on a coffee table. Or try an aglaonema on a mantel or dining table.

Planters add personality and style when decorating with houseplants. Besides terra cotta or ceramic, you could also try baskets and unusual containers, such as antique tea cups and vintage-looking finds.

Don’t forget to add plants to your bathroom or office. You’ll breathe easier knowing you’ve got houseplants filtering the air around you.

Keeping houseplants in your living space helps purify the air in your home. It’s tempting to give your new houseplants a dose of plant fertilizer when you bring them home. Instead, give houseplants a few weeks to adjust to their new surroundings, then fertilize with a solution mixed at half-strength.