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Best House Plants for Clean Air

I just love having beautiful green plants in my home. They keep things lively, create more oxygen, and best of all they take harmful chemicals out of the air! NASA did a lot of research about 30 years ago in the NASA Clean Air Study and now we know which plants are best for purifying the air. You can read the scientific study here, or keep reading for tips and tricks to keep your plants happy and healthy in your home. I’ve selected the best houseplants for your home combined with the most effective air purification.


English Ivy (aka Hedera Helix)


This is one of the most common houseplants. You can cut pieces to root in water so many plants can be grown from a single plant to share with friends and family. Keep your plant out of direct sun for best results and keep soil evenly moist. Let the plant dry a little between watering during winter months. Mist regularly for best results.


Devil’s Ivy (aka Epipremnum aureum)


The name Devil’s Ivy may come from the plant’s ability to thrive no matter the circumstance. They come in a few varieties with yellow or white marbled variegation as well as a neon green variety. They do well in bright, indirect light and can tolerate low light. Allow the dry to slightly between watering to prevent rot.


Peace Lily (aka Spathiphyllum)


This is the perfect plant for new plant lovers and one of the most effective at air purification. They have a tendency to droop if they are very dry so you will know if they are thirsty! Water them thoroughly and they will come back to life but do try to keep them slightly moist.  They scorch in direct sun, so indirect light is best and they will also tolerate low light.


Flamingo Lily (aka Anthurium andraeanum)


The Flamingo Lily is available in a variety of colours and is one of few plants that flowers in low light. It has a very tropical look and can makes quite a statement. It does best with slightly moist soil and bright, indirect light.


Broadleaf Lady Palm (ada Rhapis excelsa)


The Braodleaf Lady Palm reminds me of the rainforest. I love the broad hand-shaped leaves that remind me of lady finger cookies. Keep your plant away from direct sun for best results. They like bright, indirect light but will tolerate low light.


Variegated Snake Plant (aka Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)


The standard green and gold Snake Plant was used for the NASA study but there are many colour variations available now. Choose from the standard long, broad leaves or a dwarf variety which will stay compact. This is a great plant for new plant lovers as they tolerate heat and drought. Do not overwater them and they will reward you with more shiny leaves and continued growth of offsets. Bright light to low light will be tolerated by all varieties.


Red-edged Dracaena (aka Dracaena marginata)


I have always known this plant as Dragon Tree and it’s no wonder if you’ve ever seen one stray away from a vertical growth pattern. These plants are now available in a range of colours including bright pinks which I love. Provide moderate to bright light and let it dry slightly before watering. Do not overwater, if in doubt, get your hands dirty and poke the soil to be sure it is getting dry in the top third of the pot. Mist regularly for best results.


Cornstalk Dracaena (aka Dracaena mgragrans ‘Massangeana’)


Although I love the look of this Corn Plant (as I know it) I am always worried it could rot having such a woody stock. Bright, indirect light is best but it will tolerate low light. Keep the soil slightly moist and a little dry in the winter. Misting regularly, including undersides of the leaves is recommended.


Janet Craig (aka Dracaena deremensis ‘Janet Craig’) & Warneckii (aka Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckii)


The main difference between the Janet Craig and Warneckii is the leaf colour. Janet Craig is a dark green leaf variety, and Warneckii (pictured) has a little variegation. Let the soil dry in between watering and never let it sit in water. They like filtered sunlight but will tolerate low light.


Visit your local florist or greenhouse for a complete selection of incredible houseplants. While these are the most effective at taking harmful chemicals out of the air, all plants are great for creating more oxygen so you can’t go wrong when you pick your favourite colour or texture. Bring them to your home or office to cheer you up and increase productivity! Just don’t neglect them even if they do promise to come back to life!