The Best Plants to Clean Indoor Air

Whether you are just looking for a houseplant with added benefits or searching specifically for plants to clean the indoor air, there are a number of plants to choose from. The 1989 NASA Clean Air Study determined the best house plants to improve the quality of indoor air. Bright and flowering, or marked with deep, lush foliage, an indoor-air filtering plant exists to meet every aesthetic preference, environment and expertise level.

Striped Dracaena

Striped Dracaena (Dracaena deremensis `Warneckii'), prefers a climate close to room temperature -- about 75 degrees F. A medium-size shrub growing 8 to 12 feet tall, striped dracaena possesses dark, slightly waxy evergreen leaves. Leaves of the striped dracaena plant have light green, yellow or off-white broad stripes running down the center. Though this plant rarely flowers, it produces off-white to light pink flowers when it does. Allow the soil surrounding this plant to dry between waterings. Striped dracaena prefers partial shade to bright but indirect sunlight. It is moderately heat and drought tolerant.

Mauna Loa Peace Lily

The Mauna Loa peace lily (Spathiphyllum `Mauna Loa'), is a medium perennial flowering plant growing up to 2 feet tall. The flowers shoot above the plant on stalks reaching up to 3 feet tall. Flowers on the Mauna Loa peace lily are pure white and waxy. Mauna Loa lillies do best in full sunlight and temperatures between 70 and 85 degrees F but tolerate temperatures down to 55 degrees for short periods. Tropical in nature, the Mauna Loa peace lily prefers high humidity and does best if misted on a regular basis. Well-drained rich soil allows the plant to thrive. Water thoroughly on a regular basis and do not allow the soil surrounding the Mauna Loa peace lily to dry completely between waterings.

Chinese Evergreen

The Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema pseudobracteatum) is a 2- to 2-1/2-foot tall plant with interesting foliage. Droopy, light green oval-shaped leaves with yellow-white variegated stripes make Chinese evergreen a visually high-impact plant. Chinese evergreen plants thrive in low-light conditions and are perfect for offices or rooms with few windows. Well-drained, sandy soil provides the best growing conditions for Chinese evergreen. Tolerant of drought and neglect, Chinese evergreen plants should dry between waterings. Easy to grow and maintain, Chinese evergreen is purported to grow better in pots indoors than in the wild.

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About this Author

Elizabeth Tumbarello is an eclectic writer from Ohio. Tumbarello has ghostwritten for a number of years, and has just started to publish her own work. She is an avid animal lover who volunteers with her local Humane Society and is currently pursuing her associate's degree in veterinary technology.