Clean Air Plants for the Office

Plants not only beautify and enrich an office environment; they help clean the air of indoor pollutants, which may contribute to sickness. According to a 2-year study by NASA, findings suggest that common houseplants play an active role in absorbing harmful chemicals and gases like formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide. Choosing suitable plants for your office will clean and revitalize the air quality and enhance any room by breathing freshness into your decor.

Golden Pothos

Golden pothos (Scindapsus aureus syn. Epipremnum aureum), with its shiny, green leaves streaked with gold, is excellent for removing formaldehyde molecules from the air. New carpets are often laden with formaldehyde fumes, which may result in workers suffering headaches and sickness. Golden pothos helps reduce these and other pollutants by converting bad air to good. This specimen of pothos may reach 18 inches in height with multiple vines up to 10 feet in length. Thriving in little light, golden pothos require moderate watering and are easy to care for.


Flowering chrysanthemums, commonly known as "mums," prove to be superior in cleaning the air of benzene, a harmful gas present in cigarette smoke and exhaust fumes. Chrysanthemums enhance the air quality of office buildings in downtown locations or anywhere exhaust fumes are present. Chrysanthemums are easy to care for, need regular watering and are available in a myriad of colorful flowers to match any office theme.


The philodendron (Philodendron scandens oxycardium) has dark-green, heart-shaped leaves that look attractive trailing on their vines from hanging baskets. Philodendrons also have the added bonus of being excellent air-cleaners, particularly for formaldehyde cleansing. Placing the plant in bright light to semi-shade is ideal. Water heavily and allow the soil to dry out before repeating the procedure. Cuttings may be easily propagated by placing them in a glass of water until they sprout roots.

Keywords: clean-air plants, indoor pollution, formaldehyde and carpets, benzene cigarette smoke

About this Author

Victoria Ries is a freelance writer whose work has been published in various print magazines, including "Guideposts," "BackHome" and "Mother Earth News." Ries enjoys working on diverse topics, such as travel, animal rescue, health, how-to and home business.