Indoor Plants That Filter the Air

A 1989 study conducted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) found that some common houseplants can actually purify the air in your home or office. These plants remove harmful elements that can be present in the air in newer homes and buildings that are tightly sealed for energy efficiency. A few of the 19 houseplants tested are better than the others at treating certain chemicals.

Peace Lily

The peace lily has dark green, glossy, oval leaves with a fishbone pattern and white oval flowers. It is a popular plant for interiors as it tolerates low-light conditions very well. According to the 1989 NASA study, the peace lily was among the plants found to be the best at removing the chemicals benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde from indoor air.

Gerbera Daisy

Gerbera daisies are distinguished by their large flowering heads that resemble those of sunflowers. They come in an assortment of colors, including pink, white, yellow and red, and grow to 18 inches in height. In the 1989 clean air study conducted by NASA, the gerbera daisy was found to be among the best plants at removing the chemicals benzene and trichloroethylene from indoor air.

Bamboo Palm

The bamboo palm, or reed palm, is a small, graceful palm that grows to about 7 feet high. It has long, slender stems which hold about 10 to 15 fronds each. It is mostly grown indoors as it prefers shade. Bamboo palm is very easy to care for and maintain. It was found to be among the best indoor plants at removing the chemicals benzene and formaldehyde from the air in the 1989 NASA clean air study.

Mother-In-Law's Tongue

Mother-in-law's tongue, or snake plant, is a very hardy houseplant with fleshy, sword-like leaves that grow 3 to 4 feet long. The leaves have either gray or yellow bands. This plant tolerates low-light conditions well and is very easy to care for. Mother-in-law's tongue is among the best indoor plants at removing the chemicals benzene and formaldehyde from the air, according to the 1989 NASA clean air study.

Keywords: clean air plants, plants purify air, plants filter air

About this Author

Fran Whitman began writing professionally in 2009. She is a certified interior decorator and specializes in writing interior design articles for eHow. Whitman is also an avid gardener and enjoys writing gardening articles for Garden Guides. She holds a Master of Arts in English from Seton Hall University.