Plants That Circulate Air

Despite constant advancements in technology, mother nature often does it best. While electric air purifiers do a good job of removing dust and some pollutants while circulating air, houseplants do a much better job, removing dangerous toxins such as trichloroethylene, benzene and formaldehyde. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) conducted tests to prove this fact and created a list of plants that are the most effective in circulating air and removing common harmful toxins.

Gerbera Daisy

The Gerbera daisy tops the list of plants that efficiently remove both trichloroethylene and benzene from the air. Gerbera daisies require little care and have fun, showy blooms, making them an ideal houseplant.

Peace Lily

Perhaps the most well-known houseplant for circulating and purifying air, the peace lily removes trichloroethylene, benzene and formaldehyde. It is one of only two houseplants to rank in the top seven for removing all three chemicals.

Bamboo Palm

Like the Peace Lily, the bamboo palm removes trichloroethylene, benzene and formaldehyde, and ranked in the top seven for removal of all three pollutants in NASA tests. The bamboo palm, also known as the reed palm, is one of the largest houseplants to rank high in circulating air and removing toxins, and is a great accent plant.

Dracaena Janet Craig

The tropical Dracaena Janet Craig, with its beautiful long leaves, is excellent at removing trichloroethylene and formaldehyde. It is also an easy plant to care for, and young plants are amenable to braiding for a unique look.

Mother-in-law's Tongue

Mother-in-law's tongue, also commonly called snake plant, but officially known as Sansevieria trifasciata laurentii, tested well in removing benzene and formaldehyde. It also is a great accent plant, offering a different look than most houseplants with its stiff leaves that stand straight up on end.

Keywords: plants that circulate air, air toxins, benzene

About this Author

Carlye Jones is a journalist, freelance writer, photographer and novelist, with more than 15 years of experience. She enjoys sharing her expertise on home improvements, interior decorating, photography, gardening and traveling. Her work has appeared both in print and on numerous websites, such as Matador Travel. Carlye received her training at Northern Arizona University.