The Best Air-Filtering House Plants

If you're looking for a low-cost and low-maintenance way to clean your home's air of pollutants, then look no further than some common house plants with some special abilities. Identified by NASA scientists, these plants have been found effective at keeping the air clean. According to The Master Gardeners website, whatever plants strike your fancy or are best suited for your environment, aim for one plant per 100 square feet of space.


Pothos is a vining plant and is therefore ideal to be placed in a hanging basket indoors. Depending upon the variety, the foliage of a pothos can be either variegated yellow or variegated white. The plant is easy to care for; take extra care not to overwater the plant, and be on the lookout for mealy bugs, which are attracted to the plant. Pothos is a low-light plant and will do well in an area that does not receive much direct sun.

English Ivy

English ivy is a sun-loving plant and will work wonderfully at filtering the air when it is placed in a sunny window, ideally with eastern exposure. Because the English ivy thrives in light, it also requires more frequent watering. The spider mite is the primary pest that causes problems for this plant, but the mites can be easily controlled by placing the plant in the sink or shower and running water over the plant's foliage.

Spider Plant

Like the English ivy, the spider plant is also a sun-loving plant and will help to clean the air when placed in a sunny location of a house. Be sure to thoroughly water the spider plant; when its soil is dry to the touch, it's time to water it.

Weeping Fig

The weeping fig, or Ficus benjamina, is commonly grown indoors and grows relatively quickly. Provide the plant with moderate to warm temperatures and medium-to-high light. Weeping figs are predominately disease-free, but they are prone to pest damage including spider mites, scales and mealy bugs.

Peace Lily

Not only is a peace lily an excellent choice to help clean the air, but it also one of the most common and simple-to-grow plants available. The plant can thrive under low-light conditions and is available in small, medium and large varieties.

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About this Author

Stephanie D. Green is a freelance writer with over 10 years of experience. Green holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and enjoys writing parenting, gardening and human interest articles. Her work has been published in lifestyle and trade publications including Draft Magazine and Savannah Magazine.