Plants That Help Filter the Air

Because homes and office buildings can have poor air quality from paint and other impurities, it's good to fill them with plants that are useful in removing these unhealthy pollutants. Some of the most common toxins include benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde. Benzenes are chemicals found in paints, oils, rubber and plastic. Trichloroethylene is a manmade chemical in paints, varnishes, lacquers and varnishes, while formaldehydes are found in clothing, carpets and other household products.

Palm Trees

The areca palm is considered by to be the best humidifying plant. It needs high humidity and daily misting. Bamboo palms have one of the highest transpiration ratings of all houseplants, which is the rate at which they're able to release water vapor into the air, which is critical when air is dry during winter. The dwarf date palm is used for removing air pollutants such as xylene and formaldehyde. The lady palm is also excellent for removing air pollutants.

Boston Ferns

The vegetative growth of the Boston fern has the capacity to filter out air pollutants, especially formaldehyde. According to, the Boston fern can removed 1,863 micrograms of formaldehyde per hour. In addition to purifying household air, it's sometimes planted in areas that need more humidity. Although it's easy to grow, it needs frequent watering and misting.

English Ivy

English ivy is commonly used for improving environments with stale and dry air. It's also effective at relieving allergy symptoms. This plant shouldn't be crowded, as it needs room to breathe. It does best in rooms with low to moderate temperatures. Most varieties of English ivy grow vigorously and need regular pruning to be kept at a desirable size.

Rubber Plant

Rubber plants are exceptional at removing chemical toxins from indoor air, particularly formaldehyde. This plant needs less light than most plants, but they should be placed out of reach of pets because their leaves can be toxic. Gloves should be worn when pruning them because their milky sap can irritate skin.

Peace Lily

The peace lily is a hardy compact plant that can do well even when neglected. It helps manage indoor humidity levels with its high transpiration rate. This plant is also ideal for eliminating acetone, alcohols, benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde from indoor air. Although it's ideal for removing pollutants, the peace lily is not a good plant for homes with pets or small children because it's highly toxic and can cause vomiting and ulcerations if ingested.

Keywords: air filtering plants, plants that remove pollutants, air humidifying plants

About this Author

Venice Kichura has written on a variety of topics for various websites, such as Suite 101 and Associated Content since 2005. She's written articles published in print publications and stories for books such as "God Allows U-Turns." She's a graduate of the University of Texas and has worked in both Florida and Connecticut schools.