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Five Best Houseplants for Improving Air Quality

When you decorate your interior areas with some houseplants, you aren’t just adding greenery to your home. These living organisms normally interact with your mind, body, and living space to boost the quality of life. According to recent research done by NASA, plants can effectively remove toxins from your indoor air. They can eliminate a maximum of 87% of VOCs or volatile organic compounds every 24 hours. VOCs include substances such as formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene. Formaldehyde can be present in cigarette smoke, vinyl, rugs, and grocery bags. On the other hand, trichloroethylene and benzene are typically found in paints, solvents, inks, and human-made fibers. You can find a high concentration of benzene in study places where books and printed papers are in plenty.

Modern air-tight and climate-controlled buildings usually trap volatile organic compounds inside. Both plant roots and leaves can effectively eliminate traces of toxic elements in tightly sealed apartments. Low levels of harmful chemicals like formaldehyde and carbon monoxide can be eliminated from an indoor environment by plant leaves. The NASA study also discovered that houseplants purify the trapped air by eliminating all the contaminants and putting them in the soil. The root zone microorganisms transform volatile organic compounds into useful food for the plants. If you do not have an air purifier or would just like to take more precautions, you can consider adding the following houseplants to improve your residential property’s air quality.

1. Devil’s Ivy

Devil’s Ivy, also known as Golden Pothos, is a popular houseplant native to Solomon Islands, but it’s also grown worldwide. It has small heart-shaped leaves that are marbled with some yellow-white hues and evergreen vines. These houseplants are normally sold in some decorative hanging baskets, and you need to keep them near windows, where there is no direct sunlight. The plant requires soggy soil with a lot of moisture to grow. Devil’s Ivy is one of the most common houseplants out there because it looks beautiful in your property and is incredibly easy to grow and care for.

One of Devil’s Ivy’s most important benefits is that it effectively eliminates pollutants such as xylene, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from the air. However, it can be quite toxic when consumed, particularly for your pets. Your cat or dog is more likely to experience vomiting, irritation, and difficulties swallowing after ingesting parts of Devil’s Ivy. If you suspect your pet has ingested this plant or notice the above symptoms, consult your local veterinarian for advice.

2. Peace Lily

Peace Lily is a beautiful evergreen houseplant that’s popular among many households because it is easy to grow and take care of. The plants need very little water and light to stay healthy, making it one reason why they are among the common plants to keep in a home. You should never put Peace Lily in direct sunlight because the sun’s rays can cause leaf burns. Place it in a dark corner and water it once a week, and it will purify the air surrounding that area.

While they are great plants to have in your residence, they also work incredibly well as your property’s groundcover, especially in places where the grass is extremely difficult to grow due to shade. According to recent research by NASA, Peace Lily is one of the most efficient plants at eliminating volatile organic compounds from the air. However, this houseplant’s major drawback is that it’s mildly harmful to both pets and people. If you consume a little bit of Peace Lily, you may begin feeling nauseous, you may experience a burning sensation in your skin or mouth, and you may have difficulties when swallowing. Seek medical assistance once you begin experiencing these symptoms after ingesting the plant.

3. Flamingo Lily

Flamingo Lily, also known as Laceleaf, refers to an evergreen houseplant that is famous because of its beautiful flowers. According to research, Flamingo Lily is quite effective at eliminating airborne formaldehyde, toluene, xylene, and ammonia in your home. However, Flamingo Lily is not an easy plant to grow inside the house. If you decide to grow it, ensure you provide it with sufficient indirect light. Its blooms enjoy soaking in the sun’s rays, and you will enjoy many weeks of their beauty.

The most challenging thing about this plant is that it grows better in high-humidity places. If the relative humidity in your home goes below 50%, your plant might begin to wither. One of the easiest ways to prevent these plants from dying is to install a humidifier in the house. Also, ensure that the soil remains moist throughout. If you decide to grow this house plant, you need to take caution with pets and small children. If they consume any part of the plant, they’ll immediately experience hoarseness, difficulties swallowing, and blisters in their throat and mouth. Seek medical assistance if you experience these symptoms.

4. Weeping Fig

Weeping Fig, also known as the Ficus tree, is a common plant that’s also quite effective at purifying the air inside your living space. According to Clean Air Study conducted by NASA, Weeping Fig is effective at removing airborne formaldehyde, toluene, and xylene. This evergreen plant grows pretty well both indoors and outside with low maintenance. If you decide to use it as one of your houseplants, put it in a spot with enough natural, bright, and indirect light. If you put it in a spot with direct sunlight, the leaves will start burning. Water the plant regularly, but always ensure the soil is dry before adding some more water to prevent root rot.

Weeping Fig prefers high-temperature environments and humidity levels of more than 50%. However, this houseplant is quite poisonous to animals, so you need to be careful if you have some pets. If your dog or cat ingests any part of this houseplant, it might experience oral irritation, salivation, and vomiting. Seek the assistance of your local vet immediately.

5. English Ivy

English Ivy, also known as European Ivy, is another common houseplant that effectively filters airborne toxins in your home’s air. It is an evergreen climbing vine that’s incredibly common in outdoor landscaping. Many homeowners use it as ground cover in places where grass does not grow. Due to its carefree nature, the plant has grown tremendously in popularity.

According to NASA’s research, the European Ivy plant can effectively eliminate toluene, xylene, formaldehyde, and benzene from the air. Moreover, other studies indicate that this houseplant also assists in reducing mold in your residential property. Caring for English Ivy is pretty easy. Keep the plant at a consistent temperature, water generously with properly drained soil, and give it enough direct sunlight.


As you have seen, houseplants can enhance air quality, and you don’t require complicated houseplants to attain greener indoor spaces. You can get numerous houseplants that are quite simple and will allow you to achieve your gardening goals. The five houseplants discussed in this post will help you eliminate volatile organic compounds in your interior, improving your indoor air quality. If you would like to go one step further in making sure that your family members are completely safe from air pollutants, you can consult a professional from Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing.

We are devoted to your indoor comfort throughout the year. With excellent air conditioning service and expert advice, our experienced technicians will fine-tune your air conditioning unit to ensure optimal performance and enhanced indoor air quality. We offer a variety of heating, cooling, and plumbing products. We also provide services such as duct cleaning, duct repair, and ductless AC/Heat installations. Contact us today for more details on enhancing the quality of air in your Tucson, AZ, home, and we will help your entire household live better and healthier for many days to come.