Houseplants Make All-Natural Indoor Air Filters

A well-placed houseplant can brighten up your home – and freshen up the air inside it. While studying ways to recycle air in spacecrafts, NASA researchers discovered that certain houseplants like English ivy, chrysanthemums, peace lilies and snake plants can remove common airborne pollutants using their natural photosynthesis cycles. Trace amounts of pollutants can be found in many of the typical household items that we use every day. Benzene, for example, is found in ink, paints, detergents, gasoline and cigarette smoke – but it’s filtered out of air by the peace lily, gerbera daisy and English ivy. Many common building materials contain formaldehyde, including insulation, pressed wood and fire retardants, but the azaleas, spider plants and snake plants absorb this from the air and use it to build its carbon source.

For maximum clean-air benefit for your buck, NASA experts suggest using at least one beneficial plant per 100 sq ft of home or office space (that’s a lot of plants!). If you’ve only got room for one? Make it a chrysanthemum, which researchers have determined removes the widest variety of common air pollutants.


Houseplants make all-natural air filters