Eco-Living Magazine

Plants That Purify and Improve Indoor Air Quality

By 2ndgreenrevolution @2ndgreenrev

Plants That Purify and Improve Indoor Air Quality

M.H is highly involved in eco friendly discussions and the importance of high quality air. He also runs a site where he shares honest and well researched air purifier reviews.

Indoor air can be just as harmful as outdoor air. The earliest humans only had to deal with indoor air pollutants such as smoke accumulating from fires. Today, such smoke can originate from several sources, including stoves, cigarettes, fireplaces, and so on (for more information on the Environmental Protection Agency’s indoor air quality standards, click here). Other sources of poor indoor air quality include:

  • air-fresheners
  • chimneys
  • dry-cleaning
  • dust
  • furnaces
  • glue
  • humidifiers
  • insulation
  • pipes
  • preservatives

Fortunately, there’s some good news. Certain plants are particularly effective at purifying indoor air. Here are some of the top ones: 

Bamboo Palm

Description: genus of about 10 small plant species
Home: South-East Asia, from Japan and China to Thailand; grow well in warm or subtropical areas
Leaves: petiole ending in a rounded fan of leaflets
Flowers: male and female flowers on different plants
Uses: mostly ornamental 


Chinese Evergreen

Description: one of approximately 40 species of plants with foliage
Home: South-East Asia; tropical rainforests and swamps
Leaves: alternate on the stems; medium-to-dark green; 10-45 centimeters long, and 4-16 centimeters broad
Flowers: white or green-white; somewhat hidden; can produce red berries
Uses: popular ornamental plants and houseplants; easy to grow 



Description: genus of approximately 40 tree species; means “female dragon” in ancient Greek
Home: Africa, South Asia, Central America
Leaves: broad, strap-shaped leaves
Flowers: white and fragrant
Uses: ornamental, but can be toxic; medicinal during the past when resin known as “dragon’s blood” was used 


English Ivy

Description: One of a genus of 12-15 species of evergreen woody plants
Home: mostly grow in several regions of Europe, and West Asia
Leaves: two types; alternate; 50-100 millimeters long
Flowers: small; green-yellow in color, produced from summer until autumn
Uses: popular as ornamental plant; attracts wildlife 


Gerbera Daisy

Description: genus of plants from the sunflower family; includes about 30 species; named after a German botanist
Home: South America, Africa, Asia
Leaves: full, green leaves
Flowers: includes hundreds of flowers whose heads are 7-12 centimeters in diameter
Uses: ornamental plant 


Golden Pothos

Description: was once classified in the genus Pothos; sometimes labeled wrong as Philodendron in stores
Home: New Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia
Leaves: evergreen; heart-shaped, maximum of 100 centimeters long and 45 centimeters wide
Flowers: in a group up to 23 centimeters long
Uses: popular houseplant; used in public decorative displays 


Peace Lily

Description: genus with approximately 40 species
Home: Americas, South-East Asia
Leaves: 12-65 centimeters long, and 3-25 centimeters wide
Flowers: surrounded by green spathe that is white, yellow, or green
Uses: popular houseplant; effective in removing several indoor contaminants; needs minimal sunlight; slightly toxic when pets ingest it 



Description: large plants in the Araceae family
Home: North America, South America, West Indies
Leaves: usually large; oval or other possible shapes; alternate on the stem
Flowers: sometimes contain extra glands that produce nectar
Uses: resin used by bees’ nests and Native America blowguns 


Pot Mum

Description: one of about 30 perennial flowering plants; grow to be 50-150 centimeters tall
Home: North-East Europe and Asia
Leaves: deeply lobed
Flowers: usually white, pink, or yellow in the wild
Uses: often used as ornamental plants; more flashy than wild Mum plants 


Rubber Plant

Description: in the fig genus; grows up to 30-40 meters tallHome: India and Indonesia
Leaves: shiny and oval; 10-35 centimeters long, 5-15 centimeters wide
Flowers: need a type of fig wasp for pollination; does not produce very colorful or fragrant flowers
Uses: ornamental plant around the world 


Snake Plant

Description: evergreen perennial plant
Home: West Africa
Leaves: grow vertically; dark green when mature; 70-90 centimeters long, 5-6 centimeters wide
Flowers: spikes; green-white or light yellow
Uses: once used to make bowstrings; ornamental plant popular as an indoor or outdoor plant; needs little light and little water 


Spider Plant

Description: long, thin leaves that are 20-40 centimeters long and 5-20 millimeters wide
Home: South Africa
Leaves: long and thin; 20-40 centimeter long, 5-20 millimeters wide
Flowers: small, white
Uses: very popular ornamental plant; effective in reducing air pollution indoors 


Weeping Fig

Description: topiary tree that can be 30 meters tall in nature
Home: Australia and South-East Asia
Leaves: shiny leaves that are 6-13 centimeters long; oval
Flowers: the flowers and seeds form one mass
Uses: reduces contaminants indoors[Image


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