Nothing freshens up a room quite like a touch of nature. Greenery and flowering houseplants can do good for any space by making things a little brighter and cleaner. Caring for them can even reduce stress. And as an important bonus, they actually work to clean the air in your home, removing common household toxins like formaldehyde and benzene.
We consulted NASA and Mother Nature Network to bring you the best recommendations for indoor plants that deliver beauty and clean air for your home. Whether you want flowers or something more simple, we’ve got you covered.
- Aloe: This sun-loving succulent is a top plant for purifying your air. It will even get brown spots if the air is too polluted, so you have a natural notification system to let you know your home needs some fresh air.
- English ivy: This classic houseplant is one of the very best choices to help keep the air in your home clean, according to NASA. It’s especially good at removing formaldehyde from the air.
- Snake plant: Snake plants do fine without a lot of sun or water, so they’re very low maintenance. It’s recommended for bedrooms, because unlike most plants, it does its air-filtering work at night instead of during the day. It does fine in humidity as well, so it’s also a good choice for sprucing up a bathroom.
- Boston fern: A Boston fern is a natural humidifier. As it filters air, it gives off water vapor. Since it’s a tropical plant, it needs plenty of water, so make sure to mist the fronds regularly and water it enough to keep the soil from drying.
- Dracaena: Multiple varieties of dracaena are excellent choices for house plants, including red-edged, cornstalk, Janet Craig, and Warneck dracaena. They don’t need direct sunlight, they can grow ten or more feet tall, and they all work to remove toxins from the air.
- Peace lily: Peace lilies are happy with cooler temperatures and shade. These are another plant that will help detox your home. Water just once a week, and enjoy the lovely bloom.
- Azalea: Azaleas are not only beautiful, but they reduce formaldehyde in the air. They like sun and cooler temperatures (60 to 65 degrees), making them good plants to brighten a basement—provided your basement gets enough light to keep them happy.
- Gerbera daisy: Gerbera daisies need lots of light, but they’re bright and cheerful and are another plant that pulls its weight in purifying the air in your home.
- Chrysanthemum: Needs plenty of direct sunlight to bloom, but it’s worth it when it does. Mums are also good at filtering benzene. A sunny kitchen or living room are good options for this one.
Cymbidium Sarah Jean or “Ice Cascade”: This one makes the list because it’s simply gorgeous. This orchid is best in a hanging basket to show off its showers of white blooms that appear from December to February. It needs between 10 and 15 hours of light a day and thrives near south- or west-facing windows.