50 Houseplants That Are Healthy to Keep at Home

Trista - May 5, 2020

Houseplants are having a moment. They are a rapidly growing market, with increasing demand for more colorful and hardier varieties growing all the time. In addition to being trendy and beautiful pieces of home decor, houseplants can also improve your health and well-being. Studies have found that houseplants help purify the air in your home, removing harmful chemicals like formaldehyde and ammonia. Tending houseplants can also reduce stress. While some houseplants are toxic to pets or children, some popular varieties like the herbs lavender and rosemary and the cat-friendly cat grass and catnip are edible and beneficial to your family and fur-family! Check out these houseplants that are healthy to keep at home.

Aloe Vera is a potent medicinal plant.

50. Aloe Vera is excellent for treating burns!

Aloe vera is easily one of the most useful plants you can keep in your home. In addition to the air purifying and oxygenating properties it shares with other plants, it also functions as a living first-aid station! Aloe is one of the more potent medicinal plants you can grow in your home. The gel inside aloe vera leaves that allow it to retain water in harsh desert climates is a fantastic first aid remedy for minor burns, especially sunburns. Simply clip off a small portion of the end of a leaf, peel back the outer layer, and slather on the cooling, healing balm.

Spider Plants are whimsical, beautiful air purifiers.

49. Spider Plants are great for cat owners.

Spider plants are adorable, whimsical plants that come in a variety of white and green variegation patterns as well as a curling green version. Fascinatingly, the plants propagate or reproduce – putting out perfect miniature versions of themselves at the end of long runners! These types of plants are incredibly simple to care for and are great at reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide. The plants are also a cat-safe plant, with some cats even enjoying taking a nibble out of them occasionally due to purported mild hallucinogenic properties! They need a deep drink every couple of weeks but can tolerate a wide range of light. They can produce delicate white flowers when thriving.

Snake plants are striking design pieces as well as great purifiers.

48. Snake Plants aren’t as scary as they sound.

Snake plants, which are often called Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, are far less sinister than their common name might suggest. A hardy succulent-type foliage plant, they thrive on neglect and can occupy incredibly low light areas. The only risk to these hardy plants is overwatering, as they are prone to rot. Their large, stiff, and thick leaves are excellent oxygenators and tackle common household pollutants like toluene and benzene. Snake plants are ideal for bedrooms and infrequently used rooms due to their low care requirements. These plants also come in a plethora of beautiful patterns, so the more, the merrier!

The Swiss Cheese Plant is a unique houseplant. Image credits: The Spruce

47. Swiss Cheese Plants (a.k.a. Mexican Breadfruit) are some of the most popular houseplants on the market.

The Swiss Cheese Plant has a scientific name known as Monstera deliciosa. It is a massively popular houseplant, often appearing on mugs, wall art, stickers, and more. Famous for its large fenestrations or holes, it is a real stunner within its large green leaves. Thanks to its large size and full, luscious leaves, the Swiss Cheese Plant is excellent at reducing household pollutants while also helping to oxygenate a room. It is a simple plant to care for, requiring only moderate light and regular watering. It is also easy to propagate and very popular with collectors and decorators, making it an ideal plant for trading or selling!

The Swiss Cheese Vine is a stunning and helpful plant. Image credits: Sprucemn

46. Swiss Cheese Vine (a.k.a. Monstera adansonii) is a favorite for centerpieces.

A close relative of the Monstera deliciosa, or Swiss Cheese Plant, the Swiss Cheese Vine, or Monstera adansonii, has similar beautiful holes in the leaves but is much smaller and grows in a vining habit. The long, thin leaves are incredibly striking when fully fenestrated and are an eye-catching centerpiece. Just like its larger sibling, Monstera adansonii is an excellent choice for helping to purify the air in your home by removing common pollutants like formaldehyde while also adding oxygen to the environment. One note of caution: all Monsteras are toxic to dogs and cats.

African Violet flowers are a mood-boosting addition to any office. Image credits: Gardening Know How

45. African Violets can flourish indoors, so they’re great for sprucing up office spaces!

African Violets are the perfect plant for the office. They respond exceptionally well to artificial light, often being grown under artificial light even by hobbyists. Their soft, fuzzy leaves and gorgeous flowers in a wide range of colors will provide a mood boost. Research has shown that merely looking at the brightly colored delicate flowers of the African Violet produces a small amount of adrenaline, which increases energy and increases the flow of oxygen within the brain, helping keep you alert during that afternoon slump. So bosses, stack your office ASAP!

The Bird of Paradise adds a bit of humid paradise to any home. Image credits: Wayfair

44. Bird of Paradise are much more giant than you think they are.

What the Bird of Paradise lacks in concentrated purifying power, it makes up for with its vast size. A native of the tropics famous for its flower that resembles a bird in flight, the Bird of Paradise can reach staggering dimensions, even indoors, with healthy specimens reaching 10 feet tall or more. The Bird of Paradise does require bright light, preferring south or east windows, but aside from that, they are relatively easy to care for and will reward adequate care with the unfurling of massive, banana tree-like tropical leaves. If you enjoy fussing over plants, the Bird of Paradise will reward careful watering and daily misting with extra glossy leaves.

Dracena plants bring a tree-like beauty and pack a purifying punch.

43. Dracena looks like a little tree, making it the perfect addition to your indoor jungle.

These are one of the most “tree-like” houseplants you can find at any garden center or big box home improvement store. In particular, the Dracena marginata looks like a beautiful palm tree with its long, thin serrated leaves sprouting from a smooth grey-barked tree. Dracena species are excellent air purifiers that excel at removing carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. It is also excellent at naturally increasing the humidity in a room, which is a significant benefit in dry climates or areas that require heating in the winter.

Lipstick plants are a trendy, up-and-coming houseplant. Image credits: The Spruce

42. Lipstick Plants have a combination of lush green plants and intriguing flowers.

Lipstick plants from the family Aeschynanthus are highly unusual looking house plants that are rapidly gaining in popularity. The most popular form, the Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant, has a leaf coloring pattern that makes it look as though the plant has been struck by lightning, which makes for a stunning effect in any bit of home decor! The plant’s delicate vining growth habit combined with its medium-light requirement allows it to be hung in out-of-the-way areas, increasing the number of air-purifying plants you can fit into your home.

Pothos are incredibly hardy plants that are great for a beginner. Image credits: Almanac

41. Pothos are amongst the most popular and widely planted potted plants.

The Pothos family, which consists of two technically unrelated families of Epipremnum and Scindapsus, is a broad and incredibly popular group of houseplants. Pothos has been widely loved for decades thanks to their incredibly hardy nature and utterly undemanding care requirements. Many offices have a pothos thanks to their ability to grow in artificial and low light. The large, beautiful leaves in various shades of green, chartreuse, white, and blue-grey are excellent air purifiers that remove typical household and office toxins while also oxygenating the environment. If you could only buy one plant to start your collection, grab a hardy Golden Pothos.

Oyster Plant is a stunning creeping vine that comes in many colors. Image credits: The Spruce

40. Oyster Plants are a creeping vine with thick, smooth leaves that enhance its vibrant colors.

Oyster Plant, also commonly known as Moses In the Cradle, is a gorgeous creeping herb from the Spiderwort family that comes in shades ranging from deep green to a delicate lavender with many variegation patterns. This species is considered an invasive plant in some southern US areas, so take precautions if putting it outside. The plants’ thick, smooth leaves provide a relaxing beauty, as do the small flowers it produces when thriving. It is an excellent oxygenator and can reduce many of the same common air pollutants as other houseplants. It is easy to care for, requiring only medium light and infrequent watering.

Tradescantias are brilliantly colored, easy to grow vines. Image credits: The Spruce

39. Tradescantia, a relative of the Oyster plant, comes in a broad palette of beautiful colors.

Tradescantia is a large family that includes the Oyster Plant described previously and many varieties of a plant commonly called Wandering Jew. These vining herbs come in a wide range of colors present in numerous variegation patterns, including green and burgundy, as well as white and lavender. This houseplant is easy to grow, requiring little light and infrequent regular watering. They can be trained up poles or allowed to vine from hanging pots. When happy, they produce beautiful small purple flowers at the end of stalks. Like the Oyster Plant, other Tradescantias are great at reducing common household air pollutants.

The stunning blooms of Azalea reduce stress while purifying the air. Image credits: J Berry Nursery

38. Azaleas are a simple stress reliever, so keep them close – unless you’re unable to handle pollen!

Azaleas can grow outdoors in warm climates but make a beautiful indoor plant to either overwinter or keep indoors year-round. Their stunning blooms reduce stress and improve mood, but allergy sufferers note that they do produce a fair amount of pollen. These houseplants excel at removing formaldehyde from the air and are a valuable addition to any houseplant collection for air purification. They also provide a decent amount of oxygenation. However, what sets them apart are their lovely mood-lifting blooms in several soft, gorgeous colors ranging from white to purple, pink, orange, red, and yellow.

Boston Ferns are the iconic indoor fern and easy to find. Image credits: Shop Terrain

37. Boston Ferns are proliferous and easy to grow – perfect for a budding botanist!

Boston Ferns are incredibly easy to find. In fact, it’s often tricky in spring to avoid running into Boston Ferns at any big box store or garden center. While ferns are some of the fussier houseplants you can grow, Boston Ferns are among the most natural ferns to grow, requiring only low to medium light and ample watering. Ferns will never complain about a bit of mist, as they enjoy humidity. Don’t let ferns get too dry, as that causes a great deal of stress. Thanks to their abundant foliage, ferns are great at purifying the air of common household pollutants and provide a nice amount of oxygenation.

The Rabbit’s Foot Fern is a genuinely unique epiphytic plant. Image credits: Ucanr

36. Rabbit’s Foot Fern is an aptly named plant; just look at its rhizomes!

If you want a truly unique fern, the Rabbit’s Foot Fern is an attractive and exotic looking option. Rabbit’s Foot Ferns are epiphytic, meaning they take their nutrients from sources other than soil, including trees and the air. To survive this way, Rabbit’s Foot Ferns sends out large, fuzzy rhizomes that resemble rabbit’s feet, although some also think they look like blonde spider legs. As an epiphytic plant, they are adept at pulling nutrients and pollutants from the air, so they are an ideal air purifying plant and would provide a lot of entertainment for children with their fuzzy rhizomes.

The Gerbera Daisy is a sunny, joyous plant perfect for any bright spot. Image credits: Weddings Love To Know

35. Gerbera Daisy is reminiscent of spring, though they can be grown year-round with the right care.

Gerbera Daisies are common in grocery stores and garden centers, starting around Easter and lasting throughout the summer months. While they can be planted outdoors as annuals, they can be a beautiful reblooming houseplant when tended carefully inside. They require bright light, so place them carefully in a south or east window. The incredibly vivid, bright flowers of the Gerbera Daisy provide a mood-boosting lift. Daisies are a notoriously sunny and joyful flower with bright yellow centers. The Gerbera Daisy’s thick foliage makes it a great oxygenator, and it does a decent job of removing some common household pollutants.

Bromeliads are truly tropical-looking plants and nighttime purifiers. Image credits: The Spruce

34. Bromeliads aren’t just pretty; some of them are edible!

Bromeliads are incredibly unique tropical plants. They grow in thick, often serrated, or spiky rosettes that hold water between the leaves, making aquatic micro-habitats for insects and other invertebrates in their native tropical homes. Pineapples are a type of Bromeliad! As a houseplant, Bromeliads fill an important biological niche: nighttime air purifiers. While most plants are most active during the day while receiving sunlight, Bromeliads are active at night. They produce the most oxygen and remove the most household pollutants during the hours of darkness. Pair a Bromeliad with a vigorous daytime plant in each room you’re working to purify, and you will have a 24-7 purifying team!

The Rubber Tree is a robost air purifier and a stunning focal point.

33. Rubber Trees may not be used for rubber anymore, but beware of the latex they release if you break its stem!

Rubber Tree, as its name might suggest, emits a milky white latex from its stem and bark if scored or broken. While it isn’t a commercially viable source of rubber or latex anymore, thanks to more abundant species, its name still rings true. Please note that the latex is a skin irritant and toxic to both people and pets. The Rubber Tree is a stunning houseplant, with large, thick leaves ranging from deep green to an almost-black burgundy. Combined with thick barked stems, it makes an incredible centerpiece for any plant decor. Thanks to its size and thick leaves, it’s an excellent oxygenator and excels at removing common household air pollutants.

English Ivy is a whimsical climbing plant that fights mold. Image credits: The Spruce

32. English Ivy is an evergreen climbing vine, perfect for a cute cottage feel!

English Ivy is a gorgeous, whimsical climbing plant that bears its name due to its typical habitat of covering stone and brick homes throughout England and Europe. It is a perennial evergreen vine, meaning it keeps its leaves throughout the winter months. In addition to being an essential cultural plant throughout Europe, English Ivy also boasts a unique advantage among indoor houseplants: it combats airborne mold spores! Studies have found that English Ivy can reduce many airborne mold spores, making it an ideal houseplant for allergy sufferers.

Lavender provides relaxation and air purification.

31. Lavender is a natural cure-all these days: it cures stress, sleeplessness, and skin issues, among others!

Lavender is truly a gem among herbs. It has excellent culinary benefit in savory herbs de provence mixtures and a delightful flavoring for many sweet dishes and drinks. Lavender is also a powerful aromatherapeutic herb aiding in stress relief and healthy sleep. This houseplant proliferates as an indoor plant but requires a good deal of intense light. With regular watering, it can thrive and flower indoors in a lovely south window. The leaves are a joy to touch with their slightly rough texture and pungent scent. Meanwhile, the stalks of leaves are easy to dry for preservation and year-round use.

Catnip is easy to grow as a perennial herb indoors or outside. Image credits: The Spruce

30. Catnip isn’t just for our felines; it’s an herb too!

Catnip, the famed intoxicant of our feline friends, is a member of the mint family and grows well both outdoors as a perennial herb and indoors as an easy to care for houseplant. Like other mints, it has a pleasant scent, though it’s not as pungently minty as spearmint or different commercial mint cultivars. The hardy herb can quickly be grown in a pot on a sunny windowsill to create a fantastic treat for your furry friends. Especially if you have a cat who shows interest in your toxic houseplants, catnip can be a great distraction when grown within your cat’s easy reach.

Cat Grass provides oxygen for you and a fun treat for your cats. Image credits: Master Class

29. Cat Grass is another kitty-friendly snack on the list.

You read the title right – Cat Grass! While there are one grass species commonly known as Cat Grass, commercial Cat Grass seed mixes are typically made up of a mixture of common seed crop grasses like wheat, rye, oats, and rye. In addition to adding oxygen to your house, Cat Grass is also precisely what it sounds like – a healthy snack for your cats! If you have a cat who has shown interest in your toxic houseplants, plant a little container of Cat Grass and grow it within your cat’s reach for a fun treat for them.

Rosemary is a delicious herb that also boasts healing benefits. Image credits: Self Hacked

28. Rosemary is a delicious herb that can be used in medicine or cooking.

Rosemary is an evergreen shrub native throughout much of the Mediterranean. Its resinous scent evokes pine trees and other evergreens. This plant is a common feature in many Italian and Greek recipes thanks to its bold, almost medicinal flavor. While they are difficult plants to start from seed, Rosemary plants thrive indoors once well-established, needing only bright light and routine watering. The plants are excellent oxygenators, and Rosemary leaves are useful in both cooking and herbal medicine. Rosemary is also excellent in beauty products and is commonly featured in astringents, shampoos, and conditioners. Its pleasant scent is also a perfect choice for sachets.

Peace Lilies are a large, luscious air purifier perfect for any home. Image credits: My Cozy Sundays

27. Peace Lilies are iconic images of large white flowers with green stems.

Do you have bad memories of overwatering plants and ending up with a mushy mess? If so, a Peace Lily is the plant for you. These incredibly thirsty houseplants that feature huge, delicate green leaves and unique white flowers on green spikes are sometimes even grown in fishbowls without soil due to their love of wet roots. Did you know that Peace Lilies were one of the best air purifiers on the market thanks to their large size and competent leaves? The only caveat for Peace Lilies is that their beautiful white flowers produce quite a bit of pollen, so allergy sufferers take note.

The beautifully scented flowers of Jasmine make it a must-have. Image credits: Martha Stewart

26. Jasmine is an incredibly seductive plant due to its scent.

Jasmine is a beautifully scented plant that has medicinal and aromatherapeutic benefits in addition to its role as a reliable air purifier. This houseplant is relatively simple to grow indoors, requiring bright light and regular watering. Jasmine’s flowers bear a beautiful, light scent that is a practical indoor odor neutralizer, so consider growing them in mudrooms, near cat boxes, or near a kitchen. Their scent is also profoundly relaxing, making them a great bedroom plant. The flowers can also be used to make jasmine tea! Despite their luxurious scent, Jasmine plants are typically inexpensive.

Hibiscus can clean soil as well as air, making them a superstar.

25. Hibiscus is a great soil and air purifier.

While Hibiscus is most familiar as an outdoor garden plant in warmer climates, they are ideally suited for growth indoors, especially over the winter in colder climates. As long as they are provided with deep watering and bright sunlight, these woody, hardy plants will thrive. In addition to cleaning the air, Hibiscus is unique in its documented ability to clean contaminated soil when planted outside. If your climate allows it, you could use a Hibiscus to clean your dirt and bring it inside overwinter to clean your air!

A family of epiphytic plants, Hoyas are born air purifiers. Image credits: Sunshine Coast Daily

24. Hoya is a vine, though it also has succulent-like properties.

Hoyas are a large family of semi-succulent vining plants. They are evergreen perennials often epiphytic, like Rabbit’s Foot Ferns, meaning they draw their nutrients from things other than just soil, including trees and the air. As epiphytic plants with thick, waxy leaves, they are excellent oxygenators that are perfectly equipped to draw common pollutants out of your household air along with the nutrients they need to survive. Hoyas come in various shapes and colors, including the beloved Hoya kerii, which features large heart-shaped leaves in green or variegated yellow and green.

The massive Philodendron family contains a plant for every taste. Image credits: The Spruce

23. Philodendron is a large family of plants with different shapes, sizes, and colors.

It’s challenging to have Philodendrons at only one entry on this list, as they encompass a truly massive family of hundreds of different colors, leaf shapes, growth habits, and colors. The heartleaf philodendron is a standard variety that looks quite similar to a pothos and has the same care requirements. Like the pink princess, some rare philodendrons can sell for as much as $200 and feature beautiful splashes of bubblegum on the leaves! Philodendrons, especially large-leaf varieties, are excellent oxygenators. There are philodendrons suited for almost any light situation and care needs, so this massive family is full of great purifiers.

The tropical shrubs in the Croton family are powerful oxygenators. Image credits: Hello Fronds

22. Croton plants can grow to enormous sizes with bright fall colors like orange, yellow, and red.

In their natural tropical environment, Croton species can become quite large shrubs and present a genuinely wild arrangement of leaf shapes, colors, and patterns ranging from oak-leaf forms to long, thin leaves with crimson, yellow, green, and orange zest. Crotons can be a little challenging to grow indoors, as they require bright light and heavy watering. They are genuinely tropical and love to be moist, so a humidifier or daily misting would greatly benefit them. They are excellent oxygenators and provide a beautiful splash of mood-lifting color and visual interest as large tropical shrubs.

The fast-growing tree is a real beauty while providing ample oxygen. Image credits: The Spruce

21. Fiddle Leaf Fig, similar to the Rubber Tree, can grow to enormous height and size.

A relative of another Ficus on this list, the Rubber Tree, Ficus elastica, this Ficus has gorgeous, large stiff leaves that vaguely resemble a violin’s shape, hence the name fiddle leaf. These tropical trees can reach enormous sizes in arboretums and botanical gardens, with some specimens filling entire domed rooms. These relatively fast-growing trees are quite easy to care for, requiring bright light but only infrequent watering. As trees with broad leaves, they are excellent oxygenators and excel at reducing common household pollutants, especially carbon dioxide.

This up-and-coming evergreen shrub is a beautiful oxygenator. Image credits: Kayaba Parts

20. Ardisia will bring on your jolly spirit with its bright crimson berries and lush green leaves.

The Ardisia family is relatively new to the scene as a houseplant, being a common shrub in Asia’s parts. They are commonly known as Christmasberry, thanks to its rich deep-purple berries and evergreen foliage. Some Ardisia species are invasive in the southern United States, so take them outdoors only with great care. As a large, woody evergreen Ardisia, much like Fiddle Leaf Figs or Rubber Trees, is an ideal oxygenator. They are also incredibly fast-growing when given much water and direct sunlight. They will reward caring growers with beautiful white flowers that lead to inedible yet beautiful berries.

This large family contains numerous stunning oxygenators. Image credits: The Spruce

19. Peperomia, a semi-succulent, is an easy-to-care-for plant.

Much like the Philodendron family, the Peperomia family contains an incredibly diverse multitude of houseplants that range from large vines with elongated leaves to compact, bushy plants with perfectly round leaves. As semi-succulents, Peperomia is easy to care for, requiring only moderate light for most species and infrequent watering. While some small-leaf varieties aren’t as potent in oxygen production, larger specimens and broad leaves are great oxygen producers. The common Peperomia obtusifolia has large, incredibly glossy round leaves ranging from dark green to variegated white and stunning green leaves.

The Friendship Plant is a true friend to your indoor air. Image credits: Botanique Workshop

18. Pilea has a unique texture on its leaves, which is how it oxygenates the air so well.

The Pilea family is a large family with quite wide-ranging members from vining plants with tiny leaves to the much loved crinkly flowering plant known as the Friendship Plant. It has uniquely textured leaves with gorgeous purple and green coloring. When allowed to dry between watering and kept in bright indirect light, the members of the Pilea family, and mainly the Friendship Plant, will reward you with excellent oxygenation and air purification thanks to the uniquely textured leaves. Try to avoid getting water on its leaves since the unique texture can trap droplets and lead to mold.

It’s hard to beat Chinese Evergreen for colorful foliage. Image credits: The Spruce

17. Chinese Evergreen, though slightly expensive, is worth every penny for its bold, beautiful colors.

If you’ve ever wanted incredibly easy to care for plants that feature stunning foliage in colors of vivid reds, neon pinks, and more, look no further than the Aglaonema family, commonly known as Chinese Evergreen. These remarkable plants can be slightly more expensive but are easily found at big box stores and garden centers. Chinese Evergreen have meager light requirements and appreciate regular deep waterings. They are also easy to divide and propagate, so you can spread them around your house or share it with friends. As large-leaf plants, they are excellent oxygenators and purifiers.

The behavior of the nerve plant is a delight to watch.

16. Nerve Plant, as you can guess, is named for the nerve-like patterns on its leaves.

The Nerve Plants of the Fittonia family are a delight to have in your home. The vibrant green leaves feature nerve-like patterns of white, red, or pink veining that makes for a truly unique look. They’re also drama queens, completely collapsing when they need watering. You can watch them rehydrate and stand back up within a short time of watering. These lovely plants are easy to grow and need only moderate indirect light and watering (don’t worry, they’ll tell you when they need it!) They are excellent at removing common household pollutants like formaldehyde from the air.

These arrow-shaped leaves are unique air purifiers. Image credits: Guide To Houseplants

15. Syngonium, a lovely hanging plant, is ideal for decorating above eye-level!

The Syngonium family, commonly known as Arrowhead Vine, contains a wide variety of colors that share the standard leaf shape of arrowheads, hence the common name. Common types include a beautiful dusty pink, bright green and white, and an unusual-looking deep liver color. Easy to grow and care for, these hardy vines will grow like pothos or vining philodendrons. They require only moderate light and regular watering. With their large, broad leaves, they are excellent oxygenators and air purifiers and thrive as hanging plants, making them easy to add to any room.

These strange-looking plants are magical-looking purifiers. Image credits: Clay Plants

14. Alocasia, with its big, bold leaves, is an excellent air purifier.

The Alocasia family is truly unique. The plants grow from bulbs and sometimes go dormant over the winter, unlike the vast majority of houseplants. They have large, textured leaves that often feature strange colors or even metallic finishes, like in the Alocasia cuprea, which looks stunningly like burnished copper. Their wealth of large, thick leaves makes them excellent at producing oxygen for your indoor environment. They thrive in humid conditions and would never turn down a daily misting. They are prone to overwatering, so take care when watering to allow the bulbs and roots to become rotten.

Easy to ignore, succulents are efficient air purifiers. Image credits: The Spruce

13. Succulents, ever the popular grocery store impulse buy, are surprisingly adept at purifying the air around them.

Succulents aren’t often thought of as oxygenating plants, but large succulents like Jade Trees can be excellent oxygenators and air purifiers. Look for succulents that feature woody stems and more massive, porous looking leaves like the Jade or large Echeveria varieties. Succulents are easy to grow if you resist the urge to overwater them. Succulents can be ignored for long periods, up until they even start to wrinkle before watering. They can survive dry neglect, like desert plants, far better than sitting in the water where they will quickly mold and rot.

Cacti have the unique ability to remove some radiation from the air. Image credits: The Spruce

12. Cactus is ideal for anyone who follows the “set and forget” model for watering their plants.

If you want a plant that you can set in a window and forget for weeks at a time, a cactus is the plant buddy for you! While they often don’t have leaves, cacti are still excellent air purifiers and have the unique ability to remove some types of radiation from the indoor environment. Much like with succulents or philodendrons, there is a cactus for everyone. Giant, broad pad cacti like Prickly Pear are beautiful centerpieces, while some small flowering cacti are quite whimsical. Cacti require bright, even direct, light, and very infrequent watering.

The silvery leaves of Scindapsus species make them a must-have. Image credits: Make Your Own

11. Scindapsus have unique marbling on their leaves, making them a must-have.

Often lumped in with Pothos, despite being from a different family, the variety of beautiful plants in the Scindapsus family offers many of the same air-purifying and oxygenating benefits of other vining plants like philodendrons and hoyas. Often featuring beautiful silver coloring, most Scindapsus varieties are quite harder and can tolerate relatively low light and sporadic watering. Like most tropicals, they will thrive with more frequent watering and high humidity. Some varieties are uncommon and fetch a high price, but common types like Silver or Silver Satin are easy to find at garden centers and home improvement stores.

The pygmy date palm can grow to be up to twelve feet! Shutterstock

10. Pygmy Date Palm (a.k.a Phoenix roebelenii or Dwarf Date Palm) is a versatile indoor or outdoor plant.

The Pygmy Date Palm can range between six to twelve feet, though it will be on the smaller side if grown indoors or potted. These babies love high humidity, but take care to let the soil dry out to avoid mold. They may even enjoy the occasional misting! These trees do grow slowly but remember that it is a labor of love. The payoff will be slim, feathery fronds measuring about three feet long. Give them bright light without dousing them in nonstop sunlight, and they’ll be happy campers. In return, they’ll purify your air of formaldehyde and xylene.

What could be better than a living piece of art to liven up the air and the decor? Shutterstock

9. Chrysanthemums are among the perennial top air-purifying plants.

Chrysanthemums, or ‘mums,’ can bloom in low light and do not require extra care beyond proper nutrition and drainage. They’ll brighten up your room when they’re in bloom – typically for about six weeks – and just need a little light during the day. Mums can also be used in herbal teas and sometimes, even pesticides! They’ll purify the air of toxins like formaldehyde, xylene, and ammonia. Pet owners beware, however: Mums are toxic to cats and dogs. They can cause a litany of undesirable side effects, so it’s best to keep them out of reach.

Areca palms are great for pet owners with larger spaces. Shutterstock

8. Areca Palms are long, exotic fronds with a powerful capacity for air purification.

These plants can clear your air of formaldehyde, xylene, carbon monoxide, and toluene. They are non-toxic to kitties and puppies alike, so they’re great for a bustling family home, though they do need some space because the Areca Palm likes to spread out a bit. It does well in shade and indirect light. You’ll need to water it a few times a week in the summer and less frequently in the winter. It can thrive indoors or outdoors, though you’ll want it inside if you’re trying to purify your air.

The Rhapis Palm, or the Broadleaf Lady Palm, has an intriguingly flat leaf with a rounded edge. Shutterstock

7. Rhapis Palm (a.k.a. Broadleaf Lady Palm) can adapt to many climates and soils, making it a popular palm plant.

This lovely lady is also called the “Slender Lady Palm.” Though they can grow up to a foot each year, their growth rate decreases considerably when grown indoors. Each frond is split into fan-like leaves growing from multiple stems. These palms are great for container growth and prefer partial sunlight or shade with a moist root. Our lady palm friend is an excellent plant for purifying the air from formaldehyde and ammonia, so we all know we can breathe a sigh of relief.

The Flamingo Lily is known for its bright pop of color. Shutterstock

6. Flamingo Lilies are not exactly beginner-level plants to grow, but they are well worth the work!

The Flamingo Lily is an exotic flower that resembles the Peace Lily in structure. If tended to properly, it can bloom its brilliant flower year-round! They are naturally found in the rainforest, so of course, they love humidity and are not fans of direct sunlight. If you can’t replicate that environment for them, try a humidifier. Here’s where it gets tricky: Flamingo Lilies like moist soil, but not wet soil. That balance is a delicate one, and it isn’t always easy to find that line. Though Anthurium Scherzerianum is the “real” flamingo lily, both Scherzerianum and Andraeanum are commonly referred to with this colloquial name, and Andraenum is much more common. One more note to remember: lilies are toxic to pets, so exercise caution!

Dendrobium orchids come in a range of colors, though this genus is the largest of the orchids. Shutterstock

5. Dendrobium Orchids are most commonly seen in the form of a hybrid: the Dendrobium phalaenopsis.

Though they are considered an excellent orchid for beginners, orchids can be a challenging plant. They require more light, more water, and more fertilizer than would be intuitively expected. However, Dendrobium Orchids have proven effective at removing xylene and toluene from the air, so if you want the benefits, you’ll have to put in some work. Dendrobium Orchids also called cane orchids, have smaller flowers of typically white or purple color that grow in rows on stalks that arise from thick canes. They require a specific potting mix that mimics the environment they naturally grow in, but it is easily found in home improvement stores.

Dumb Canes, though not necessarily given the most flattering name, have a gorgeous green leaf that invigorates any room. Shutterstock

4. Dumb Canes, or Dieffenbachia, are flowering tropical plants ideal for cleaning xylene and toluene from the air.

These bushy plants can grow up to six feet tall and flourish in almost any environment. Each plant features yellow leaves near the vein and turns a dark green toward the edge of the leaf, creating a unique ribbon and spots pattern on each leaf. Though Dumb Canes can produce flowers, the flowers are not impressive and create a toxic sap. Additionally, the plant is extremely toxic to cats and dogs and should be kept out of their reach at all times.

King of Hearts is a flowering plant with leaves that resemble ferns and droopy flowers in pretty pastel hues of pink, cream, and purple. Shutterstock

3. King of Hearts flowers dangles over the feathery, almost fern-like leaves.

The “heart” flowers typically come in deep pink shades and bloom from early spring to late fall, much like the rest of its “bleeding heart” family. This gorgeous plant is found to help cleanse the air from xylene and toluene, and it thrives in shade and artificial light, though it is hardy enough to survive in direct sunlight as well. An added benefit from this lovely plant is that it will attract butterflies and hummingbirds, making it the perfect whimsical addition to any coastal or cottage garden.

Moth Orchids are epiphytic plants. Healthy roots should be thick and shimmery green with bright green ends. Shutterstock

2. Moth Orchids or Phalaenopsis orchids (Phals for short) usually have three to six leaves that alternate with a flower spike between them.

There are hundreds of varieties of orchids, though they are overwhelmingly either Phalaenops or Dendrobium. Remember how we mentioned Dendrobium Phalaenopsis are hybrids? Moth Orchids are the other half of that hybrid. These orchids prefer to be under-watered than over-watered since their roots can rot quickly. They have rounder flowers and grow on a single stalk and oval-shaped leaves. These plants effectively clear the air from xylene and toluene, so both form and function can be checked off with these beauties!

The money plant is one of the most common house plants and does exceptionally well indoors. Shutterstock

1. Money Plants are powerhouses when it comes to purifying the air!

Money plants clean the air from benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene. They do not need direct sunlight, as they do just fine in the shade or artificial light, and only need to be watered infrequently. These plants are part of the pothos family, but they merit their own entry! The reason money plants earned their name is because of their round plump leaves. With a little imagination and some squinting, the leaves look like coins! Maybe optimistically, the belief is that while it flourishes, you’ll never need money.






The Best Indoor Plants for Clean Air And Low Light Settings + 15 Planter Ideas

Dracaena – Why is dracaena good for indoors?