16 Spectacular Plants that Pull Pollution from the Air
These plants are scientifically proven to remove harmful VOCs and other pollutants from the air. By Justin Hancock
AnthuriumAir-purifying anthurium is one of our favorite houseplants because it offers attractive leaves and bold blooms. If anthurium gets enough light, it can bloom on and off all year. This houseplant is particularly effective at removing harmful chemicals like ammonia and formaldehyde.
Discover other beautiful flowering houseplants.
CalatheaA beautiful tropical houseplant, calathea thrives in spots with high humidity, making it a particularly good pick for kitchens and bathrooms. There is a wide variety of types available; all are good at making clean air in homes and offices.
Chinese EvergreenWe adore Chinese evergreen because this resilient houseplant is among the easiest of all to grow. It doesn’t seem to mind if you forget to water it; if you grow it in low, medium, or bright light; or where you put it. And on top of that, it’s wonderfully efficient at removing harmful VOCs.
Corn PlantCorn plant is a classic tree that’s been a favorite for filling corners of rooms with a splash of color. It’s a cinch to grow -- it’s wonderfully adaptable to a range of conditions -- and efficiently removes harmful chemicals released by cleaning products, paint, shoe polish, markers, and other common household items.
Discover other trees to grow as houseplants.
CrotonIf you’re looking for color, it’s tough to beat croton. A popular houseplant, croton features wildly variegated leaves that often have more red, orange, yellow, or purple than green. A great choice for high-light spots, croton sucks nasty VOCs from the air like a champ.
Check out more houseplants with colorful leaves!
DieffenbachiaIdeal for creating a tropical look, dieffenbachia (sometimes called dumb cane because its poisonous leaves contain a substance that can temporarily numb the vocal cords if consumed) offers lush foliage that takes toxins out of the air, so your family can breathe easier.
DracaenaDracaena is a big family of plants, many of which are excellent houseplants. All are wonderful natural air filters. One of our favorites is a colorful variety called ‘Lemon Lime;’ it features gray-green leaves edged broadly in bright chartreuse. A crisp white pinstripe separates the colors.
English IvyWhether you grow English ivy up as a vine, trailing from a basket, or horizontally on a mantle or tabletop, it filters harmful chemicals released by everyday products. Dark green varieties add contrast to bright spots; those variegated with white or gold lighten dim areas.
FicusFicus, also called fig trees, bring classic elegance and beauty to homes and offices while filtering the air. Young ficus are ideal for tabletops; as they grow, use them as room dividers, screens, and vertical accents.
Madagascar Dragon TreeSuper easy to grow and versatile, Madagascar dragon tree is a textural addition to homes and offices with its grassy leaves. Many varieties are delightfully variegated with streaks of white, pink, purple, or gray-green in the leaves. Keep this beauty near where you work and sleep to maximize its air-cleaning abilities.
Moth OrchidWho knew moth orchids were beautiful, easy to grow, AND natural air filters? These colorful houseplants work day and night to purify the air, and add style while doing it. Though moth orchids have something of a reputation for being hard to grow, they’re actually pretty easy as long as you don’t overwater them. (Water this orchid once every 10 days or so.)
Peace LilyA perfect pick for anyone who tends to overwater houseplant, peace lily likes regular drinks of water and has lush, tropical leaves. In bright spots, the dark green foliage is topped by spikes of pure white, calla-like flowers throughout the year. It’s also one of the most efficient houseplant varieties for air purification.
PothosPothos has a reputation for being easy to grow -- and it’s well-deserved. An excellent air cleaner, pothos features heart-shaped leaves variegated with white, cream, or gold. It can grow as a vine, making it perfect for hanging baskets and growing up a wire. But if you don’t want it to get too large, don’t be afraid it give pothos a trim.
Learn more about popular, easy-care pothos and philodendron varieties.
Red AglaonemaWe’ve never met a houseplant this colorful and easy to grow! Featuring dark green leaves variegated with streaks and splashes of red and pink, red aglaonema grows practically everywhere indoors -- and removes air pollution no matter where you grow it.
Learn more about red aglaonema.