Useful Tips

15 indoor plants that improve air


The rapid development of industry not only brought comfort to the life of a modern person, but also increased the level of harmful substances in his environment. If on the street there is practically no way to protect yourself from this, then at home indoor plants that cleanse the air can become a real salvation. Almost any green planting can boast of such properties, but here you can highlight the real leaders. If you correctly approach the fight against the problem, after having assessed all the risks, you can create almost ideal conditions in the apartment. This will very quickly have a positive effect on the condition of the residents of the room.

Harmful substances contained in the air and the basic rules for combating their action

And in a regularly ventilated area with a fresh, pleasant smell, an elevated level of harmful components may be noted. Even if it is ten times higher than normal, a person does not feel it. To improve the atmosphere in an enclosed space, you need to know what you need to deal with and what the consequences may be in case of inaction.

  • Formaldehyde. Contained in paints, processed wood, carpets, cool components. Causes mucosal irritation, headache, insomnia, depression, fatigue.
  • Benzene. Contained in many synthetic components, including almost all types of plastics. Negatively affects the state of the nervous, circulatory and bone systems. Causes anemia, weakness, insomnia, increases the risk of leukemia.
  • Trichlorethylene. Often contained in detergents intended for cleaning in the apartment. Causes dermatitis, drowsiness, chronic fatigue, disrupts liver function.
  • Ammonia. One of the frequent components of various solvents, detergents, various types of wall coverings. With constant exposure to the human body, it can negatively affect the condition of the lungs.

In order for the plants that clean the air to give the maximum effect, it is necessary to use them according to the basic rules:

  1. For a studio apartment, 4-6 pots with suitable seedlings are sufficient. The larger the space, the more there should be plantings.
  2. Contrary to popular belief, it is better to arrange compositions in groups. This will provide maximum impact on the atmosphere.
  3. Some green pets are poisonous for all their benefits. This must be taken into account when choosing a place for pots.
  4. Without proper care, plants cannot purify the air. Only absolutely healthy, well-developing specimens will give the desired effect.

Do not just mindlessly arrange attractive or rumored samples in rooms. It is necessary to decide on the assortment, based on existing problems and the desired result.

The best plants that increase the comfort of living in a residential or household type

In the space of the apartment, certain plants that can be selected based on their additional properties will be especially appropriate:

  • Chlorophytum. Its efficiency is so high that, if desired, it can be replaced by a hood. Accommodation is allowed not only in residential premises, but also in the kitchen. In the first case, the plant will fight with industrial poisons and toxins, in the second - with fat and soot after cooking. An additional plus of a green pet is its antibacterial effect. Chlorophytum is not very fastidious in care, most importantly, at elevated temperatures, provide it with high-quality watering.

Tip: The beneficial properties of chlorophytum will be strengthened many times if several crushed tablets of activated carbon are added to the soil of the plant and the bookmark is updated during transplantation.

  • Pelargonium. Provides cleaning and disinfection of air, saturates it with ozone. The plant is able to save a person from headaches of various etiologies, improve mood and eliminate signs of depression. For such a positive result, the pot should be kept in a bright place, and in winter, a decrease in ambient temperature is welcome. You need to water the flower often, but it is better to refuse spraying. Organic fertilizers added to the soil will reduce the effectiveness of the therapeutic effect.
  • Lemon. Everyone appreciates the flower for its ability to saturate the atmosphere with the aroma of freshness and purity. In addition, the plant kills microbes, cleans the air, has a sedative effect on home. Quite whimsical to care, especially with regard to temperature conditions. Most of the time it should be kept on the loggia.
  • Tsiperus. A natural humidifier that can normalize even the most overdried atmosphere. It can be put on a tray with water, then stable hydration and purification are provided. Most often, cyperus is placed in a children's room, where the optimal level of humidity is especially important. Care is based on maintaining the temperature regime, regularly moistening the roots and protecting the flower from direct sunlight.
  • Sansevieria. A unique medicine for insomnia that can guarantee people of any age a healthy sleep. This is ensured by the fact that at night the leaves of the plantation do not emit carbon dioxide, but oxygen. Watering should be very rare, manipulation is carried out through the pan. Water cannot be cold! To cure chronic insomnia in the room will have to put 5-6 pots of plants.
  • Cactus. Optimum protection of the person against electromagnetic radiation. Pots with cacti need to be placed in close proximity to televisions, computers and similar appliances. Additionally, the plant will release negative ions into the atmosphere, normalizing the microclimate. To do this, you only need to provide the flower with warmth and light.

The listed samples without problems are combined with each other, do not take up much space and have pronounced decorative properties, which allows you to use them in any room.

Efficiency plants that reduce the level of harmful substances in the room

In addition, there are plants whose action is strictly aimed at cleaning the air from components harmful to the human body.

  • Spathiphyllum. Actively absorbs toxins from almost all existing species. To achieve maximum effect, the leaves of the plant will have to be regularly cleaned from traces of dust, moisture and dirt. The flower does not respond well to a lack of light, drafts and stagnation of water.
  • Golden lotus. Unpretentious plant with a very original appearance. It is recommended to place it in pots under the ceiling. Complex maintenance is not required, it is only necessary to provide watering as the earth dries. In addition to eliminating most industrial toxins, it neutralizes carbon monoxide molecules (carbon monoxide), a small amount of which in the air can lead to anemia.
  • Dracaena. The plant not only neutralizes harmful substances, but also actively moisturizes the environment. The variety of types and colors will create a unique decor in the room. Care depends on the type of flower, but in any case does not differ in increased complexity.

  • Ivy English. A climbing evergreen plant can tolerate even the most severe conditions, most importantly, regularly water it. It copes well with toxins, salts of heavy metals, carbon monoxide residues.
  • Palm tree bamboo. It has a high degree of moisture in the winter, which allows to achieve the optimal degree of air humidification during the operation of heating devices. At the same time, it neutralizes the action of harmful components - from formaldehyde to xylene. To do this, the tree needs to be provided with high-quality watering and bright, but not direct light.
  • Chrysanthemum. A bright and beautiful flowering plant that can simultaneously decorate a room, kill microbes, improve the microclimate and eliminate harmful components in the atmosphere. A flower loves coolness and moisture, in such conditions even an annual can bloom in a year.

This is not all plantings that are useful for air in a residential or domestic building. If you understand all the intricacies of care, composition and placement of samples, even at home, you can ensure the composition of the air, the quality is comparable to coniferous forest.

1. Chlorophytum

Having settled in the room, chlorophytum (Chlorophytum) becomes its “lungs”: it collects carbon monoxide and many toxic substances from the air. In the removal of formaldehyde from the air and in the evolution of oxygen, it has no equal.


To many housewives it seems too simple, but if you add an interesting planter or suspend it on an unusual support, you will understand that it is not as simple as it seemed at first.

2. Ficus Benjamin

After chlorophytum, Benjamin's ficus (Ficus benjamina) is the best in terms of purifying the air from dust and toxic compounds released by furniture and plastic items.

Ficus Benjamin

An interesting feature of this plant is that during the growth process you can twist its trunks into a variety of bizarre shapes.

4. Room geranium, it is pelargonium

Despite the fact that pelargonium (Pelargonium) can adversely affect allergy sufferers, you still can not leave it unattended, as it is able to cope with pathogenic microbes and bacteria.


The thing is its essential oils, which (in the absence of contraindications) have a beneficial effect on the human body. Geranium improves sleep and calms the nervous system.

5. Sansevieria, or “mother-in-law's tongue”

I never get tired of repeating: this is just an extraordinary plant. Believe it or not, I forgot it in the summer on the balcony for a month. The temperature there in the daytime reached more than +35 ° C. It seemed that there was no chance of salvation, but Sansevieria surprised me with vitality! I poured a dry shoot of the plant and transferred it to the shade, and then I discovered a greened area at the rhizome. To celebrate, I fed him liquid fertilizer, and six months later he became more beautiful than before.


It is scientifically proven that this plant absorbs nitrogen oxides and formaldehydes. For the nursery, kitchen, and for any room - a good purchase.

6. The bamboo palm, she is a chamedorea

Hamedorea (Chamaedorea) - a very beautiful plant in the home garden will definitely be the queen. It perfectly moisturizes the air (which makes it easier to breathe in the room), and also removes formaldehyde from it.


The name of this palm tree comes from 2 Greek words: dorea, which means "gift", and chamai - "dwarf". In fact, this "gift", of course. not so dwarf (at home reaches 2 m in height), but it is very useful and beautiful. Take a look at such common species as elegant chamedorea (Chamaedorea elegans) and tall chamerodea (Chamaedorea elatior).

I have often heard the opinion that gerbera (Gerbera) is a useless plant and is acquired for beauty. And although she is one of my favorite flowers, I also thought so.

8. Cypress

Cypress (Chamaecyparis) takes dust and negative ions from the air from electrical appliances. And in return gives us positive ions, thereby discharging air.

Cypress. Photo from

It makes the air noticeably cleaner, fresher and more pleasant.

9. Lemon and orange trees

Citrus fruits are great air purifiers. The air in the room where lemons and oranges grow is free from germs and bacteria.

Homemade lemon

The essential oils of this plant are very useful, they calm the nervous system, and the air in the room seems to be filled with freshness. For many people, lemon is very troublesome to care for, and for someone it grows just like that, without much effort. If you want to make the same at home, the article Tame a bright fruit, or How to care for citrus fruits, will help you.

10. Begonia

Begonias (Begonia) grow in many apartments of our country, and for good reason! They attract dust and make the air more moist. It is only necessary to spray the begonia from the spray gun so that a new portion of dust is absorbed by the plant, like a vacuum cleaner.


In addition, begonias kill most fungi and germs from the air. In addition, they help to cope with the radiation of electrical appliances. And beautiful flowers - as a bonus to so many useful properties.

11. Laurel noble

Laurel (Laurus) is not uncommon in European homes, but here we have a real curiosity.

Laurel noble. Photo from

Just woven from utilities. The air will clear dust and germs and helps with various diseases. Despite the external simplicity, the plant is amazing in its healing and cleansing properties.

12. Dieffenbachia

People with frequent pulmonary diseases, Dieffenbachia (Dieffenbachia) will be just the way. It is able to destroy staphylococci that cause various unpleasant diseases.


Also, the plant traps and destroys toxic substances (toluene, xylene), released by coatings of floors and walls.

13. Dracaena

Dracaena (Dracaena) - also an excellent "orderly" air.


At one time, a small dracaena lived in our kitchen with windows on the Yaroslavl highway. Thanks to her, there was no odor from the street in the room, there was no gas contamination. She perfectly takes not only benzene from the air, but also trichlorethylene, flying with exhaust directly into the apartment.

Aloe (Aloe) is, probably, at all, and not without reason. And if not, you should definitely get one.


Aloe will remove formaldehyde from the new furniture from the air. And with diseases this plant is so irreplaceable at all! It will help with a cold or a runny nose - it is enough to instill a few drops of juice in the nose for prevention and treatment.

Aloe for colds

Phytoncides contained in aloe help relieve physical fatigue and stimulate brain activity.

15. Scheffler

Finally, I’ll tell you about the Schefflera. She is a real gift for a smoker or, rather, for his non-smoking relatives. Not only “smokes” with you, breathing in tar and nicotine, but also neutralizes them.


The plant is very beautiful, belongs to the largest family of the Araliev family. And to grow a shuffler a bright yellow-green color, you need a lot of diffused color.

Whatever plant you purchase, the main thing is that you like each other. When buying, it is worth considering how poisonous the plant is for children and animals, if any.

How plants purify the air

Phytoremediation is a complex of neutralization and purification from harmful substances and compounds of the soil, groundwater and atmospheric air using green plants. The term translated from Greek "phyton" - a plant and the Latin "remediium" - restore. From the point of view of home floriculture, we are interested in air purification.

Plants can directly decompose organic pollutants (pollutants) using their own enzymes to inorganic compounds that accumulate in the plant, or can be converted into a volatile form by the plant and released into the surrounding space in a harmless form.

But the plants that we grow on window sills are many, and the ability to phytoremediation is expressed differently in all. Perhaps everyone only heard about the benefits of chlorophytum and ficus ...

Research by scientists on air purification plants

The oldest known document is dated September 1989, studies were conducted to determine the usefulness of tropical plants in the case of creating a space station, observatory and residential complex on the Moon, and maybe on Mars. We studied 50 plants, mainly tropical and subtropical, some of the temperate climate. The chemicals selected for the study are benzene, trichlorethylene and formaldehyde.

Looking ahead, I’ll say right away that all 50 plants have shown the ability to neutralize harmful volatile compounds in the air, to varying degrees.

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USA), Department of Tropical Plants and Soil Science, published a paper in 2001 on Using indoor plants to clean indoor air. The work contains the most common interior and household items, as well as building materials and the most toxic substances in them. The document also mentions that not all indoor plants are effective in terms of cleaning, and it is advisable to grow those that are easiest to care for, grow quickly and do not require much.

Here are just a small part of what we breathe:

Contaminants can accumulate in a confined space, the doses and toxicity of volatile substances from synthetic building and decoration materials are especially high.

Air purification in the apartment

One way to clean your home air is to grow indoor plants. Which house flowers are more effective, which are less - information is constantly changing. Let me give you an example: a study of Korean scientists, conducted in 2006, and was presented at the 8th International Congress of Physiological Anthropology in Kamakura (Japan):

Two laboratories - airtight rooms 3.5 by 3.5 m, 2.4 m high, without ventilation, in which the sensors are placed. Первая лаборатория наполнялась растениями в горшках, вторая – контрольная, оставалась пустой. Вредные летучие газы подавались одинаково в оба помещения. Через час показания приборов снимались - измерялись изменения уровней бензола, толуола, этилбензола, ксилола и формальдегида.

Чтобы показать роль количественного влияния растений, опыты проводились дважды: в первом случае в комнату помещали такое количество растений, чтобы они занимали 10% всего пространства, во втором - только 5%.

В эксперименте участвовали три растения:

  • Аглаонема короткопокрывальчатая Aaglaonema brevispathum
  • Пахира водная Pachira aquatica
  • Фикус бенджамина Ficus benjamiana.

Что удивительно: все три растения бесспорно очищали воздух, более эффективно, почти в два раза лучше в тех группах, где количество растений составляло 10% площади помещений. Но Пахира оказалась более эффективной по нейтрализации этилбензола и особенно бензола - снижение составило 76,3% по сравнению с начальным уровнем – за час нейтрализовано 15,7 мг/м3. Аглаонема снизила уровень бензола на 44,7% - нейтрализовала 8 мг/м3, а фикус – на 40%, нейтрализовал примерно 6 мг/м3 за час.

В отношении других газов эффективность растений изменилась: с толуолом лучше справилась Аглаонема. The picture was as follows: Aglaonema neutralized 45.6 mg / m3 per hour, ficus 36.1 mg / m3, Pakhira 31 mg / m3 toluene, which is 10% of the vegetation area.

With respect to xylene, Aglaonema and Pakhira showed the same effectiveness, slightly less - ficus. Reductions were 10.4-11.9 mg / m3. Formaldehyde most effectively removed Aglaonema - 330.8 mg / m3.

The experimenters Jeong-Eun Song, Yong-Shik Kim and Jang Yeul Sohn did not stop there, they checked the "work" of plants to clean from harmful gases in different light conditions . During testing, it turned out that the intensity of sunlight seriously affects air purification, but also depends on the type of plant. Two groups were compared, placed under intense lighting and with light diffused light.

The results are as follows: Aglaonema and Pakhira cleaned the air much better under more intense light, Ficus benjamina is almost the same in any light.

Modern research of indoor plants

More recent studies on air purification from benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene using such popular indoor plants as Dracaena derema Dracaena deremensis and Opuntia small-leaved Opuntia microdasys were published in the December 2014 Journal of Environmental Health Science and Engineering.

The experiments were carried out in a chamber with a volume of 30 m3 - this is approximately the middle room with a length of 4 m, a width of 3 m and a height of 2.5 m. Three-year-old plants were planted in pots with a diameter of 10 cm. But a visual assessment of the equivalence of plants is a weak argument, therefore, for the clarity of the experiment plants were selected according to the same leaf surface area: 1380 cm2 for dracaena and 1350 cm2 for prickly pear.

Two months before the experiment, the pots lived and got used to the laboratory conditions: a temperature of about 20 ° C ± 3, and a light regime of 12/12 hours of dark / light periods. Plants were watered every three days. All plants were watered one hour before the experiments under the influence of a gas mixture.

The chamber was filled with: 16 mg / m3 of benzene, 8 mg / m3 of toluene, 22 mg / m3 of xylene and 22 mg / m3 of ethylbenzene. Prickly pear removed all toxic substances completely after 36, 40, 30 and 39 hours, respectively.

For the purity of the experiment, indicators were compared

  • in an empty cell
  • in a chamber with plants
  • in a chamber with pots with soil, from which the plants were removed along with the roots (only soil was left)

And I must say that the prickly pear cope twice as fast and more efficiently than dracaena:

The small prickly prickly pear cactus was able to completely neutralize 2 ppm of benzene (6.5 mg / m3) from the air in the test chamber after 48 hours. Dracaena Derema - after 105 hours.

Useful Potted Flowers

Screening of indoor plants for air purification from volatile organic pollutants was carried out by Dong Sik Young, Stanley J. Keyes and other group of scientists. They tested the twenty-eight most common indoor plants for the effectiveness of air purification from aromatic hydrocarbons (benzene and toluene), aliphatic hydrocarbons (octane), halogenated hydrocarbons (trichlorethylene - TCE), and terpenes (a-pinene).

Here are the test results:

As you can see, Hemigraphy alternating Hemigraphis alternata, Common ivy Hedera helix, beautiful Hoya Hoya carnosa, and Asparagus densely flowered Asparagus densiflorus - showed the highest efficiency in removing all pollutants. The pale tradescantia Tradescantia pallida has been shown to be highly effective in removing four of the five volatile compounds (benzene, toluene, trichlorethylene, and a-pinene).

As you can see, some plants are more effective in removing some carcinogens, and less effective in relation to others. Therefore, the more diverse the plants on your windowsills, the more there are, and the healthier they are, the cleaner the air in your home. The quantity and health of plants is important because the air-cleaning ability of plants is interconnected with a large number of stomata on the leaves.

Recommendations from in order for the air in your house to become significantly cleaner, you need at least three medium plants (in a pot with a diameter of 20 cm) for an apartment of approximately 55-56 square meters. m. If your apartment has recently been renovated or purchased new furniture, you will need approximately 20 indoor plants (4-5 per room) to neutralize harmful fumes, which will be actively allocated for another 6-12 months.

Returning to NASA research, I consider it necessary to draw your attention to this point. The first studies proved the usefulness of indoor plants, but in the course of testing, scientists were interested in the question of leaf defoliation, are only plant leaves really clean the air? Therefore, NASA scientists conducted a second study and obtained very interesting results.

The experiment involved Dracaena marginata:

  • common potted plants with developed crown
  • potted plants (with leaves) covered the soil with a thick layer of gravel
  • cut off all the leaves of dracaena, left hemp up to 5 cm tall, the soil in the pot is not closed
  • control pots with ground (without roots)

The results of the experiments showed that plant roots and microorganisms associated with them, as a mini-ecosystem, are the main cause of chemical purification, at least in this study! This is not surprising, because the trimmed plant continued to function - after a week it already grows new shoots, and after three it has a small crown.

Another test showed that even within the same plant genus, different species purify the air differently:

  1. Dracaena fragrant Dracaena fragrans "Mass Cane"
  2. Chrysanthemum Potted
  3. Gerbera Jameson Gerbera jamesonii
  4. Dracaena deremsky grade Warney Dracaena deremensis "Warneckei"
  5. Ficus Benjamina Ficus Beniamina

Please note: Fragrant dracaena - significantly exceeds its sister Dracaena Derema in terms of air purification efficiency.

The best indoor plants for air purification

  • Aglaonema curly Aglaonema crispum
  • Short-horned aglaonema Aaglaonema brevispathum
  • Adiantum venerein hair Adiantum capillus-veneris
  • Alocasia large-rhizome Alocasia macrorrhizos
  • Aloe Vera
  • Anthurium Andre Anthurium andraeanum
  • Variegated Araucaria Araucaria heterophylla
  • Asparagus densely flowered Asparagus densiflorus
  • Asparagus bristly Asparagus setaceus
  • Aspidistra high Aspidistra elatior
  • Dwarf banana Musa acuminata
  • Begonia ever flowering Begonia Semperflorens
  • Hemigraphis alternating Hemigraphis alternata
  • Fragrance geranium Pelargonium graveolens
  • Gerbera Jameson Gerbera jamesonii
  • Guzmania Guzmania
  • Dendrobium Dendrobium
  • Dipsis yellowish Dypsis lutescens (Chrysalidocarpus Chrysalidocarpus)
  • Dieffenbachia spotted Dieffenbachia maculata
  • Dracaena derema Deacaena dermensis
  • Dracaena fragrant Dracaena fragrans
  • Kalanchoe Blossfeld Kalanchoe blossfeldiana
  • Calathea Makoya Calthea Makoyana
  • Calathea pinkish-painted Calathea roseopicta
  • Clivia cinnabar Clivia miniata
  • Variegated Codiaeum Codiaeum variegatum
  • Liriope spiky Liriope spicata
  • Maranta white-chested Maranta leuconeura
  • Monstera delicate Monstera deliciosa
  • Nephrolepis elevated Nephrolepis exaltata
  • Nephrolepis hearty Nephrolepis obliterate
  • Prickly pear Opuntia microdasys
  • Prickly pear prickly Opuntia stricta
  • Pachira water Pachira aquatica
  • Pachira large-fruited Pachira macrocarpa
  • Peperomia clusiifolia Peperomia clusiifolia
  • Common ivy Hedera helix
  • Poliscias shrubby Polyscias fruticosa
  • Poinsettia or Euphorbia beautiful Euphorbia pulcherrima
  • Rapis tall Rhapis excels
  • Rhododendron Sims Rhodedendron simsii
  • Ruellia tuberous Ruellia tuberosa
  • Sansevieria Three-Striped Sansevieria trifasciata
  • Syngonium pinnate Syngonium podophyllum
  • Spathiphyllum Wallis Spathiphyllum wallisii
  • Tradescantia pale Tradescantia pallida
  • Phalaenopsis Phalaenopsis
  • Ficus benjamina Ficus benjamina
  • Ficus binnendica Ficus binnendijkii "Alii"
  • Ficus rubbery (elastic) Ficus robusta
  • Philodendron blushing Philodendron erubescens
  • Philodendron bifolia Philodendron selloum
  • Philodendron home Philodendron domesticum
  • Philodendron ivy Philodendron hederaceum
  • Date Robenelen Phoenix roebelenii
  • Fittonia white-bellied Fittonia albivenis
  • Hamedorea Zeifritsa Chamaedorea seifrizii
  • Hamedorea graceful Chamaedorea elegans
  • Chlorophytum crested Chlorophytum comosum
  • Howea Belmore Howea belmoreana
  • Beautiful Hoya Hoya carnosa
  • Homalomen Wallace Homalomena wallisii
  • Chrysanthemum garden (potted distillation) Chrysanthemum morifolium
  • Persian cyclamen Cyclamen persicum
  • Cissus rhomboid Cissus rhombifolia
  • Scheffler wood Schefflera arboricola
  • Schefflera graceful Schefflera elegantissima
  • Schlumbergera Schlumbergera
  • Epipremnum golden Epipremnum aureum
  • Aechmea striped Aechmea fasciata

This is just a list of plants that have been studied, and have shown some or quite substantial effectiveness in neutralizing harmful fumes in the air. If we talk about families, the most promising ones are Aroid, Palm, Asparagus.

Grow indoor plants, among 70 species listed in the list you can find plants for every taste and any difficulty growing. The more diverse the vegetation in your home, the better, provided that the plants are healthy and regularly cleaned from dust. If you are a beginner in floriculture, I strongly advise you to start with choosing Dragena Fragrant, Ficus Benjamin or Monstera, as the most unpretentious and affordable.