The NASA Guide to Air-Filtering Houseplants Infographic

This list of houseplants has been scientifically proven to remove toxins from the air, according to the NASA Clean Air Study.

In 1989 NASA did a study to find the best plants that can remove toxins from the air.  The study analyzed 12 plants and measured their abilities to clean toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethane from the air.  

NASA found that the bigger and leafier the plant the better.  "The increased surface area of the leaves seems to increase the amount of air the plant can clean. The amount of leaf surface area influences the rate of air purification.”  The study found that the bigger the leaves the more air the plant could clean.  

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=19930073077


Toxins in Our Air

Trichloroethylene: Found in printing inks, paints, lacquers, varnishes, adhesives and paint remover/stripper.

How does Trichloroethylene effect me?

Symptoms associated with short term exposure include excitement, dizziness, headache, nausea and vomiting followed by drowsiness and coma.

Formaldehyde

Found in paper bags, waxed papers, facial tissues, paper towels, table napkins, particle board, plywood paneling, and synthetic fabrics.

How does formaldehyde effect me?

Symptoms associated with short-term exposure include irritation to nose, mouth and throat, and in severe cases, swelling of the larynx and lungs.

Benzene

Used to make plastics, resins, synthetic fibers, rubber lubricants, dyes, detergents, drugs and pesticides. Can also be found in tobacco smoke, vehicle exhausts, glue, paint, and furniture wax.

How Does Benzene Effect Me?

Symptoms associated with short term exposure include irritation to eyes, drowsiness, dizziness, increase in heart rate, headaches, confusion and in some cases can result in unconsciousness.

Xylene

Found in printing, rubber, leather and paint industries, tobacco smoke and vehicle exhausts.

How Does Xylene Effect Me?

Symptoms associated with short term exposure include irritation to mouth and throat, dizziness, headache, confusion, heart problems, liver and kidney damage and coma.

Ammonia

Found in window cleaners, floor waxes, smelling salts and fertilizers.

How Does Ammonia Effect Me?

Symptoms associated with short term exposure include eye irritation, coughing and sore throat.

The NASA Guide to Air-Filtering Houseplants Infographic

The NASA Guide to Air-Filtering Houseplants Infographic

#1 - Dwarf Date Palm

Dwarf Date Palm

Dwarf date palm(Phoenix roebelenii): Indigineous to southeast asia the Dwarf Palm is a small to medium sized slow growing tree.  It will grow to 6-10 ft tall when fully grown.  Has a minimum growing temperature of 26 degrees farenheit.  This plant is easy to grow and does well in part shade to full sun and is both tolerant to over and under watering as long as there is good drainage.  USDA Hardiness zone in zones 9-11.  Non-toxic to pets. 

#2. Broadleaf Lady Palm

broadleaf_lady_palm

broadleaf_lady_palm

Broadleaf Lady Palm (Rhapis Excelsa):

#3. Boston Fern

Boston Fern Ideal Growing Conditions

Boston Fern Ideal Growing Conditions

Boston fern(Nephrolepis exaltata'Bostoniensis'): Native to tropical regions around the world the Boston fern is a evergreen perennial plant that grows up to 3 ft.  Prefers bright indirect light but does not like direct sun.   Needs humidity and damp soil.  Main cause of death for this plant is dry soil.  Boston ferns need to be in an enivorment above freezing.  Temperatures below 32 degrees fare height will kill the plant.  Best in temps between 68 and 78 F.  USDA Hardiness zone 10. 

#4. Kimberly Queen Fern

KIMBERLY-QUEEN-FERN

KIMBERLY-QUEEN-FERN

Kimberley queen fern(Nephrolepis obliterata):  Originated in Australia but easy to cultivate indoors.  Prefers shade but can survive in indirect sun.  Needs temps between 60-75 F.  Needs humidity and damp soil.  If humidity is too low the fern will develop brown and crispy fronds. 

#5. English Ivy

englishivy

englishivy

English ivy (Hedera helix):  Native to Europe and Western Asia.  Evergreen vine that prefers shade.  Can grow up to 50 ft long but is slow growing in the beginning.   Prefers moist humid conditions but does not like soaking.  Don’t let the soil dry out or become water logged. USDA Hardiness zone: 4-9

#6. Spider Plant

spider-plant

spider-plant

Spider plant(Chlorophytum comosum): Native to tropical regions can grow up to 2 ft high.  One of the easiest plants to grow and can survive in less than perfect conditions.   Prefers bright light but can survive in semi-shade and partial sun.  Do not let soil drop below freezing.  Tolerant to over and under watering.   USDA hardiness 9-11

#7. Pothos (Devils Ivy)

pothos devilsivy

pothos devilsivy

Devil's ivy, Pothos plant (Epipremnum aureum):  Native to polynesia and has been naturalized in tropical and subtropical forests worldwide.  Evergreen vine that grows up to 1310 ft tall in the wild.  Typical size is 6 to 10 feet mature size but has the potential to grow 40 feet or more indoors.  Prefers bright indirect light but can also grow in shade to partial shade.  Like well drained soil and does not like over watering.  You can tell when to water the Pothos when the leaves start to droop.

USDA Hardiness zone: 10-11

#8. Peace Lily

peace lily ideal growing conditions

peace lily ideal growing conditions

Peace lily(Spathiphyllum 'Mauna Loa'):  Native to the Americas and South East Asia.  Grows to about 5 ft tall.  Shade loving plant.  Prefers temps above 55F.  Prefers humidity and damp soil.  Easy to take care of plant. 

#9. Flamingo Lily

flamingo lily

flamingo lily

Flamingo lily(Anthurium andraeanum)Flowering plant native to Columbia and Ecuador. This plant prefers warm, humid and shady climates.    Grows up to 2 ft tall and has red colored flowering leaves.  Does not like continually moist soil.  It is best to water and let soil thoroughly dry out before watering again.  Over watering is the primary cause for death of this plant as it is more susceptible to root rot than other plants.  Does best in temps between 70-90F.  Hardiness zone: 10-11

#10. Chinese Evergreen

chinese-evergreen

chinese-evergreen

Chinese evergreen(Aglaonema modestum)- Native to tropical and subtropical regions in Asia and New Guinea.  Do not let soil temp drop below 59F or risk injuring the plant.  Low soil temp will result in dark greasy looking patches on the leaves.  Grows 1 to 3 ft tall. Requires low water and low light conditions.  Super easy to grow. 

#11. Bamboo Palm

baboo palm

baboo palm

Bamboo palm(Chamaedorea seifrizii) – Native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas.  Grows between 3 and 12 feet tall with a width of 3 to 5 feet.  Grows best in bright indirect light but can also survive in medium and low light.  Does not like overwatering.  Prefers temps between 65-80F. 

Zone 10 -11. 

#12. Snake Plant (Mother-in-laws tongue)

snake plant

snake plant

Variegated snake plant, mother-in-law's tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii') – Native to Africa, india and arabia the snake plant is one of the hardiest plants.  HOwerver does not like to get too cold, temp 70-90F is best.   Prefers light shade.  Grows to 2 – 4 ft tall.  Is tolerant to over and under watering but does not like soil to get water logged.  Over watering can kill this plant. 

Zone 9-11. 

#13.  Lilyturf

liriope lilyturf

liriope lilyturf

Lilyturf (Liriope):  

Hardiness zone 9-11

#14.  Cornstalk Dracaena

Cornstalk Dracaena Care

Cornstalk Dracaena Care

Cornstalk dracaena(Dracaena fragrans'Massangeana') – Native to tropical Africa.  Grows 2-10 ft tall.  Grows best in bright indirect light but is also tolerant to lower light levels.  Lower light will result in thinner foliage.  Prefers temps between 50-70F.

Hardiness zone: 10-12

#15.  Weeping Fig

weepingfig growing conditions

weepingfig growing conditions

Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina) – Native to India and SE Asia.  Prefers bright room with a little direct sun in the morning.  Natively it grows in semi shady conditions but indoors it needs more light to survive.  Likes moist fast draining soil.  Crispy leaves indicate under watering and if the leave is foldable it indicates over watering.  Leaves drop off if watering is over or under.   Indoor variety grows up to 3ft tall.  Prefers temps around 65F.  Can handle temps a bit lower than 50F. 

Hardiness zone:  10-11

#16.  Barberton Daisy

BarbertonDaisy

BarbertonDaisy

Barberton daisy(Gerbera jamesonii).  Indigenous to SE Africa.  Flowering plant available in many colors.  Grows to about 1 ft tall.  Does not tolerate frost.  Prefers temps 55-75F.  Lover of direct sunlight does best in south, east or west facing windows. Always keep the soil moist.  Does not do well with under watering.  Plant will start wilting if under watered. 

Hardiness: 8-10

#17.  Chrysanthemum (Pot Mum)

chrysanthemum morifolium

chrysanthemum morifolium

Pot Mum (Chrysanthemum Morifolium)– Native to Asia and NE Europe.  Grows up to 18 inches high.  Handles temps between 50°F - 65°F.  Chrysanthemum is a flowering plant that comes in a variety of colors.  Needs 5-6 hours of light a day.  Does not like to get soggy and so let the soil drain well before watering again.  

Hardiness zone:  3-9

 








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Exposure/Control Reduction %
1 sec control 1 sec exposure 70.60%
5 sec control 5 sec exposure 93.45%
5 min control 5 min exposure 97.95%

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