Houseplants That Clean The Air And Help You Breath

Add some houseplants and take in a relaxing breath of fresh air!

Next time you are at Lowes or your favorite garden center, take a look at some of the indoor plants. They really do help clean the air! Indoor air pollutants are a real risk to your health.  Pollutants stick around in the air and we wind up breathing them in.

Living and working in places with air contaminants and poor ventilation can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and eye, ear, and nose irritation. You can use houseplants to help clean the air and make it more comfortable and easier to breath.

How do houseplants help clean the air?

Plants absorb particulates from the air when they take in carbon dioxide, which is then processed into oxygen through photosynthesis. Microorganisms present in the potting soil are also responsible for much of the cleaning effect .

Plants make people feel better. Did you ever bring a plant to a sick friend or someone in the hospital? People with plants in their homes or around the office, always seem more positive and usually have lower blood pressure and stress levels. Lowes has some great houseplants that can do the job!

Peace Lily: Reduces VOCs, like ammonia from cleaning products. It also will help humidify the air.

Boston Fern: Removes formaldehyde and xylene. Boston fern also breaks down the pollutants in the root’s system.

Golden Pothos: Hang one in the kitchen  It stays green even when kept in the darkest room.

Areca Palm: The Areca palm removes toluene and xylene.

Rubber Plant: Rubber plant is effective at removing formaldehyde from indoor air.

English Ivy  English ivy is known for its ability to remove formaldehyde from the air.

Toxins That Could Be In Your Home

The most common airborne chemicals we encounter at home or in the office include:


  • Found in window cleaners, floor wax, fertilizers
  • Causes eye irritation, coughing, and sore throat.


  •  A solvent found in printing inks, paints, lacquers, varnishes, adhesive, paint remover, and thinner.
  • Trichloroethylene can cause panic, dizziness, nausea, headache, drowsiness and vomiting.


  • Used in facial tissues, synthetic fabrics, toilet paper.
  • Exposure can cause irritation to nose, mouth, and throat.


  • Found in plastic, resin, detergent, pesticides.
  • Exposure to benzene can cause eye irritation, drowsiness, confusion, and unconsciousness.


  • Found in rubber, tobacco smoke, and vehicle exhaust.
  • Can cause dizziness, heart problems, kidney damage, and coma.

Indoor plants can remove a significant amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are the toxic compounds – trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, and ammonia.

Each plant has its own favorite room conditions, so look for the informational tag that comes with the plant or look online to find out how much sunlight and water it will need. If your plant doesn’t come in a nice looking pot, or if it outgrows its original one, you will need to repot it. Always use a pot that’s at least one inch larger than the previous container.

Add some potting soil to the bottom, and place the plant so that the top of the soil remains just below the top of the pot. Carefully pack more potting soil around the edges of the plant and water it.

Most air-purifying plants are easy to take care of. Ask your Lowes garden associate about your plant care. Or you can do your own online research about the specific plants you are looking for and see which ones are best for you.

More helpful plant care tips

  • Before getting a new houseplant, ask a friend or research care requirements.
  • Use plants that are known to do well under your home or office conditions.
  • If you have children or a cat or a dog at home, check to see if the indoor plant is toxic.
  • Do not overwater your plants.
  • Keep houseplants away from sources of heat like a fireplace, stove, or heating vents.
  • Wipe the dust off leaves with a soft, damp cloth about once a month.

It’s more than just the outside air you need to worry about. There are toxins floating around outside and inside because of pesticides, vehicle fumes, and other industrial pollutants.

Houseplants are efficient purifiers. Especially when you can’t enjoy going outside in the winter, or at work, bring the outside indoors and get yourself a houseplant for your home or office. Place as many plants as you can in the rooms you use most. You will generally want at least two plants for every 100 square feet of space.

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