Breathe Easy: 5 Air-Purifying Plants for a Healthy Home

As the seasons change and pollutants grow incessantly inside our homes, more and more people are turning to nature’s very own HVAC for a home-grown solution — plants! In this guide, you’ll learn all about picking the best indoor plants for clean air, along with how it all works.

a tula house air purifying plants

How Do Plants Clean The Air?

Indoor plant sales have been growing at over 7% annually since 2021, driven in part by the promise of cleaner air. As someone looking to enliven their space with plants you should know that while they do clean up the air, they’re not going to substitute a bonafide air purifier. Here’s how these plants work:

  • Density: While the plants on this list do purify the air, they do so at a slow pace that might not be immediately evident to an inhabitant. Density is important here. For example, a shop full of air-purifying plants will likely have an immediately noticeable amount of clean air compared to a bedroom with a single Pothos plant.
  • Surface Area: In a nutshell, larger leaf sizes translate to a higher amount of clean air. Some of the best indoor plants for clean air will boast a larger surface area, giving them more space for stomata. It is these stomata that take in the CO2 from your space in exchange for oxygen. It’s worth making a bit of room for a bigger plant if you’re looking for faster results.

  • #1: Alocasia imperialis

    The Alocasia imperialis is a crowd favorite when it comes to air-purifying plants. Also known as ‘Nebula,’ this plant traces its origins all the way back to Northwestern Malaysia, and its unique appearance often makes it the first thing visitors spot in a room.

    Surface area is king here. The Alocasia imperialis’ distinctive dark green foliage covers a much larger area than traditional indoor plants like the Golden Pothos. This deep emerald plant’s temperament also makes it a great choice as an indoor plant. It prefers to stay out of direct sunlight and only requires occasional watering to thrive.

    The Alocasia imperialis air purifying plant in a brown planter

    #2: Anthurium radicans x luxurians

    This striking hybrid plant combines the appealing deep green of a Monstera with the large leaf sizes of an Alocasia imperialis. The Anthurium radicans is one of the best indoor plants for clean air with its large waxy leaves that can hold water for extended periods of time, making it a low-maintenance option for those with a busy lifestyle. Keep this air-purifying plant in bright, indirect light and only water it when the top layer of soil is completely dry to maximize growth.

    An Anthurium radicans air purifying plant in a green pot

    #3: Philodendron gloriosum

    The Philodendron gloriosum is a tropical plant that immediately stands out from the crowd with its pulsing white vein-like design coursing through its leaves. This plant doesn’t just remove CO2 from your room, it can also reduce the concentration of other harmful pollutants like benzene and formaldehyde in light quantities. You’ll want to avoid waterlogging with this plant as it can be surprisingly good at retaining moisture for days on end. 

    a Philodendron gloriosum air purifying plant against a black background

    #4: Monstera pinnatipartita 

    True to its iconic name, the Monstera pinnatipartita, or ‘Siam’, is a popular air-purifying plant that can fit in just about anywhere with minimal maintenance. This plant’s gigantic surface area makes it more efficient than most other plants at purification, and it can even be directed to grow downwards in a cramped space to cover more ground. We recommend using plant ties or a support pole to stop the Monstera pinnatipartita’s stems from drooping under their own weight.

    an air purifying Monstera plant with a support pole

    #5: Alocasia heterophylla

    As you can tell by our list, the best indoor plants for clean air will generally be tropical plants with large foliage. What sets Alocasia heterophylla apart is its unique leaves that compensate for their limited width with an elongated shape, giving this plant the nickname ‘Dragon’s Breath.’ If you’re looking for a plant that can cast a unique silhouette while still efficiently absorbing harmful organic contaminants, this should be at the top of your list. 

    An Alocasia heterophylla air purifying plant in a green pot

    Take Care Of Your Air Purifying Plants

    The right plants will take care of you and your favorite spaces, but they also need regular care for a long and healthy life. Maintaining these plants isn’t particularly time-consuming or difficult, but you should have a general idea of the tools you’ll need and how to use them.

    Niwaki Snips

    Originating in Japan, these pruning shears are an indispensable tool that can save you a ton of time and effort down the road. Make sure to keep a pair of Niwaki snips handy once you’ve selected some air-purifying plants for your room. 

    Niwaki snips being used on a plant

    Use the snips to cleanly cut yellowing leaves off to prevent diseases like leaf rot from spreading. Make sure to try for a quick and clean cut right at the base of the leaf/stem to avoid damaging the rest of the plant. These snips are also great for making the best indoor plants for clean air look even better! You can snip off excess growth and direct the growth of your plants to suit your aesthetic. 

    At-Home Plant Care Services

    As simple as plant maintenance can be, tons of working professionals just don’t have the time to keep a regular watch on their air-purifying plants. Enlisting the help of our at-home plant maintenance service is one of the best ways to ensure your plants are getting the care they deserve. Our reliable plant care team will tailor their services to your requirements, whether that means repotting and cleaning after a mealybug infestation or even design and lighting consulting.

    A Breath Of Fresh Air For Your Home

    Investing in the right plant can rejuvenate the air and overall vibe of your home. Combine these plants to transform your favorite rooms into comfortable spaces where the mind is free to roam and the body can truly relax. 

    If you’d like help picking out the best indoor and rare plants for clean air, whether that’s for your home or workplace, head over to Tula House! We have helped thousands of businesses and homeowners bring profound beauty to their favorite places, and we would love to do it for you. Reach out to speak to an expert today.
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