Low-Maintenance House Plants That Purify the Air

As the months start to get colder, one way to satisfy your green thumb is to bring a little bit of the outdoors inside. House plants can make any space feel cheerier, and with these low-maintenance solutions, caring for your new botanical friends shouldn’t be too difficult. The added bonus? These thriving home accessories also will make your space feel fresh and rejuvenated, as they all have the ability to purify the air. NASA suggests that every household have 10-15 plants for air purification, so let the search begin!

We’ve compiled ten of the best house plants to try out as the outdoor trees start to lose their leaves and as snow begins to fall. You’ll love them so much that they are sure to become year-round staples to make your space more inviting and your oxygen cleaner.

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Icon Key for House Plants

As you explore the house plants below, be sure to consider what each icon means to describe the plants. The exclamation point means that the plant is harmful for cats and dogs, so if you decide on these varieties, be sure that it is placed where your furry friends can’t reach them. Please note, that this symbol can also mean that the plant is toxic to humans if ingested or can cause irritation for skin, so if you have little ones around, this plant might not be ideal for your family. The tear drop signifies how much water each of the house plants needs. The windmill will inform you of the air purification level, or the level of the plant’s ability to clear the air. Finally, the sunshine and clouds will tell you the best environment for the plant to thrive, or in other words, how much sunlight it should be exposed to.

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English Ivy

  • Sunlight: Partial sun to partial shade
  • Water: 1/4
  • Air Purification: 4/5
  • Dangerous for Pets/Kids: Yes

This vining plant is best known for its evergreen foliage that is often used as a ground covering or as it climbs up brick walls or fences. When you care for the English ivy, be sure to water it fully, but infrequently. This means water the plant until water comes out of the bottom, but then wait until the soil is almost completely dry to water it again. In regards to sunlight, the English ivy should avoid direct sunlight, and also responds well to florescent light. Nasa scientists listed the English ivy as the number one air-filtering plant, and it is most effective for absorbing formaldehyde.

Rubber Plant

  • Sunlight: Partial sun to partial shade
  • Water: 3/4
  • Air Purification: 4/5
  • Dangerous for Pets/Kids: Yes

The rubber plant is one of the most common types of house plants, and it requires moderate attention. When watering this plant, water it with lukewarm (not cold, as this can shock the plant). These house plants thrive in humid, moist environments, so in between waterings, you may want to spray the leaves. If you start to notice the leaves turning yellow, cut back on watering, because this means that the plant has too much water.

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Peace Lilly

  • Sunlight: Full shade
  • Water: 2/4
  • Air Purification: 5/5
  • Dangerous for Pets/Kids: Yes

Peace lillies, also known as closet plants, are a popular type of house plant because they are relatively easy to care for and their pure white blossoms are pretty to look at. Try not to expose your peace lilly to direct sun or cold temperatures, or it can develop brown, shriveled leaves. You’ll want to water this house plant about once a week, but only enough to make the soil damp. Watering too little will make the plant droop, but watering too much will cause the roots to rot, which could kill the plant. The peace lilly is good at removing toxins from the air.

Aloe Plant

  • Sunlight: Full sun
  • Water: 1/4
  • Air Purification: 2/5
  • Dangerous for Pets/Kids: No

Aloe plants are native to tropical regions, but can be one of the best house plants for indoors as well. The soothing aloe vera gel found inside the plant can heal burns, and when the “babies” sprout off the main plant, you can break them, repot, and give to a friend. The Aloe plant prefers an area where they receive direct sunlight at least part of the day, so place this home accent near a window, where it can soak in the rays. This plant is great at clearing the air of pollutants caused by chemical cleaning products, and when the amount of harmful chemicals in the air becomes excessive, the plant’s leaves will display brown spots.

Spider Plant

  • Sunlight: Partial sun
  • Water: 3/4
  • Air Purification: 2/5
  • Dangerous for Pets/Kids: No

The easy-to-grow spider plant produces curved green and light yellow leaves and looks especially pretty in a hanging basket. This plant requires moderate watering, so be sure to not let the soil get dry. The spider appreciates partial sun, but not direct sunlight. Like the aloe plant, once the spider plant has “babies,” you can replant them to grow a new plant. Spider plants are effective at fighting pollutants commonly found in the home such as benzene, formaldehyde, carbon dioxide, and xylene.

Bamboo Palm

  • Sunlight: Partial shade to full shade
  • Water: 4/4
  • Air Purification: 2/5
  • Dangerous for Pets/Kids: No

Potted bamboo palm house plants bring color and warmth to any room in the home. They also made NASA’s list of top clean-air plants with a purifying score of 8.4. It’s also particularly effective at clearing out benzene and trichloroethylene. These need to be well-watered and live in shade or indirect sunlight.

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Florist Chrysanthemum

  • Sunlight: Full sun
  • Water: 4/4
  • Air Purification: 5/5
  • Dangerous for Pets/Kids: No

The potted mum has a incredible transpiration rate, which makes it effective at cleaning the air. You should water these house plants about twice a week, always keeping the soil moist. You also will need to allow the florist chrysanthemum to get plenty of bright light. Usually only used as a temporary plant in our homes, your mum will most likely stick around for 6-8 weeks.

Red-Edged Dracaena

  • Sunlight: Partial sun
  • Water: 2/4
  • Air Purification: 4/5
  • Dangerous for Pets/Kids: Yes

Dragon trees need moderate to bright indirect sunlight to thrive. A sure way to kill one of these house plants is to over water it, so let water go through the bottom of the pot, but drain excess so it isn’t sitting in standing water. Make sure to wait until the soil is dry to the touch to water it again. The red-edged dracaena starts as a table plant, but it will grow quickly to become a floor plant that effectively purifies your air from toxins. Fifteen foot dracaenas are common, but you can control their height by cutting of the top at the desired tallness.

Snake Plant

  • Sunlight: Partial sun, partial shade, or full shade
  • Water: 2/4
  • Air Purification: 4/5
  • Dangerous for Pets/Kids: Yes

A snake plant has upright leaves with light, wavy, crossing lines that give it its name. It will survive in a variety of sunlight conditions, but will continue to grow in moderate or indirect sunlight. You’ll want to make sure these house plants are quite dry before watering. Be sure to water on the outside edges of the pot, and don’t put water directly into the roots of the plant. The snake plant is special because it absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen during the night (while most house plants do this during the day). Place one in your bedroom for a fresh and clean nighttime slumber.

Fiddle Leaf Fig

  • Sunlight: Full sun to partial sun
  • Water: 2/4
  • Air Purification: 2/5
  • Dangerous for Pets/Kids: Yes

The fiddle leaf fig is one of the most “it” house plants of the moment. Besides being aesthetically pleasing, the fiddle leaf fig isn’t difficult to care for. You can water the plant about once a week, or when the soil starts to look dry. Try to keep the plant in an area where it will get ample sunlight to thrive. When the leaves get dusty, be sure to give them a good wipe-down with a wet cloth.

Download the full plant guide in one easy printable.

Want new house plants but have no open surface space to place them? Try Furniture Row’s Galvanized Plant Stands to fix the problem!

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Or do you want to display your house plants in a more mobile setting? Try placing your pots in the Galvanized Trolley, to make sure that your plants are getting the sunlight they need all day.

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