9 Air-Cleaning Houseplants That Are Crazy Easy to Maintain

Updated on April 23, 2019
Kaitlyn Lo profile image

Kaitlyn is a freelance writer who writes articles that teach people how to lean on their minds, bodies, hearts, and on those around them.

By Arnon Suksumran. CC0 Creative Commons
By Arnon Suksumran. CC0 Creative Commons | Source

Most of us spend more than 90 percent of our time inside. This means that the air we breathe indoors can make a significant impact on our health. The bad news is that our furniture, building materials, cleaning products, and paint all emit toxic compounds like formaldehyde into the air, which we then breathe into our lungs. Pollen, bacteria, mold spores, and car exhaust can all blow into our homes through open windows and doors.

If your home is poorly ventilated, all that bad air will get trapped and accumulate inside. But there’s a solution: bring the outdoors inside. Houseplants are an affordable way to suck away all that nasty indoor air and turn it into fresh, breathable O2.

But what if you don’t have time to take care of another living thing other than yourself? What if everything you touch dies no matter how hard you try to keep it alive?

Not to worry.

Here’s a list of nine very hardy houseplants that are super easy to maintain.

1. Garden Mum (Chrysanthemum Xgrandiflorum)

  • Cheap and easy to find.
  • Removes ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene.

This pretty flowering plant is a champ of air purifiers and can easily be found in garden stores. While they make a beautiful decoration for the home, you can also choose to plant these outside to brighten up your garden.

By Pixabay. CC0 Creative Commons
By Pixabay. CC0 Creative Commons | Source

2. Dracaena

  • Comes in many different varieties.
  • Removes benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene.

Useful houseplants may not all be the prettiest plants to decorate your home, so the dracaena can be a great option. Dracaena comes in 40 different varieties, so you’re bound to find one that best fits the interior of your home.

An important note for pet owners, however: This plant is toxic for cats and dogs. So you may want to leave this off your list if you have a fur baby.

By Kaboompics .com. CC0 Creative Commons
By Kaboompics .com. CC0 Creative Commons | Source

3. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)

  • Loves bright, indirect sunlight.
  • Removes formaldehyde and xylene.

The spider plant is one of the easiest plants to grow and is perfect for beginners or for those who are particularly forgetful. This plant will eventually grow thin flowering shoots that will then turn into baby spider plants that you can snip off and plant into their own pots.

By Marina Shemesh. CC0 Creative Commons
By Marina Shemesh. CC0 Creative Commons | Source

4. Weeping Fig (Ficus Benjamina)

  • Gets pretty big, and loves bright indirect sunlight.
  • Removes benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.

Also called the ficus tree, this plant can grow to become between 2 to 10 feet tall. It’s a very hardy plant that doesn’t need a lot of watering. Let the soil dry out before watering it again. While it may be best for your indoor air quality to keep this plant indoors throughout the year, the weeping fig can also be taken outside in late spring and brought back in when the weather gets warmer.

By Circe Denyer. CC0 Creative Commons
By Circe Denyer. CC0 Creative Commons | Source

5. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

  • Likes the shade.
  • Removes ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.

For such a small plant, the peace lily has some pretty powerful air cleaning abilities. It is also straightforward to take care of and will flower for most of the year. The flowers are fragrant and will release some pollen into the air—so if you have allergies, you may not want to fill your home with them. Keep the soil moist, but be careful of overwatering.

By Petr Kratochvil. CC0 Creative Commons
By Petr Kratochvil. CC0 Creative Commons | Source

6. Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)

  • Very, very hard to kill.
  • Removes benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene.

While the snake plant, with its long patterned leaves, does need to be occasionally watered, it will thrive even when neglected. It likes some sun and prefers a drier environment.

By Scott Webb. CC0 Creative Commons
By Scott Webb. CC0 Creative Commons | Source

7. Areca Palm (Dypsis Lutescens)

  • Likes full sun or bright light.
  • Removes benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.

This plant can filter a significant amount of air because it can grow from 4 to 12 feet tall. If you have space, the areca palm can make an eye-catching focal point in a room. This plant is pet friendly too.

By Marc Mueller. CC0 Creative Commons
By Marc Mueller. CC0 Creative Commons | Source

8. Aloe Vera

  • Hates standing water.
  • Removes formaldehyde.

Not only does the aloe plant filter air, but the leaves also hold juice that has anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties. Each plant will also eventually produce babies that can be potted, so soon enough you will have many little air purifiers that also double as a natural skincare product.

By Cecília Tommasini. CC0 Creative Commons
By Cecília Tommasini. CC0 Creative Commons | Source

9. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata)

  • Prefers high humidity and indirect light.
  • Removes formaldehyde and xylene.

This Boston fern is quite easy to grow but does require some care because it likes to stay moist and cool. Make sure to check it daily to make sure it doesn’t dry out too much overnight, and give it a long soak once a month.

By Petr Kratochvil. CC0 Creative Commons
By Petr Kratochvil. CC0 Creative Commons | Source

But Do You Really Need a Houseplant?

Plants clean the air by absorbing the toxic particulates in the air while they breathe in carbon dioxide. The particulates are then processed along with the C02 into oxygen through photosynthesis. Microbes in the potting soil also help to process the toxins.

Air-cleaning qualities aside, plants are also proven to boost people’s mood. In hospitals where patients had plants in their rooms, those patients had a more positive attitude and lower stress levels than those staying in plant-less rooms.

So what are you waiting for? Pick yourself a hard-to-kill houseplant and get to improving the indoor environment of your home.

Do you currently own houseplants?

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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 KV Lo


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      • Kaitlyn Lo profile imageAUTHOR

        KV Lo 

        18 months ago

        @Kimberley: Congrats on the new deco! I have a mini aloe vera myself and it's the most adorable thing. The peace lily is also a great choice! It's so pretty.

      • profile image


        18 months ago

        Wow thanks for this - I've recently been looking into some nice houseplants to have in my newly decorated house. Definitely looking into the aloe vera and peace lily for sure!

      • profile image

        Whitney Kutch 

        18 months ago

        These sound super easy to maintain! I've never really had a great green thumb, but I'll give these a try!

      • Kaitlyn Lo profile imageAUTHOR

        KV Lo 

        19 months ago

        @Peggy Woods: I understand what you mean. I used to live in a basement suite and wanted to keep houseplants, but I knew they would die with the lack of light so I never got any plants until I moved to somewhere brighter. :)

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        19 months ago from Houston, Texas

        We do have some house plants but not as many as we used to have when we had more natural light in our home. Houseplants are valuable for all the reasons you mentioned.


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