1. Snake plant (Mother-in-law's tongue)
One of the most resilient indoor plants of the bunch (you can leave it in your bedroom with low light, only watering it occasionally, and it will continue to thrive), the mother-in-law’s tongue is not only rich in colour, but toxin-fighting qualities, too.
According to research conducted by NASA, the mother-in-law’s tongue, also known as the snake plant, filters a chemical called formaldehyde, which is commonly found in cleaning products. Not only that, this plant, differentiating from its green-leafed counterparts, absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen – perfect for purifying the air in your bedroom while you’re sleeping.
2. Money Plant
This easy-to-keep beauty – it doesn’t require direct sunlight, but the soil should be kept moist – doubles as a lean, green toxin-obliterating machine. All while sitting pretty in your bathroom or living room, money plant, also known as Devil’s ivy or golden pothos, fights against nasty toxins like xylene, benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene. Just be sure to keep this plant out of reach of your cat or dog; when ingested, Devil’s ivy is toxic to pets.
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3. Peace Lily
When it comes to plants that remove toxins from the air, you can’t go past the elegant, simple-to-keep peace lily. In all its white-and-green glory, this popular houseplant, which thrives without too much watering and little sunlight, works to naturally cleanse your home of pollutants like acetone – a nasty carcinogen inherent in polishes and paints. Like #2, it’s best to keep this plant away from your pets.
READ MORE: 5 Things House Plants Really Need
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4. Spider Plant
These spindly leaves are amongst the easiest house plants to grow at home – you can forget about them for a while and they can still thrive, all the while helping to purify the air. They start as tiny white flowers before sprouting into shoots and spiderettes (baby spider plants) and don’t require much maintenance.
This sprightly, radiant foliage has forty varieties, not all of which are suitable for the home as they can grow really tall! They have long leaves that vary in colour, and are experts at expelling formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air in your home. If you have one of these, make sure to place them near warm and indirect light, such as next to sheer curtains and keep the soil moist. Pet owners beware, though, for the leaves are toxic to cats and dogs alike.
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6. Boston Fern
Like the Dracaena, these frilly ferns need moist soil to grow and work to filter mold and toxins from indoor air. Unlike the Dracaena, Boston Ferns prefer a cooler spot with high humidity. Place these charming plants in the bathroom, bedroom or study and you’ll definitely feel more relaxed! Just make sure to keep them well watered.
7. Rubber plant
As soon as it’s placed indoors, the hardy rubber plant begins work to remove VOCs and suppress other toxic chemical compounds in the air. They have large, thick and rather glossy leaves, which can be toxic to animals.
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8. Areca Palm
We’ve kept the best for last! You’ve definitely seen these around in various malls and offices, so why not keep one at home too? NASA ranked this leafy plant as the top air purifier as it helps keep the indoors moist in dry conditions (like an air-conditioned office or study) while continually detoxifying the air.
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9. English Ivy
In addition to being able to cleanse the air of toxins like xylene, benzene and formaldehyde, a 2005 experimental study found that this popular houseplant may also help reduce mold and even fecal matter in the air. However, it may not be as effective against allergens like pet dander, dust and pollen. It’s also wise to note that English Ivy (also known as Hedera helix) grows better in a cool, air-conditioned environment near a window.
Do note that this plant is toxic to pets too!