Indoor Plants Can Improve Air Quality

The last flower?

It may be elementary knowledge that plants, trees and flowers provide us with life-giving oxygen we all need and that the rainforests are responsible for much of our breathable air. But what may not be general knowledge is that there are certain plants that truly do improve indoor air quality, purifying the air. A study conducted in 1989 by the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) and Dr. B.C. Wolverton, Anne Johnson and Keith Bounds found that what works for the International Space Station will also work in newer energy efficient homes. The following article will shed light on some of these plants and the ways in which they improve indoor air quality.

Have you ever heard of Sick Building Syndrome? Chances are that most of you have not, and that is not uncommon. Sick Building Syndrome, or SBS, is a combination of ailments (the definition of a syndrome) originating from where one works or lives.

Knowing this, and for those who are affected by it, an environment that is consciously designed to minimize SBS is ideal. However, with the fact that most homes and places of employment are not designed or built with indoor air quality in mind, individuals must take it upon themselves to rectify the problem.

Thankfully, as Dr. Ian Malcolm from Jurassic Park states, “nature finds a way”. In a typical building, there will be pollutants such as carbon dioxide, trichloroethylene, benzene and formaldehyde floating within your indoor air. These, and others, are the cause of the pollutants which create the symptoms to SBS. But as mentioned above, nature is the key to virtually eliminating many of these pollutants and allergens.

Even if you are not a gardener by trade or have much of a ‘green thumb’, the 15 listed plants below (which should be easily located wherever household plants are sold) will help you achieve a better quality of indoor air and alleviate many of your symptoms of SBS.

Scientific Name

Common Name

Philodendron Scandrens Oxycardium or Heartleaf Philodendron
Philodendron Domesticum Elephant Ear Philodendron
Dracaena Fragrans Massangeana or Cornstalk Dreacaena
Hedera Helix English Ivy
Chlorophytum Comosum Spider Plant
Dracaena Deremensis Janet Craig Dracaena
Dracaena Dereminsis Warneckii Warneck Dracaena
Ficus Benjamina Weeping Fig
Epipiremnum Aureum Golden Pothos
Spathiphyllum Mauna Loa Peace Lily
Philodendron Selloum lacy tree philodendron
Aglaonema Modestum Chinese Evergreen
Chamaedorea Sefritzii Bamboo or Red Palm
Sansevieria Trifasciata Snake Plant
Dracaena Marginata Red-Edged Dracaena


For maximum effectiveness for cleaner and improved indoor air quality, it is recommended that the plants are in grown in 6-inch containers and larger with at least 15 samples of a variety of these air cleaning plants. IAQ is now made that much easier and ‘greener’.