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Best Air Cleaning Plants For Your Home Office

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Suffering from stuffy office syndrome ?

Many things attribute to a stuffy area…dust, stale air, and that weird smell lingering lightly in the background you can’t identify.  What is that ?

I’ve know since elementary school that plants can “clean” the air through photosynthesis and all that.  In fact, years ago NASA did research to find ways to clean the air in space stations.  What they found was that certain common plants have a way of removing volatile organic pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.

Which is why I love having live plants in my office.

In this post, I’ll go over 8 plants from NASA’s study that I think are the best for any home office. Best because they’re easy to care for and can tolerate many environments…and I have them in my office as I write this.

Check them out:

Best plants to clean air in work space

8 Easy Care Plants To Clean The Air In Your Work Space

#1  Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)

iconIf you’re looking for a tropical vibe, this plant is a great care-free choice. It cleans a bunch of chemicals from the air, like those that cause that funky smell when you buy a new shower curtain liner or the by-smells of that inexpensive particle-board desk.

Bamboo Palms are not toxic to humans or animals. One of my favorite plants that clean the air.

General care: Use a time-release granular fertilizer during the growing season. Repot the bamboo Palm once it becomes too large for its present container.

Soil: High quality, rich potting soil

Light: Bright, indirect light

Water: Will thrive in both moderate and high humidity, but it prefers high humidity best.  If your office is dry, spritz lightly with water or place in bathroom while showering.

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#2  Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

iconAlso known as Calla Lily, this resilient and forgiving plant can get up to 3 feet tall showing off its big leaves and pretty white flowers. All this plant needs is dappled sunlight and consistent moisture. According to a NASA study, this plant helps clean ammonia, formaldehyde, benzene and other nasty chemicals from the air.

plant alert: All parts of the Peace Lily have an irritating toxin that can be bothersome if eaten.

General care: Peace Lilies are pretty easy to care for, they just need an occasional drink

Soil: Well draining soil containing plenty of organic matter.

Light: No direct sun.  Bright, filtered light is best

Water: When soil is dry, give plenty of water without making soil soggy.  Peace Lilies will wilt when thirsty and forgive you when watered. They also like to be misted once in a while.

Available Here

#3  Snake Plant (Sansevieria)

iconI’ve seen Snake Plants all over the place in Florida, just growing alongside buildings. In my Michigan home, however, I have to grow this plant inside. Which is fine, because it is a cool looking, easy plant that removes a ton of dust particles.

Funny fact: Snake Plant is also called Mother-In-Law’s Tongue.  Maybe that’s why I think this is a real winner of a plant for better air, ha ha.

Plant alert: Can be toxic to pets. At the end of this article are some suggestions on how you can still have plants in your workspace.

General Care: This attractive plant can be neglected for weeks at a time and still look healthy.

Soil: Loose, well-draining soil

Light: Indirect to low light

Water: Can tolerate drought, in fact, it’s suggested you let the plant dry out completely before watering.

Available Here

#4  Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Spider Plant

Take a look at my 35 year old Spider Plant. Isn’t she a beauty ? This one was given to me from my mother-in-law and it’s till thriving…and cleaning my air. Growing in a corner that gets morning sun, I love how easy it is to care for.

Spider Plants are not toxic and I consider them the best plants to purify air because they are so easy to care for.

General Care: One of the easiest plants to care for, Spider Plants don’t require too much attention.  When the little ‘spiders’ grow on the ends of the ‘branches’, you can either: curl the branch towards the soil and stick the bottom of the spider in the soil, or, snip the spider off the branch and stick in the soil.

Soil: Well draining soil

Light: Bright indirect light

Water: Water when soil feels dry an inch or so below the surface but do not allow plants to sit in water as the roots will rot.

Available Here

#5  Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)

iconThe hardest thing to figure out about Jade Plants is when to water. Which really isn’t hard at all…give it a drink when the top ½ inch of soil feels dry. A warm, sunny windowsill is a good home for this plant. Because this waxy-leafed plant will collect a lot of dust (yaaa !), you should gently wipe the leaves with a damp paper towel every once in a while.

Plant alert: Can be toxic to pets. At the end of this article are some suggestions on how you can still have plants in your workspace.

General Care: Jades are succulent plants, meaning they hold water in their leaves, and are very easy to take care of.  To keep plant bushy, you can snip off the branches just above a set of leaves

Soil: A soil designed for cacti and succulents is best.

Light: Full sun is best to prevent leggy stems.

Water: Because Jade plants hold water in their leaves, they don’t like to have soggy soil.  Water when the top inch of soil feel dry to the touch. Jades give us a water-need hint: its leaves will wrinkle or feel thin.

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#6  Aloe Vera (Aloe vera)

iconYou know that Aloe Vera is a great remedy for burns, right ? Did you know they also help clean benzene and formaldehyde toxins out of the air? An all-around cool plant for better air in your work space, if I do say so myself.

Plant alert: Can be toxic to pets. At the end of this article are some suggestions on how you can still have plants in your workspace.

Available Here

#7  Cornstalk (Dracaena fragrans)

cornstalk plant

Sure resembles a cornstalk, doesn’t it ?  These big-leafed plants are great air purifiers, giving off clean oxygen through photosynthesis while cleaning the stank.

Plant alert: Can be toxic to pets. At the end of this article are some suggestions on how you can still have plants in your workspace.

Available Here

#8 Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)

Pothos or Devil's Ivy plant

iconThis little devil is actually an air purifying angel. This study tells us it cleans out toxins like benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene. Thank goodness, because they sound pretty nasty.

Plant alert: Can be toxic to pets. At the end of this article are some suggestions on how you can still have plants in your workspace.

Available Here


If You DO Have Pets…

I know, a lot of these plants are toxic to animals, but for the most part only if they ingest part of it. But let’s play it safe.

If you think your dog or cat will get into your plants, here are a few simple solutions:

  • Get several of the non-toxic plants and group them together. Bamboo Palms look great behind Spider Plants.
  • Put a few of one kind of the non-toxic plants in one corner, a few of another of the non-toxic plants in another corner. Displaying plants “en masse” fills empty space and looks pretty cool.
  • A windowsill or shelf is a good home for plants. Personally, I’ve never had a dog get up on these high plains. A cat, on the other hand…

I’ve always had plants in my work space – whether at my old “9-5” or in my home – and I can honestly say they do make a difference.  Not only did the air feel cleaner than other parts of the house, the overall atmosphere was brighter.

Easy care plants that purify air


Thank you for sharing !

Author: Kat Lewis

Kat Lewis is the person behind The Wary Worker, the blog that shows you how to work from home and live life in the meantime. Kat is a former Accounting Specialist turned Human Resource Generalist who found her niche in the work-at-home world. With an analytical background, Kat looks at every opportunity with a skeptical eye so she can bring the truth to anyone wanting to work from home.

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