Seven Indoor Plants to Freshen Up Your Home

Besides providing a reminder of warmth—something we could all use this month—these plants can also help enhance your air quality by removing toxins.
Photo by Harry Cunningham on Unsplash

At this time of year, we’re all having the same problem: It feels like it’s high time for the snow to melt away and reveal some fresh greenery (maybe even a few blooms), but the fact remains that it’s still too cold to spend the day outside in our gardens. So why not add a few potted plants to our homes’ interiors for us to enjoy as we stay indoors, huddled under blankets? And while we’re at it, we might as well try to clear up the lingering effects of our winter coughs and colds. Here’s what NASA and the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) found to be effective air-purifying plants:

Bamboo Palm

Photo by Deanna Alys on Unsplash

The bamboo palm removes the most formaldehyde, a toxin tested for by NASA. Set this plant up and watch it grow anywhere from four to 12 feet. If you start with a healthy plant, caring for a bamboo palm should be simple—just water it evenly when the soil gets dry and enjoy the boho flair it adds to your home.

Barberton Daisy

Photo by Katie Burnett on Unsplash

In a 24-period tested by NASA, the Barberton Daisy, also known as the Gerbera Daisy, removed the most Benzene micrograms and the second-most Trichloroethylene micrograms. In layman’s terms, it can help get two major chemicals out of your air. Plus, its variety of colors can fit any decor and brighten up the gloomiest of days.

Foxtail Fern

Photo by Anika Malone on Flickr

With its unique look, this low-maintenance plant is sure to add some texture to your space, and it also impressed the ASHS with its air-purifying qualities. Also known as an asparagus fern, the plant has plumes of tiny leaves that stretch out from the center.

Hoya Carnosa

Photo by Jarosław Pocztarski on Flickr

Also called a wax plant, this houseplant will climb trellises and thrive in good lighting. Enjoy its almond-shaped leaves and clusters of blooms. It will grow 2-4 feet indoors; just don’t over-water it.


Photo by Natali Merx on Unsplash

Do you remember the fake greenery that used to swoop over our kitchen cabinets in the ’90s? Ivy ranked high in ASHS’s test of 28 plants. Update the look with a potted English ivy plant or a red ivy plant, and enjoy fresher air. Your lungs will thank you.

Peace Lily

Photo by Mitch Lensink on Unsplash

Another high-ranking plant in NASA’s 1989 study is the elegant peace lily. Enjoy the lily’s delicate blooms and large, wavy leaves, but keep this plant away from children and pets. The plant can’t be ingested in large amounts, so it’s not safe for every household.

Purple Queen

Photo by Naomi Zhong on Flickr

This plant is surely something special, with names like “Purple Queen” and “Purple Heart.” Give this plant lots of sunlight and watch violet leaves extend out. In the summer, you can expect pinkish blossoms. If plain green isn’t your preferred look, try purple.

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