Five Indoor Plants That Will Clean the Air

{via KUNTA TOKYO on flickr}

This post was written earlier this year for my old blog, The Lavender Experiment, but for some reason didn’t make the switch with me when I moved to Slow Your Home.

Studies have shown that the air we breathe indoors is actually more heavily polluted than the air we breathe outside and that indoor plants help filter the air of these toxins, which are released from our furniture, cabinetry, carpet, paints, cleaning products (not mine anymore!) and even cosmetics.

These are five of the best indoor plants for filtering the air we breathe inside:

  • Dracaena (There are over 50 varieties of dracaena and all have excellent air-cleaning properties)
  • Peace/Madonna lilies (Spathyphyllum)
  • Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
  • Weeping Fig/Ficus (Ficus benjamina)
  • Bamboo/Reed Palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii)


{via thundafunda}

If you’re a gardening beginner, or new to the specific needs of potted indoor plants, here are some quick tips to get you started:

Leave your new plants in their plastic pots and simply place in a decorative pot once you’re home. This means you’re able to change out your plants and pots without having to re-pot every time.

Spend some time being kind to your new plants, watering and feeding them well for the first few months. Slowly ease back on the TLC, allowing the plant to “harden off” and acclimatise to its new environment.

To clean the leaves of your plants (something you should do monthly to allow the plant to photosynthesise effectively) simply wipe over the leaves with a solution of one part water to one part milk. This cleans the leaves of any dust that may accumulate, leaves them shiny and glossy, and also keeps the leaves free of dust for longer.

A granule-based slow release fertiliser should be applied to your plants every six months, in spring and autumn. (I’m an AFL fan and find it easiest to remember this by applying the fertisiler at the beginning of the season and then finals time. Lame but handy.)

In summer the plants will probably need watering 2-3 times a week, while in winter this will dial back to once every 2-3 weeks.

While these are some of the best plants, any plant life is of benefit to the indoor environment. I recently bought a thrifted macrame potplant holder (acid yellow, no less!) that is going to hang in our bathroom one of these days, and I’m thinking of using a maidenhair fern to complete the retro look…

Do you grow plants indoors? Any recommendations?


2 Responses to Five Indoor Plants That Will Clean the Air

  1. what kind of plant is shown on the “Kunta Tokyo” I need a name for it because I have one but don’t know the name of it.