12 best air-purifying indoor plants, including kill-proof houseplants for low light and small spaces, and proven care tips on watering and fertilizing!
Air purifying indoor plants bring the best of nature into our homes. They are beautiful and uplifting. They can also remove harmful toxic elements from the air and improve our indoor environments, based on many studies including NASA’s.
When I saw NASA’s list, I happily realized that many of these indoor plants are actually thriving in our home!
These air purifying indoor plants are extremely easy to care for – impossible to kill really, and believe me I have killed plenty of house plants! They are small to medium in size, so can be grown in small spaces.
These houseplants all require relatively low light – we may not notice it, but our indoor environments lack natural light, which is why so many indoor plants look stressed and gets sick with mildew or bugs even when you have been good with watering and fertilizing!
UPDATE: our indoor plant babies keep growing, here’s a recent post on more beautiful and easy house plants we are growing, plus more care tips!
Best indoor plants for low light.
The most challenging thing about growing indoor plants is the low light conditions most spaces have, even though we may not notice it!
These 3 house plants are great candidates for rooms with low light. And they remove lots of toxins according to the NASA data.
The Spathiphyllum cochlearispathum / Peace Lily, a very popular indoor plant that has such a beautiful name and never ending flowers, it is also the most effective air purification plant on NASA’s list! This little plant from Southern Mexico does require more frequent watering than everything else here.
Sansevieria javanica / Snake Plant comes from Africa, Madagascar, India or Indonesia. This is one of the smallest indoor plants, grows to only 6″-8″ tall. It sends out runners, which can be rooted easily. The thick leaves store water, which means if you forget, it is quite forgiving!
Chlorophytum comosum / Spider Plant is an easy to grow house plant great for brightening up our homes with the beautiful variegated foliage. Such a delicate looking plant is surprisingly kill-proof. It carries plantlets on the arching flower stems, which can be planted to create a new plant!
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Best hanging houseplants
Epipremnum aureum / Pathos, and Asplenium bulbiferum / Mother Fern are all great as hanging plants indoors. Picture the jungles of Jurassic Park where vines coming down from the sky, they are most likely Epipremnums! Some of the easiest indoor plants to grow, the foliage has many color variations from bright green to silvery green.
Ferns remind us of lush forests and waterfalls. If you can’t find Mother fern, try Boston Fern, Maidenhair fern or Button Fern. They are easier to find and grow beautifully indoors. Like the Peace lily, most ferns prefer regular water and moist soil.
The Epipremnum aureum “Jade and Pearl” | Jade & Pearl Pathos vine has smaller leaves than the previous ones, and we have several, one of them is hanging on the wall-
Actually, as you see, we don’t mind our home being turned into Jurassic Park!
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Best air purifying indoor plants with colorful foliage.
Most of the air purifying indoor plants on our list prefer shade, but Tradescantia pallida / Purple Heart plant can do well in both shade and sun! It turns purple in the sun, and turns green in the shade! Cuttings can root very easily in water.
Maranta leuconeura / Prayer Plant brings a little piece of Brazil rainforest into your home! This plant is magical: due to light-sensitive pigments on each leaf, it curls together at night like hands closed in prayer, thus the name “Prayer Plant”. Inventors out there, must have.
Tradescantia zebrina | Wandering Jew is native to Central America. This air purifying indoor plant is absolutely stunning with silver metallic stripes on one side of the leaves and deep purple on the other. I love to put it where it catches the soft light in the morning.
Beautiful air purifying indoor plants for boho and tropical jungle style
Is it a leaf? Is it a flower? Most of us have seen Anthurium andraeanum / Flamingo Lily with super bright red flowers which almost look unreal, perfect for bohemian jungle style!
If the name has “deliciosa” there’s probably something delicious here, right? Monstera deliciosa is a super popular house plant, and the delicious fruit tastes like pineapple! It is very easy to grow. Give it plenty of room because the plant can get quite big.
Talking about “Pineapple”, Bromeliads are in the Pineapples family. With stunning flowers that last for weeks or even months, these showy plants don’t need too much water. Once the flower starts to fade, it can be removed so the plant focuses its energy on producing pups.
Helpful tips on how to grow healthy indoor plants
1. Put your indoor plants in the brightest place possible
But keep them out of direct sun, especially mid day sun, to avoid leaf damage. This is THE most important step to healthy house plants!
2. How often to water indoor plants?
Once a week, place each plant in a saucer, water until there is a little bit of water coming out of the bottom of the pot, let sit and absorb for a few hours. Empty the saucer after, to prevent root rot.
3. How often to fertilize house plants?
During spring and summer growing season, feed your house plants with a soluble fertilizer or compost tea diluted to 1/2 strength every week or two. Or mix some Slow Release All Purpose Fertilizer into the top inch of the soil.
Most of these air purifying indoor plants come from tropical rain forest, so give them a nice “rain” once a week or 2 by bringing them outside and washing off some dust with room temperature water.
Even the tough plants don’t mind some extra love! When you do give them a little more attention, they will smile at you with their happy glow!
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