Research Shows That Plants Can Remove Indoor Pollutants

Indoor plants

We’ve wrote earlier about the health benefits of being outdoors. Many people, though, are stuck inside for the majority of the day. And it is important that they are surrounded by good-quality air to help with their productivity and living arrangements. So deciding to monitor your air quality on a daily basis, could help you to detect low quality air, as well as being able to detect pollutants, which supposedly plants are able to do so too. Are there any health benefits to bringing plants indoors? Fortunately, there are! Those looking to introduce these into their homes may also want to consider large decorative pots for indoor plants to help round off the aesthetic nicely.

The Study

There are many physical and psychological benefits to having indoor plants. Perhaps the most important is their ability to improve air quality. If you’re concerned about air quality in the home, perhaps due to a health condition associated with breathing, this website can show you the importance of routine maintenance of the air ducts in your home in order to keep the airways clear and flowing. Indoor air, often contaminated by varnishes, adhesives, furnishings, clothing, solvents, building materials, etc., can be 12x more polluted than outdoor air. Toxins released from these products can contribute to everything from nausea to cancer and this is probably why so many offices are now home to indoor plants or Moss Walls. Can indoor plants make a difference? One study tested 28 plants to see if they would be able to reduce 5 of the most common indoor pollutants: benzene, TCE, toluene, octane and alpha-pinene. The researchers placed the plants in sealed glass jars, exposed them to each of the 5 pollutants and rated their ability (superior, intermediate or poor) to improve air quality. 4 plants were found to do a superior job of removing all 5 of the pollutants. 1 did a superior job of removing 4 of the pollutants. Here are the top plants (the top 4 are in no particular order).

1. Purple waffle plant (Hemigraphis alternata): Rated superb on 5/5

Purple waffle plant

2. English ivy (Hedera helix): Rated superb on 5/5

English ivy

3. Variegated wax plant (Hoya carnosa): Rated superb on 5/5

Variegated wax plant

4. Asparagus fern (Asparagus densiflorus): Rated superb on 5/5

Asparagus fern

5. Purple Heart Plant (Tradescantia pallida): Rated superb on 4/5

Purple heart plant


Indoor plants have also been found to improve concentration, workplace satisfaction, reaction time, pain tolerance and reduce stress. One study even found that people are 15% more productive when a plant is in view. So add some plants to your home and office! It will make the space look better and make you healthier at the same time.