Combating Air Pollution with Plants

When you think of air pollution you may think that it is mainly an outside problem. Indeed we encounter pollution on a daily basis once we step outside, but what you don’t realise is that it is also found within the places we call “home” and “work”.

Indoor air pollution is usually a result of airborne mould, bacteria and viruses. Synthetic materials such as plastic, paint, rubbers, vinyl and laminates can also break down over time and release toxins into the air we breathe. Toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene. These emissions can lead to irritations to our skin, hair, eyes and directly affects our overall health in general.

We can easily combat this and improve the quality of the air we breathe with plants. Plants have the ability of absorbing harmful toxins in the air, breaking them down into natural byproducts and storing them in the soil as a food source for later use.


Plants for Purification 

There are a range of air-purifying plants that are perfectly suited for the indoor climate. 


Snake Plant

A tropical plant adapted to surviving drought making it a suitable fuss free choice for anyone anywhere. It has thin upright leaves with irregular banding that resembles the skin of a reptile. It has been shown to filter benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene.



Philodendron has heart shaped leaves and vines that can trail to over 10ft long with the right indoor conditions. It makes the perfect plant for high shelves and has a reputation of being the easiest plants to grow. Philodendron has been shown to filter formaldehyde.



Pothos is similar looking to the Philodendron with trailing vines that can grow to over 10ft long. It can survive in less than ideal conditions and is a popular plant in offices. The Pothos has been shown to filter benzene, formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.

Rubber Plant

This variety of ficus has thick upright stems and glossy oversized leaves that can store water in times of drought. It is a popular house plant that prefers moderate to bright indirect light. Rubber plants have been shown to filter formaldehyde.


ZZ Plant

The plant meaning of ZZ is prosperity and friendship making it a perfect gift for a plant lover in your life. They are extremely dry-tolerant, require minimum light and are low maintenance. NASA study, researchers found ZZ plant is specifically adept at removing copious amounts of toxins such as xylene, toluene, and benzene from the air.


Bird’s Nest Fern

This fern is characterized by ripple-edged fronds that cascades out of a nest like crown. It thrives in a humid environment with indirect sunlight. Ferns have been shown to filter formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.


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