List Of Plants Found By NASA To Purify Indoor Air Naturally Plus 8 Top Aromatic Indoor Plants

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List Of Plants Found By NASA To Purify Indoor Air Naturally
List Of Plants Found By NASA To Purify Indoor Air Naturally. Graphic © Photos Pixabay (PD), Kaboompics (PD), © AdobeStock 87138283 (under license)

We are used to thinking of the indoor environment as a safe haven from the evils of air pollution. In the early 1950’s, Dr. T.G. Randolph became one of the first medical doctors to associate indoor air pollution with allergies and other chronic illnesses. Who would have thought that staying in can cause harm to your health? The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ranks indoor air pollution as one of the top five threats to public health. [1] Clearly, it has become a major problem. Modern building materials, plus the trend of air-sealed homes (for efficient heating and cooling) has led to a drastic plunge in the quality of indoor air.

How do we solve this crisis? There are steps you can take to get rid of indoor pollution; proper ventilation, regular cleaning and humidity control are some but if you want a long term solution to the problem then indoor plants produce great results as studies show that potted-plants reduce some of the serious components of indoor air pollution left behind by other air purification methods. [2]

Even good HEPA filters, while superb at removing dust, dander, pollen and mold spores form the air, are powerless against volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are among the worst indoor air pollutants. For these – activated carbon filters and/or houseplants are advised. Plants also remove CO2 – increasing beneficial oxygen in the process.

NASA Study Finds Indoor Plants Remove Toxic VOCs From The Air

Amazingly, this was studied as long ago as 1989 – and NASA published a remarkable and famous research paper “Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement”. [3] NASA’s scientists found that various house plants removed benzene, tricholoroethene, formaldehyde and other toxic VOCs from air during their natural photosynthesis cycle.

Here’s the list of plants studied and found efficacious by NASA:

Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifritzii)
Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)
English ivy (Hedera helix)
Ficus (Ficus benjamina)
Gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
Janet Craig (Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig”)
Marginata (Dracaena marginata)
Mass cane/Corn cane (Dracaena massangeana)
Mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria laurentii)
Peace lily (Spathiphyllum “‘Mauna Loa'”)
Chrysanth (Chrysanthemum morifolium)
Warneckei (Dracaena deremensis “‘Warneckei'”)

8 Further Aromatic Plants That Are Considered Beneficial For Purifying Indoor Air:

1: Rosemary. This is a needle-leafed plant which is a good air purifier especially for humid winter air.

2: Lavender. The aroma from lavender relaxes the lungs and helps for calmer sleep. However, make sure to confirm that you are not allergic before you decide to plant this one.

3: Basil. This herb has a rich aroma and can easily be cultivated for all climates.

4: Mint. It has a pleasant odor and can make the air easier to breath if you have lung disease. Because the root is invasive and strong, it cannot be planted with other herbs in the same pot or plot.

5: Jasmine. The aroma of this flower is lovely, keeping your home smelling good all day.

6: Geranium. If you don’t have much botanical knowledge, geraniums is a good way to start. Aside from being low maintenance, it is also a mosquito repellent.

7: Coffee plant. There are above 120 subspecies of coffee plants with sub-gene arabica being most famous and easy to grow at home.

8: Woodbine. Also called as honeysuckle, woodbine has a very sweet scent especially at night. If you grow it indoors, it will take two years before it blossoms.


[1] Wolverton, B.C. (1997) How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office.

[2] Tarran, Jane (2007) Use of Living Pot-plants to Cleanse Indoor Air – Research Review.

[3] NASA (1989) Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement.

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One thought on “List Of Plants Found By NASA To Purify Indoor Air Naturally Plus 8 Top Aromatic Indoor Plants

  1. I love the idea of using plants to purify the air. They make a home feel so much more friendly and they look good too.

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