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Our Favorite Air-Purifying Houseplants

Posted by The Sill on

Americans spend an estimated 90% of their time indoors (Environmental Protection Agency). That indoor air can contain 10x more pollution than outdoor air - a consequence of toxic emissions from synthetic materials, airborne mold, viruses, pollutants, and reduced air circulation.

With winter approaching, as you spend more time indoors, you might find yourself unconsciously craving some greenery – and not just because it looks nice. Plants have been shown to naturally clean your air of toxins & chemicals, which improves indoor air quality and consequently your health and wellbeing. 

Meet 6 of our favorite air purifying, and easy to care for, houseplants…

(Illustration by Liz Tafaro - follow her on Instagram for more awesome work @thingslizwants)

Plants clockwise from top left: 

1. Snake Plant

This no fuss tropical plant has thin, upright leaves with irregular banding that resemble the skin of a reptile. Its adaptations for surviving drought make it a suitable plant choice for anyone, anywhere. Unlike the majority of houseplants - it can even thrive in a dark corner. 

Low to bright, indirect light. Water 1x every other week. 

2. Golden Pothos

Nicknamed the cubicle plant at our office, the Pothos is our go-to for brown-thumbed clients. Like the similar-looking Philodendron, the Golden Pothos's heart-shaped leaves and trailing vines can grow to over 10 feet long. 

Low to bright, indirect light. Water 1x weekly. 

3. Rubber Plant

A popular houseplant, this variety of ficus has thick upright stems with glossy, oversized leaves that store water incase of drought. They prefer bright to moderate indirect light.

Medium to bright, indirect light. Water 1x weekly. 

4. Spider Plant

A Spider Plant is a spectacular choice for a hanging planter. From long, arching stems sprout both spider-like baby plant-lets and tiny white flowers during the growing season. 

Medium to bright, indirect light. Water 1x weekly. 

5. English Ivy

Considered an invasive species outside - pruned English Ivy, although a little more difficult to grow indoors, makes for a lovely trailing plant inside. They thrive in indirect bright light and a moist, humid environment. 

Medium to bright, indirect light. Water 1-2x weekly. Keep moist. 

6. Philodendron

In the right indoor conditions, the Philodendron's heart-shaped leaves and trailing vines can trail to over 10 feet long. This makes for a striking sight on a high shelf. Did we mention it has a reputation of being one of the easiest houseplants to grow?  

Low to bright, indirect light. Water 1x weekly.  


*NASA recommends 1 potted plant per every 100 square feet of space. For more information, see NASA's Clean Air Study and B.C. "Bill" Wolverton's "How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 Houseplants That Purify Your Home or Office" (link). 


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  • Hey Mitzi – we’d recommend a variegated variety, like the Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’. A really wonderful plant!

    The Sill on

  • Do all varieties of snake plant, a.k.a. Sansevieria, have air purifying characteristic?

    Mitzi on

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