Breathe easy & skip the chore! Discover the best low-maintenance indoor plants that purify your air & thrive on neglect. Read on to boost your home’s health (and style!)

Craving a lush, vibrant home that practically takes care of itself? Indoor plants are the answer because they not only bring the outdoors in but also act as living air purifiers, filtering out toxins and boosting your mood.

I know not all of us have a green thumb (or the time!) for high-maintenance greenery. This post is your guide to the best low-maintenance indoor plants that clean the air, thriving on neglect while adding a touch of zen and coziness to your home.

Get ready to breathe easy and be the plant parent boss with these low-maintenance, hard-to-kill air-purifying indoor plants.

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How Do Houseplants Purify the Air?

Houseplants clean the air through a process called photosynthesis. They remove toxins from the air by converting exhaled carbon dioxide into fresh oxygen.

Years ago, NASA researched how houseplants purify the air by diffusing toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene and filtering the air we breathe. It’s a pretty cool landmark study – you can read it here.

When I first started gardening, I was more of an outdoor gardener than an indoor gardener. Over the years, I’ve been increasingly adding more plants to my home and the result is pretty amazing: we are sick less often.

Now I’m not suggesting or guaranteeing that you’ll never get sick but my family has experienced far fewer colds and viruses through the years since adding more houseplants to our home.

view of the sunroom from the library with vintage wood chess table

The Benefits of Adding Houseplants that Clean the Air

By adding a few plants, we have the ability to improve indoor air quality. Do you get sick a lot or have bad indoor allergies?

Indoor air pollution directly impacts our health and comes from a variety of sources include benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene.

In addition to purifying the air, houseplants add life and character to both indoor and outdoor spaces. They boost our mood and breathe life into otherwise empty spaces.

So it’s a really good idea to grow some indoor plants.

monstera plant in farmhouse family room with sectional sofa and white throw pillows with round mango wood coffee table

Best Low Maintenance Indoor Plants that Clean the Air

Forget finicky ferns and temperamental orchids!

For best practices, you’ll need about two plants per 100 square feet. But since I’m giving you an easy-care, hard-to-kill list of air purifying plants, having more plants around will be pretty simple.

Here’s a list of stunning, low-maintenance indoor plants that not only add a touch of green to your home but also act as natural air purifiers, removing toxins and boosting your well-being:

close up of cozy reading nook in sunroom with white accent swivel chair, poof ottoman, snake plant, boston fern, christmas cactus and antique farmhouse tiered side table with jute are rug from rugs usa

Snake Plant

Snake plants are one of my favorite houseplants that clean the air. Sansevierias are super low-maintenance, hardy succulents that thrive on neglect. Sounds pretty easy right?

This architectural wonder, with its upright, sword-like leaves, thrives on neglect. It filters out formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, and xylene, making it ideal for bedrooms and living rooms. Plus, it releases oxygen at night, promoting better sleep.

They can handle almost any light conditions. Put them in a room with at least one window and don’t over-water them.

To give you a frame of reference, when mine is indoors, I water them maybe once a month. The sansevieria plant is so cool because it can live on very little water and light as well as add lots of drama and life to living spaces.

My husband thought I was nuts for keeping this one at the Vermont cabin because there are times when we aren’t there for several weeks to possibly months, but it can go a long time without care.

If you are new to gardening or think you kill everything, try caring for a snake plant. You’ll find the most success with this one. And it is the first plant I recommend to newbie indoor gardeners and those with busy schedules.

front entry hall with snake plants with wood floor and painted inlays plus arched doorway. Sanseveiria plants are so fun to grow!

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera plants are another succulent plant that is super easy to care for and are another great houseplant that cleans the air. They love a bright sunny spot with indirect light and well-draining soil.

And do not overwater them because they prefer dry conditions. Much like the snake plant, I probably water my aloe plants once a month or a little less.

More than just a sunburn soother, Aloe Vera is a champion air purifier. It removes formaldehyde, benzene, and toluene, all while adding a touch of desert chic to your space.

In my old house, I kept mine in the bay window on the north side. But here, my aloe vera plants reside in the sunroom (also on the north side) and are living their best life!

And I’ve got more than one now because I have to keep dividing them. The mother plant keeps producing babies, so I pot them up and either keep them or give them away.

If you’ve got aloe vera plants and aren’t sure how to divide them, I shared a post about how to propagate aloe plants here.

Chinese Evergreen

The Chinese Evergreen is a great starter plant for beginning gardeners because it tolerates low light and drought but also loves humidity. It’s one of the best low maintenance indoor plants that I’ve found to be a very forgiving and resilient plant that can take pretty much whatever you throw at it.

This versatile beauty comes in a variety of shades and patterns, adding a pop of color to any room. It tackles formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene, making it a great choice for offices or homes with new furniture. It thrives in low light and enjoys occasional misting.

Bathrooms are a great spot for them. If kept in a less humid room, mist the leaves occasionally to keep them from browning. Add a humidifier or group them together with other plants to create a more humid microclimate.

Also, if it gets enough sunlight, it may produce a bloom. I haven’t seen one yet on mine, but I’ll let you know when it happens!

When I first bought this plant, I kept it on the north side of my former home in the bay window. But here at the new house, it resides in the sunroom, which is also located on the north side too.

close up of chinese evergreen in the sunroom
The sunroom is filled with houseplants like spider plants, sansevieria, chinese evergreen, pileo and boston fern. Shown are white swivel chairs, jute area rug, boho poof ottoman and fresh herbs sign as part of my cottagecore decorating style

Flamingo Lily

Flamingo lilies are gorgeous flowering houseplants that can bloom year-round but need indirect sunlight, humid temperatures, and water to thrive.

Anthuriums do not like wet feet though, so check the soil before watering to be sure it is dry. This is one of those plants you are better off underwatering than overwatering.

With its elegant flowers and lush green foliage, the Flamingo Lily is a visual treat but also purifies the air we breathe. It removes formaldehyde and ammonia, making it perfect for kitchens and bathrooms.

My daughter is a new plant mom and chose this one to start with a few year ago. Don’t you love those pretty flowers?

It’s a really great starter plant for beginners as it is pretty resilient. We’ve had this plant for two years now. And it took a little abuse this summer on the front porch because I had it in these tall boho planters that kept falling over.

Every time it would fall, the pot broke. And it sometimes took me a little bit of time to repot it up. It wasn’t happy with me for a little while but it lives to tell about it! And is doing quite well in the sunroom today.

close up of anthurium with red flower

Peace Lily

Peace Lily symbolizes sympathy, grows well in partial sunlight, humid climates, and produces pretty blooms.

This graceful plant, with its glossy leaves and white flowers that resemble calla lilies, is as calming as its name suggests. It filters formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, and xylene, making it ideal for bedrooms and living rooms.

To me, it’s one of the best low maintenance indoor plants because it lets you know when it needs watering by drooping its leaves! But don’t stress seeing it do that because it’s just letting you know it’s thirsty! The leaves will perk back up but I recommend paying attention to its watering needs so it’s not constantly going into a state of stress.

Be conscious of not overwatering them because they don’t love it. Peace lilies don’t respond well to wet feet so lean more towards underwatering. Check the soil before you water them and really get to know your plant.

If you have a pet, peace lily’s can be toxic to them. So be sure to keep out of their reach.

I used to bring mine outdoors and if I sited it well, it would thrive. Since moving, I haven’t found the right spot outdoors because it does not like direct light at all and I don’t want to risk it.

It’s currently hanging out in my foyer and seems to love the location so I just leave it there.

The tips of the foliage are getting a little crisp as it’s lived in this plastic nursery pot for a few years. So she’ll be getting repotted this spring to give it fresh soil and larger accommodations.

close up of my peace lily in the foyer

Spider Plant

Spider plants are resilient houseplants that grow well in bright, indirect sunlight with lots of water. This easy-to-care-for plant produces cascading greenery and adorable spiderettes (baby plants) that you can propagate with ease.

It tackles formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene, making it a versatile choice for any room. Just give it bright, indirect light and occasional watering.

I’ve got two huge plants in my sunroom right now. The smaller one was a baby of the larger one. And both are producing more babies.

Spider plants are super easy to grow. I’ve kept mine in several different locations in my homes. But they seem to do best near a sunny window.

close up of the sunroom reading nook with spider plants, chinese evergreen, boho leather poof ottoman, jute area rug and white accent chairs that swivel

Pothos or Devil’s Ivy

Pothos is one of my favorite houseplants because it looks great on a shelf and vines down. This fast-growing vine, with its heart-shaped leaves, is perfect for adding a touch of jungle vibes to your home.

It removes formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene, making it ideal for living rooms and offices. Just give it something to climb on and let it trail its lush greenery.

This plant loves indirect sunlight and only needs to be watered when dry. If you are a self-proclaimed plant killer, try pothos because it’s nearly impossible to kill.

If you want to grow more pothos for free, read my post about how to propagate pothos here.

pothos plant close up
Houseplants and Amaryllis on white tiered Plant Shelf

Philodendron

With its glossy, heart-shaped leaves, the Philodendron comes in a variety of stunning varieties. It removes formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene, making it a great choice for any room.

Philodendrons thrive on very little care but they do need a good amount of light, so when indoors keep them near a bright sunny window.

There are so many varieties of philodendrons. I have a gorgeous philodendron that I picked up from Lowe’s several years ago.

When I purchased my lacy tree philodendron, it was in a small pot and only had five leaves. After one summer on my deck, it grew exponentially and gives off a tropical vibe.

It requires such little care throughout the year and it so easy to grow. During the winter months, I might water these like once a month, maybe a little less. But when they are outside in the heat of summer, they get watered almost daily depending on the weather.

While these plants are known for their ability to remove toxins from the air, they also increase humidity levels and can help reduce the dryness caused by heating systems in the winter.

christmas house decorations in the foyer with a rustic elegant style
cozy reading nook in the living room of a vintage farmhouse - farmhouse decor ideas for fall with throw pillows, blankets, plants and flowers

Monstera Plants

When learning how to be a plant parent, it’s best to start with plants that are easy to grow and easy to care for while cozying up our living spaces.

Monstera plants are high on this list of plants to grow for newbie gardeners and home decor enthusiasts. These tropical beauties, with their iconic split leaves, add a touch of drama to any space. They remove formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene, making them ideal for large rooms. Just give them bright, indirect light and well-draining soil.

With lots of different varieties available, you can grow so many beautiful options that make an incredible statement in your home. The foliage is incredibly beautiful and they boost our moods to boot.

I grow both Monstera deliciosa and adansonii and have had my plants for more than a few years now. They are easily one of my favorite low-maintenance houseplants to grow!

Monstera plant in family room with round coffee table, area rug and sofa with neutral throw pillows

Pilea Peperomioides

If you are interested in growing an easy-care plant that looks unique, cleans the air, and propagates with ease, look no further than the money plant.

I was inspired to purchase my first pilea plant from Martha Stewart. She did a show on houseplants and spoke highly of them so of course, I had to try growing one.

This adorable little plant, with its round, coin-shaped leaves, is perfect for desktops or windowsills. It removes formaldehyde and toluene, making it ideal for small spaces. Just give it bright, indirect light and well-draining soil.

And let me tell you how much I LOVE growing pilea peperomioides. I started with one plant that I probably paid a few dollars for and now have 4 separate plants from that first plant.

The mother plant continues to produce baby plants too. So once a year, I divide them off and repot them in new terracotta pots.

But because I have so many now, I can’t keep them all. I’ve kept a few to decorate my home and purify the air. And the rest I gift away to family and friends.

close up of Peperomioides in front of sunroom windows

Best Low Maintenance Indoor Plants That Clean the Air FAQs

Are air-purifying plants safe for pets?

Every houseplant is different so it’s really important to know what you are growing before you bring them home to live with your furry friends. Some air-purifying plants are toxic to pets if ingested, so it is important to choose plants that are safe for pets. Some safe options include snake plants, spider plants, and peace lilies.

Can air-purifying plants replace an air purifier?

I am not really sure whether or not they can replace them or not. Not all plants clean all toxins out of the air, whereas I suppose air purifiers remove more. Thus, houseplants alone, may be not the best at totally purifying the air. That said, I don’t have an air purifier in my home and care for a jungle of plants instead!

close up of cozy reading nook in sunroom with white accent swivel chair, poof ottoman, snake plant, Peperomioides, boston fern, christmas cactus and antique farmhouse tiered side table with jute are rug from rugs usa

Where should I place my air-purifying plants?

Place your air-purifying plants in areas where you spend the most time, such as your bedroom, living room, or home office. You can also place them near sources of pollution, such as your fireplace or kitchen. Just make sure the plants you have can handle the light conditions in those living spaces or they may not thrive.

How often should I repot my air-purifying plants?

You should repot your air-purifying plants every two or three years. Because nutrients wash out of the soil everytime we water, it is a good idea to freshen up that soil. When you repot them, you can either go one pot size up or repot them in the same container. Keep in mind when you pot plants up a size, they tend to grow larger.

Can I fertilize my air-purifying plants?

Yes, you should fertilize your air-purifying plants once a month during the growing season. Use a balanced fertilizer that is diluted to half-strength. But if you want an easier approach to fertilizing, go with a slow-release fertilizer so there are less applications and it’s set and forget.

chinese evergreen in the sunroom
picture of Chinese evergreen plant

Air-Purifying Plants: Wrapping It Up

Keep in mind that all plants have different light and water requirements, so it’s important to research the specific needs of the plants you choose to ensure they thrive in your home environment.

If you are new to gardening or feel like you kill everything, start with one plant from this list and follow my tips on houseplant care.

You’ll be amazed at how good of a plant parent you actually are!

If you want to know how to care for these air-purifying houseplants, read this post for easy houseplant care tips.

And if you are reading this post in the middle of winter, there are a few things you should do to keep indoor plants happy while they are in dormancy. Read this post to learn how to care for housplants in winter.

More About Low Maintenance Indoor Plants That Clean the Air

Are you new to growing indoor plants or have you been growing them for a while? If so, what do you like to grow? I would love to know more in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by the blog today!

Enjoy your day! xoxo

stacy ling signature
close up of the reading nook in the sunroom with white swivel chairs, pileo and kalanchoe

More Houseplant Care Tips and Tricks

garden work bench with terracotta pots and plants
best low maintenance indoor plants that clean the air
easy care houseplants that clean the air graphic over houseplant background
Easy Care Houseplants that Purity the Air
Easy Care Plants that Purify the Air
Flamingo Lily is an Easy Care Plant that Purifies the Air
Easy Care Houseplants that Purify the Air
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Chinese Evergreen is an Easy Care Plant that Purifies the Air
Easy Care Houseplants that Purify the Air
Pothos. Photo by the Sill.
Easy Care Plants that Purify the Air
Philodendron. Photo credits to The Sill.
Aloe is an Easy Care Houseplant that Purifies the Air
Peace Lily is an Easy Care Plant that Purifies the Air
Peace Lily. Photo by Plants.com
Houseplants and Amaryllis on Plant Shelf
Houseplants that purify the air - How to Care for Plants in Winter
Houseplants in the Shower
Easy Care Plants that Purify the Air
Sansevieria – Snake Plant Photo Credit to the Sill.

Spider Plant on the deck
spider plant
Easy Care Plants that Purify the Air
I’ve had my snake plant for several years. It’s one of my favorite houseplants. I split this one last summer and got about 7 new plants from it!
Easy Care Plants that Purify the Air
The bricks \'n Blooms guide to a beautiful and easy-care flower garden book by stacy ling
The Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide to a Beautiful and Easy Care Flower Garden
  • Have you never met a plant you couldn’t kill?
  • Have you dug around in the dirt with nothing to show for it except a sunburn and a sore back?
  • Do you currently enjoy growing flowers, but are looking for more tips and ideas to level up your gardening game?

Then the Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide is for YOU

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65 Comments

  1. These are great tips. One of these days I’m gonna give house plants a try! I always love how they look!

  2. Great post! Love all the information about house plants. They’re so beautiful and help out our home environment as well!!

  3. I have some of these in my home already. One of my latest purchases is a pale snake plant. It’s so pretty and I know I won’t kill it lol! Good to hear that it’s also helping to purify the air in our home!

    1. Those are my faves! They add a lot personality and are SO easy to care for! I bought one plant a few years so, and from that I now have like 6 (from propagation). Enjoy it Jayne!!!

  4. So much great information! I’m so glad that houseplants are back in style. It takes me back to the 70s when all of the moms had a house full of plants.

    1. Yes remember that? Now you can get cool plant hanging accessories like back then too! They are so cool aren’t they?

  5. Lately, I have killed everything — except believe it or not — -two fiddle figs. They both have dropped a large amount of leaves all at once but then started sprouting new ones up at the top. Kind of transforming from tall skinny shrubs to trees. Fingers crossed.

    1. That’s great to hear! I have not ventured into fiddle leaf figs yet but they are such beautiful plants! Maybe I’ll get one this year…

  6. Stacy, I’m a new plant mom with a black thumb (in the past). I’m doing pretty well so far. A few succulents died. I’m sure I overwatered them. BUT a few of the others are doing well. Funny though, I didn’t know what they were until this article! I just thought they looked good so I bought them. Now I know how to care for them!! I’m subscribing … keep posting about inside houseplants as a long winter is ahead!!

    1. Allison you made my day!!! Thank you! and I’m gong to be talking a lot about them over the next several months! xoxo

  7. Great tips and you have some beautiful plants. I have recently started having more real plants and trying to keep them alive

  8. I always love learning about house plants! I have so many, it’s nice to know they are helping to purify my air!

    1. You definately should! Try one from this list but if I were to recommend some – I’d start with snake plant. They thrive on neglect – you can’t kill it if you tried! xoxo

  9. Great post Stacy! I have most of these in my home. I don’t know what I would do without my houseplants 🙂

  10. Thanks for this post! glad to know we have some of these plants already. During these times, it may just be important for our home when we are climate controlled or in polluted areas.

    1. Absolutely Linda! I couldn’t agree more! Houseplants look pretty and clean the air – it’s a win-win! xoxo

    1. I’m so happy to hear that! I just picked up the chinese evergreen and love the foliage!!! Thank you for pinning!!! xoxo

  11. I love your site. I am so happy I found it. We recently moved to a new home with a lot of natural light and I’m excited to add some plants. I never thought about them improving the quality of the air. I am part of KariAnne’s Mastermind group and that is how I found you.

  12. Outside plants I can do and they thrive. Inside not so much. lol I love the Chinese evergreen! What a pretty plant! I typically don’t have any live plants in my home. You have given such great information. It makes me want to give this black thumb another go.

    1. You totally got this!!! Indoors I stick with easy care plants that are resilient. Try starting with snake plant – they are super easy and you can’t kill them if you tried!

  13. Stacy, I’ve never had a green thumb but this post has inspired me to get at least one plant in the house! Thank you

  14. What a great post Stacy. Sadly I seem to stink at house plants, but you have given me an extra good reason to give it another go! Thanks so much for sharing this great information.

    1. Thank you Chas! I used to stink with houseplants too. If you try any from this list – try snakeplant – you literally can’t kill it. xoxo

  15. Thank you for your time and effort in putting together these great pictures and tips. Around here (my home) I’ve been called the plant whisperer for my love of making things grow. Unknown to the others I used to be better at it. My old house I had the flower beds others envied. I could bring a rose stick back to life. Now our house has so much rock outside I can’t get anything really to grow, I’ve lost a few plants trying so now I am turning to house plants for now love my aloe. With your tips I now have a list to go plant shopping 😃 again thank you

    1. I am so glad you are finding it helpful! It’s amazing how different climates produce different results. We have a cabin in VT and the gardening there is very different from here in NJ. I’m so happy to meet you Lisa. Happy Sunday!

  16. Hi Stacy,
    I really like your website. I have to admit that I have killed many plants by over-watering them, but I bought a watering meter and it works great. My apartment is full of plants — I wish I had a bigger apartment!
    During the summer months, I have window boxes on the railing right outside my apartment door so when I open the door, I am greeted with beautiful colored leaves and flowers and they put a smile on my face.
    My landlord also gave me and another tenant permission to plant a garden on a small piece of ground that was basically dirt. We started this project at the end of last summer with 4 different flowering plants and every one bloomed this summer. We were so happy. Next spring, we plan to plant at least 2 more plants.
    I will continue to follow your website for helpful hints.

    1. Hi Elena! It is so nice to meet you! That is great that you can plant a garden outside!!! I got the gardening but while my husband and I lived in a small condo with no outdoor living space area. I started with a few houseplants but was able to tuck some annuals in two of the front beds that was shared with our downstairs neighbor. I was so happy to be able to plant something outside! xoxo

  17. Thank you for linking up at Embracing Home and Family! I am featuring this post on Friday! My mom is a house plant lady, so this post makes me smile! My daughters have caught on to her love for succulents, so my kitchen windows have been taken over!

    1. Thank you so much Jennifer! I am so grateful for the feature! That is so cool – isn’t it so neat to see the kids get into it? Houseplants are a lot of fun – took me a while to get the hang of them and I love how the green up my house when we are in the throws of winter. xoxo

  18. Pingback: Embracing Home and Family #8 | The Inspired Prairie
  19. I just added a bunch of plants to the kitchen after remodeling but we added a large fan in there and it seemed like it was drying all the plants out so of course I overwatered everything and now they are mostly dead so then I got some succulents oops they thrive outside but inside all dead … I’m about to repurchase plants for my containers but want mostly small plants I had a calle Lilly that did great at first and I do have a couple little vines still hanging in there 🙀 I did try the glass bulb watering things where u fill it with water and it waters as need when placed in the plants with stem in the ground and I would like your opinion on these ?
    Before these I killed about 30 orchids by leaving them in the ceramic containers I bought them in even . I’m about to try some new ones so I’ll try spider plants and vines and a new peace Lilly as it also is dead lol wish me luck and any updates would be great

    1. Hi Sandi! I’ve never tried those globes before. I check the soil before watering with all of my plants and that has dramatically helped them thrive and survive. They also really appreciate a summer vacation so I set mine out on my deck after all danger of frost has passed and bring them in before the first frost here. Keep them out of direct sunlight when they are outside though. I hope this helps!!! xoxo

  20. MISinformation on the NASA plant/clean air study. Often quoted, but incorrectly. Sure, plants clean the air. But to get that benefit, u would have to literally live in a greenhouse situation! That’s right. 5 or 6 isn’t gonna do much of anything. Hardly anyone gets this right. The clarification came out last year.

    1. If you read what I wrote, I didn’t misquote anything. I mentioned the study and provided my personal experience with adding houseplants to my home – which I stand by. My house is not a greenhouse, but I do care for several plants. Since I started accumulating them, we have been sick less often. I attribute this to my plants. It’s my opinion. After reading your comment, I researched for an actual study by NASA clarifying it’s position and found nothing. It is correct that a certain amount of plants per square foot are needed to benefit. I have not measured that out in my home. I just enjoy caring for my houseplants and hope others find that same joy. The point of the blog is, there are easy care plants that purify the air and that anyone can grow these plants because they are very low-maintenance. Enjoy your day.

  21. My spider plants have sooo many babies, should I leave them or cut them off they are on upside down tomato cages for plant stands and the babies are dragging the floor! Thanks for your help!! Love your new house

    1. Oftentimes, I cut them off and replant them in some potting soil or give them away! I know they get out of control right? I was just looking at mine yesterday!

  22. SUCH a helpful post, Stacy!! I’ve started a few house plants and so far, so good!! Thanks for all the tips!