Stacy Ling

What You Need to Know About Easy Care Houseplants that Purify the Air

· The ULTIMATE Guide to Houseplants You Can't Kill ·

Did you know that certain houseplants purify the air and are SO easy to care for that even a so called "black thumbed" gardener can keep them alive? Don't believe me? Read on.

Houseplants are wonderful additions to the home that add life, color and purify the air in living spaces. Green up a space and it instantly feels more alive. And my motto is, the more plants the merrier.

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, benzane and trichloriothylene and filter 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 we have experienced far less colds and viruses through the years since adding more houseplants to our home.

Easy Care Plants that Purify the Air

The Benefits of Adding Houseplants that Purify 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 that 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.

Low Maintenance Houseplants that Purify the Air

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 plants, having more plants around will be pretty simple. Oh, and if you want to know how to care for these houseplants, follow these tips for success.

Houseplants in the Shower

Snake Plant

Snake plants are one of my favorite houseplants. They are a super low maintenance, hardy succulent that thrives on neglect. Sounds pretty easy right? 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 are indoors, I water them maybe once a month.

They are so cool because they thrive 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 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.

Easy Care Plants that Purify the Air

Sansevieria – Snake Plant Photo Credit to the Sill.

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!

Aloe Vera

Aloe plants are another succulent plant that are super easy to care for. They love a bright sunny spot and do not over water because they prefer dry conditions. Much like the snake plant, I probably water these like once a month.

I started with one Aloe plant and it’s been sprouting lots of babies. Learn how to propagate aloe plants here.

Aloe is an Easy Care Houseplant that Purifies the Air

Chinese Evergreen

The Chinese Evergreen is a great starter plant for beginning gardeners because it tolerates low light and drought, but also loves humidity. Bathrooms are a great spot for them. If kept in a less humid room, mist the leaves occasionally to keep it from browining. 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!

Chinese Evergreen is an Easy Care Plant that Purifies the Air

Flamingo Lily

Flamingo Lily’s are gorgeous flowering houseplants that can bloom year round but need indirect sunlight, humid temperatures, and water to thrive. They do not like wet feet though, so check the soil before watering to be sure it is dry.

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

Flamingo Lily is an Easy Care Plant that Purifies the Air

Peace Lily

Peace Lily’s symbolize sympathy. They work grow well in partial sunlight, humid climates, and produce blooms. If you have a pet, peace lily’s can be toxic to them. Be sure to keep out of their reach.

Spider Plant

Spider plants are resilient houseplants that grow well in bright, indirect sunlight with lots of water. They are very easy to propagate when mature because they produce these little spiderettes that can be removed and rooted in water or soil.

Easy Care Houseplants that Purify the AIr

Pothos or Devil’s Ivy

Pothos is one of my favorite houseplants because it looks great on a shelf and vines down. 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.

Philodendron

There are so many varieties of philodendrons. I have a split leave philodendron that I picked up from Lowe’s several years ago. When I purchased it in a small pot, it had only five leaves. After one summer on my deck, it grew exponentially and gives off a tropical vibe.

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.

Easy Care Houseplants that Purify the Air

This is my split leaf philodendron and it LOVES to be outside! It requires such little care throughout the year and it so easy to grow.

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!

Easy Care Houseplants that Purity the Air

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Easy Care Plants that Purify the Air

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Stacy Ling

Stacy Ling is a master gardener who loves home decor and creating beautiful spaces. She provides easy-to-follow, easy-to-do garden, home decor, lifestyle & DIY inspo.

55 Comments

  1. Reply

    Anne Zirkle

    August 29, 2020

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

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      August 29, 2020

      Thank you Ann! I hope you do – you’ll enjoy them! xoxo

  2. Reply

    Lori Nell

    August 29, 2020

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

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      August 29, 2020

      I couldn’t agree more Lori. Thank you!!! xoxo

  3. Reply

    Jayne

    August 29, 2020

    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!

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      August 29, 2020

      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. Reply

    Paula@SweetPea

    August 29, 2020

    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.

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      August 29, 2020

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

  5. Reply

    Diane

    August 29, 2020

    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.

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      August 29, 2020

      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. Reply

    Allison O'Dell

    August 29, 2020

    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!!

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      August 29, 2020

      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. Reply

    Sonya

    August 29, 2020

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

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      August 29, 2020

      Thank you! I’m so happy to hear that! You got this!!!! xoxo

  8. Reply

    Morgan

    August 29, 2020

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

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      August 29, 2020

      Isn’t that so cool? I love having the greens in the winter too.

  9. Reply

    Linda

    August 29, 2020

    I haven’t had much luck with indoor plants. I was just thinking I may need to give some another try.

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      August 29, 2020

      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

  10. Reply

    Danielle

    August 29, 2020

    Oh I so needed this! I want to get more plants, but they have to be super hearty or Iโ€™ll kill them.

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      August 29, 2020

      These are a great place to start! You can do this!!! xoxo

  11. Reply

    Jennifer

    August 30, 2020

    Great post Stacy! I have most of these in my home. I don’t know what I would do without my houseplants ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      August 30, 2020

      Thank you Jennifer! Me too! I love having them! xoxo

  12. Reply

    Linda Johnston

    August 30, 2020

    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.

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      August 30, 2020

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

  13. Reply

    Marie

    August 30, 2020

    Great round up of house plants! Love all your tips.

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      August 30, 2020

      Thanks so much Marie! Happy Sunday! xoxo

  14. Reply

    Carol Karl

    August 31, 2020

    What a fantastic, informative post. Thank you.

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      August 31, 2020

      Thank you SO much Carol! xoxo

  15. Reply

    Darla

    September 1, 2020

    This is so great – wonderful information!

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      September 1, 2020

      I really appreciate that! Thank you Darla!!!

  16. Reply

    Sharon

    September 1, 2020

    I love this! Thanks for all the names. I’ll know exactly what to look for!!

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      September 1, 2020

      Thank you so much Sharon!!! I’m so glad! xoxo

  17. Reply

    Elizabeth Scruggs

    September 1, 2020

    Chinese Evergreen and Philodendron are my favs!
    I pinned this for later reference, thanks!

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      September 1, 2020

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

  18. Reply

    Rachel

    September 2, 2020

    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.

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      September 4, 2020

      I am so happy to hear that!!! It’s so nice to meet you through her! I will check out your blog too! xoxoxo

  19. Reply

    Kim | Shiplap and Shells

    September 2, 2020

    These are such great tips Stacy! I might even try to raise a sweet little indoor plant or two!

  20. Reply

    Kim Waldorf

    September 3, 2020

    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.

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      September 4, 2020

      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!

  21. Reply

    Christin Cieslarski

    September 3, 2020

    So informative! I am such a black thumb! These would be perfect for me!

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      September 4, 2020

      We will change that! There is a green thumb in there! Thank you so much!!! xoxo

  22. Reply

    Jennifer Howard

    September 5, 2020

    Love it, fellow plant Mama!! I have the biggest crush on your potting bench!!

  23. Reply

    Kimberly Snyder

    September 6, 2020

    Lots of great information! I love all the pictures! Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      September 7, 2020

      Thank you so much Kimberly!!

  24. Reply

    Elizabeth

    September 9, 2020

    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

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      September 10, 2020

      I am so glad to hear that! It starts with one! xoxo

  25. Reply

    Chas Greener

    September 11, 2020

    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.

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      September 12, 2020

      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

  26. Reply

    Lisa Alley

    September 13, 2020

    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 ๐Ÿ˜ƒ again thank you

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      September 13, 2020

      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!

  27. Reply

    Elena Allegretti

    September 14, 2020

    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.

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      September 14, 2020

      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

  28. Reply

    Jennifer Dynys

    September 15, 2020

    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!

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      September 16, 2020

      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

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