Want to know how to freshen your living space naturally?

Want to know how to freshen your living space naturally?

Look at NASA’s list of indoor plants that will naturally clean your space

Years ago, a team at NASA conducted its ‘clean air study’ to investigate the naturally filtering properties of plant life. NASA had conducted the study in response to the ‘sick building syndrome,’ as it came to be known late into 20th century. During that time, fresh air exchange in buildings was sacrificed in favor of reduced energy usage — to lower the cost of heating and cooling a building, interiors were super-insulated sealed airtight. Of course, this condition saw the rise of various illnesses transmitted due to the lack of natural ventilation and fresh air. at the same time, that era saw the use of synthetic building materials that gradually emitted harmful ‘off-gases.’ The team of researchers at NASA concluded that in addition to the use of safer building materials and the minimization of mechanical ventilation, indoor air pollution can be greatly mitigated by the introduction of ‘nature’s life support system,’ plants.

The NASA clean air study concluded that certain plants could act as a natural air filter to remove organic air pollutants — benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene were tested. As part of the study, which spanned two years, a collection of plants was placed in a sealed air chamber and exposed to high concentration of the chemicals. Researchers then documented the percentage of the chemical that had been removed from the sealed space after a 24-hour period. Below is a list of the top eighteen plants that NASA determined to be the most effective at naturally filtering out indoor air pollutants.


English Ivy (hedera helix)

 Devil’s Ivy, Pothos plant (epipremnum aureum)



Peace Lily (spathiphyllum ‘mauna loa’)


Chinese Evergreen (aglaonema modestum)



Bamboo Palm (chamaedorea seifrizii)



 Variegated Sanseviera ‘snake plant,’ (dracaena trifasciata ‘laurentii’)


Heartleaf Philodendron (philodendron cordatum)



Selloum Philodendron, Lacy Tree Philodendron (philodendron bipinnatifidum)


Elephant Ear Philodendron (philodendron domesticum)


 Red-Edged Dracaena, Marginata (dracaena marginata)

Cornstalk Dracaena (dracaena fragrans ‘massangeana’)


 Weeping Fig (ficus benjamina)


Barberton Daisy, Gerbera Daisy (gerbera jamesonii)


Florist’s Chrysanthemum, (chrysanthemum morifolium)


Aloe Vera (aloe vera)


Janet craig (dracaena deremensis)


warneckii (dracaena deremensis)


 banana (musa oriana)

Project info:

Report: interior landscape plants for indoor air pollution abatement

Team: national aeronautics and space administration (NASA), the associated landscape contractors of America (ALCA)

date: September 15th, 1989

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