Can Plants Improve Air Quality? We Provide The Answer.

It is undeniable that adding plants to any space is the perfect way to add more color, excitement, and life; it is impossible to truly feel down when you are surrounded by thriving and beautiful greenery. 

Not only are indoor plants a sight for sore eyes, but they are beneficial to your health, as well. It is no secret that we wholeheartedly believe in the healing power of gardening for your mind and body. That said, what if we told you keeping plants indoors would keep your air cleaner, too?

Keep reading to learn more about how your indoor plants can affect the air quality of your environment.

How do Plants Clean the Air?

If you are wondering how plants are able to make the air cleaner, think back to grade school science; it is as simple as photosynthesis. Your plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air, combine it with sunlight, and produce fresh oxygen. 

In addition to photosynthesizing, your indoor plants also increase humidity by transpiring water through their leaf pores, and they can also passively absorb minor pollutants or toxins that land on them physically. 

Do Indoor Plants Really Purify The Air?

There is certainly controversy around the idea of indoor plants having the ability to purify the air. Some say that because indoor plants are so small and are typically not housed in mass amounts, they don’t have the potential to make a large impact on their environment.

The question at hand is whether or not indoor plants are able to effectively remove an air pollutant called a volatile organic compound – VOC. VOCs can cause an itchy throat or chronic disease, such as cancer, and they are released into the environment by common household products that have a scent. This can be paint, hairspray, nail polish remover, etc. 

According to Michael Waring, an engineering professor at Drexel University, unless you have the capacity to include 10 plants for every square foot of space, your plants will not be making a large impact on the quality of your air. If you want to read more about this theory, take a look at Waring’s interview with Robinson Meyer, published by The Atlantic. 

All of this being said, although your indoor plants might not be working as an entire separate filtration system, they are still diligently doing their job to photosynthesize and produce more oxygen – that certainly is not a bad thing to have more of. 

What Plants are Best at Purifying the Air?

Below is a list of plants that are extra capable of cleaning up the air quality of their environment:

  • Peace Lily
  • Snake Plant
  • English Ivy
  • Aloe Vera
  • Rubber Tree
  • Boston Fern

Further, growing certain herbs is said to have an impact on the health of your environment. According to the article, Simplest Air Cleansing Humidifier, by Mama Rosemary, you can cleanse your air by making an herbal steam using fragrant herbs from your own garden. See the directions below:

  1. Fill the pot with water and set it on the stove. 
  2. Bring it to a steamy simmer.  
  3. Add your herbs.  
  4. If you have a larger pot, and plan to simmer for a while, use a sizable handful of herbs to ensure that you release a sufficient amount of essential oils into the air.   

When you are making this steam, be sure to pick herbs from your garden that are rich in essential oils, such as rosemary, thyme, lavender, mint, lemon balm, basil, sage, cinnamon, and cloves. The boiling water will release essential oils from the herbs into the air, and as essential oils are antiviral, as well as anti-bacterial, they will work to clean your air. 

How to Incorporate Plants in your Space

As we are all still spending large amounts of time in the house, there has never been a better time to surround yourself with greenery. Some wonderful places to consider placing plants in your home are in your office or on your desk, in the kitchen, or in any shared living space. 

We believe that including plants on your desk is the perfect solution to a foggy brain or a sour mood. Plants remind you to take a deep breath, reconnect to your body and the earth, and to enjoy the life that persists around you. If you are looking for an ideal office space plant, look no further than our Desktop Garden! It is compact, beautiful and keeps you operating at max productivity throughout the day. Take a look at our desktop garden options here

Grow Today

It is never too late to start experimenting with adding plants to your indoor spaces; we can guarantee that once you start growing, you truly won’t want to stop. This is a beautiful thing, as gardening is good for the soul and the environment (and your dinner menu!). Start your garden today.