Houseplants and Indoor Pollution

Researchers at the University of Georgia tested a number of common houseplants for their ability to remove organic volatiles from indoor environments. The indoor pollutants included benzene, toluene, octane, tricholoroethylene (TCE), and alpha-pinene.

Houseplants were rated as either “superior,” “intermediate,” or “poor” to reflect their ability to remove all volatiles. None of the plants appeared to have been damaged by the volatiles.

Superior Removal Efficiency
Hemigraphis alternata: Red Ivy
Hedera helix: English Ivy
Tradescantia pallida: Wandering Jew
Hoya carnosa: Porcelain Flower

Intermediate Removal Efficiency
Ficus benjamina: Weeping fig
Polyscia fruticosa: Ming aralia
Fittonia argyroneura: Silver Nerve Plant Sansevieria trifasciata: Mother-in-Law’s Tongue Gusmania sp.: Type of Bromeliad Anthurium andreanum: Flamingo Flower Schefflera elegantissima: False aralia

Poor Removal Efficiency
Peperomia clusiifolia: Peperomia
Chlorophytum comosum: Spider plant
Howea belmoreana: Sentry palm
Spathiphyllum wallisii: Peace Lily
Schefflera arboricola: Hawaiian Elf Schefflera Codiaeum variegatum: Croton Calathea roseopicta: Peacock Plant Aspidistra elatior: Cast Iron Plant Maranta leuconeura: Prayer Plant Dracaena fragrans: Corn Plant Ficus elastica: India Rubber Plant Dieffenbachia seguine: Dumbcane Philodendron scandens: Philodendron Syngonium podophyllum: Nephytis, Arrowhead Vine Epipremnum aureum: Pothos Pelargonium graveolens: Rose Geranium


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