This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure policy here.

I love being outside.  The winters, although mild in Nashville, give me cabin fever because they cut into my outside time.  I would rather be out by the lake, hiking, or working in the yard. Mad props to those of you who get cold and snow for months at a time.  I would never survive and you are my heroes.

Whenever possible, I bring the outdoors in. I love having the windows open to let the outside air in and the addition of houseplants adds the comfort of nature within the home. Now, my husband would kindly disagree with me on the houseplants, which he affectionately calls bowls of dirt. They are growing on him though.

Did you know that the color green has a soothing, healing effect? Green is the predominant color in nature and people naturally feel the most at ease in settings with this color. I have heard of people who sit under lamps with green bulbs for 10-15 minutes to help them relax and center.

Not only do houseplants brighten a room, they work hard to clean our air. Let’s take it back old school to 5th grade science class. Plants breathe in carbon dioxide and release oxygen and it as it turns out, some plants are doubling down to also clean toxins out of the air we breathe.

In 1989, NASA conducted a clean air study to determine which indoor plants filtered harmful toxins and pollutants from the air. NASA discovered 5 common pollutants found indoors.

  1. Trichloroethylene – Found in printing ink, paint and varnishes. Symptoms of exposure include excitement, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.
  2. Formaldehyde – Found in paper bags, facial tissues, paper towels and plywood paneling. Symptoms include irritation to nose, mouth and throat.
  3. Benzene –  Used to make plastics, synthetic fibers, detergents and pesticides. Symptoms include irritation to eyes, drowsiness, dizziness and headaches
  4. Xylene – Found in printing, rubber and paint. Similar to Benzene, symptoms include irritation to eyes, drowsiness, dizziness and headaches.
  5. Ammonia – Used in window cleaners, floor waxes and fertilizers. Symptoms include eye irritation, coughing and sore throat.


10 Houseplants that

Purify Indoor Air



1. Aloe Vera


  • It has the ability to heal cuts and burns.
  • It absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen at night.



2. Spider Plant

  • Helps remove benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene from the air.
  • Safe for pets.


3. Gerbera Daisy

  • Beautiful, bright blooms
  • Most plants respiratory cycle decreases in the evening. Gerbera Daisies continue releasing oxygen through the night to help you breathe and sleep better.


4. Peace Lily

  • Thrive in low light with moist soil.
  • Helps remove benzene and trichloroethylene from the air.
  • Mildy toxic to people and pets if ingested.



5. Ficus

  • Effective at cleaning the air of airborne formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.
  • Low-maintenance and requires bright, indirect sunlight.
  • Poisonous to animals. Take extra precautions that your pets do not ingest any part of this plant.



6. Philodendron

  • Easily tolerates the dry conditions found inside most homes.
  • Among the best houseplants for removing higher concentrations of formaldehyde.
  • Considered poisonous if ingested by children or pets.


7. Orchids

  • Thrives in high humidity and with thorough watering.
  • Removes formaldehyde from the air.



8. Rubber Plant

  • Enjoys indirect light and infrequent watering.
  • Rubber plants emit high oxygen content and purifies indoor air by removing formaldehyde.



9. English Ivy

  • Helps to reduce mold in your home.
  • Cleanses formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, and toluene from the air.



10. Chrysanthemum

  • Helps cleanse the air of formaldehyde, xylene, ammonia, benzene, toluene and trichloroethylene.
  • Poisonous to animals.


 How to improve air quality in your home.


  1. Add air cleansing houseplants to your home.
  2. Air purifiers are effective in your home to remove a large range of airborne pollutants like dust, smoke, pollen, animal dander, and tobacco smoke.
  3. Eliminate the source of pollutants. Dust and vacuum often to stay on top of dusty situations.
  4. Open your windows often.  The air in our homes is more polluted than fresh air from outside.  Even in winter, open a window or two occasionally to let the fresh air in and the stale air out.