by lesley kim

live right smack in downtown Los Angeles, near skyscrapers and highways. Concerned about the quality of the air that I was breathing, I did some research on what are the best plants for cleaning the air. Plants in general will release oxygen in the air. There  are, however, houseplants that remove formaldehyde, benzene, and other toxins from the air. 

From my personal research, I found some plants that are excellent house plants- low maintenance and great at cleaning the air.

Spider plants (chlorophytum comusum)
photo from collegegardener.blogspot.com 

Spider plants removes formaldehyde, xylene and toluene from the air. 
 Spider plants are non toxic to cats and dog. 
 

Peace lily (spathiphyllum ‘mauna loa’)
photo from http://www.greensax.ie/blog/?p=874
Peace lily removes benzene,trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene, and ammonia. 
Peace lily are toxic to cats and dogs.

Golden pothos (scindapsus aures)
photo from http://www.guide-to-houseplants.com/pothos.html
Golden pothos removes benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene. 
Goldern pothos are toxic to cats and dogs.
 

Snake plant (sansevieria trifasciata)
photo from audreyandnoel.merket.org
 Snake plants removes benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene.
 Snake plants are toxic to cats and dogs.


Florist’s chrysanthemum (chrysanthemum morifolium)
photo from bighugelabs.com
Florist’s chrysanthemum removes benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene, and ammonia. 
Florist’s chrysanthemum are toxic to cats and dogs
 

Red edged dracaena(dracaena marginata)
photo from ikea.com
Red edged dracaena removes benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene. 
Red edged dracaena are toxic to cats and dogs.
 

 I went to several places to look for these indoor plants. They are sold at Home depot, some Target, grocery stores and nurseries. From my talks with several florists, peace lily and snake plants are highly recommended for being very low maintenance.

My search for the best plants for cleaning the air led me to several plants that I now absolutely love.  I must say that the spider plants are probably my favorite, requiring little maintenance and being pretty strong and sturdy.