In a time of renewal and growth, Spring is also a great time to purify the air. According to a famous NASA study on removing indoor air pollution, houseplants have long been favored for their minor air-purifying qualities. Certain plants can remove 10-70% of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are common pollutants found in our homes such as formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene and carbon monoxide. Here are five houseplants to ask for next time you’re in the garden section of your local hardware store:

1. Devil’s Ivy

Also known as pothos or golden pothos, devil’s ivy is an easy to grow indoor houseplant that will fight off common household toxins. Almost impossible to kill, it is a fast grower and can tolerate a large variety of growing conditions.

2. Aloe Vera

This plant, a.k.a. aloe barbadensis miller, is an easy to grow succulent that cleans the air of benzene and formaldehyde. They like sun, and as an extra bonus, the gel from a cut piece can relieve pain from scrapes and burns when applied topically.

3. Dragon Tree

The dragon tree, or dracaena marginata,is an attractive plant with green sword-like, red-edged leaves. Because it can tolerate low light and a wide range of temperatures, dragon trees are very popular as large potted plants for homes and offices. 

4. Mother-in-Law’s Tongue

The snake plant (also known as sansevieria trifasciata) is a hardy succulent that can survive tough conditions so it’s great for beginners. It also converts carbon dioxide into oxygen at night and is an ideal bedroom plant. 

5. Rubber Tree

Also known as ficus elastica, the rubber tree is native to Southeast Asia and is part of the fig family. Its large, glossy leaves absorb toxins and they’re easy to maintain because they can grow in poor light.

As it turns out, plants are more than just aesthetically pleasing. A combination of circulating air with open windows and adding a few of the above plants will get your Spring cleaning underway. To learn about more ways to go green this Spring, check out our special St. Patrick’s Day post with fresh ideas.