Did you know that decorating your home with indoor plants is one of the simplest, most effective ways to improve your home’s atmosphere — both in terms of mood and air quality? Studies show that indoor plants naturally lift a person’s mood.
Adding a few strategically placed indoor plants can make your space feel much more vibrant and livable, and if you’re planning to sell your house soon, create a more favourable impression on house buyers.
If you’re looking for quality fresh air and to lift the mood in your home, here are the best indoor plants that clean the air and remove toxins.
Best Indoor Plants For Clean Air in Australia
#1 Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum ‘Mauna Loa’)
One of Australia’s most loved non-toxic houseplants that clean the air, the peace lily is one of the easiest to look after. Peace lilies filter out more air pollution than most other plants and are perfect for bathrooms, bedrooms and corners with low light. In fact, scientific studies show the peace lily naturally neutralises toxins like benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and xylene in the air.
Appearance: The peace lily has glossy green leaves and white slender flowers that bloom in spring. A well-cared-for peace lily may bloom twice a year. Small peace lily varieties look attractive on a table and larger varieties look chic as a floor pot plant.
Soil: Your peace lily prefers a rich, dry, loose potting soil enriched with organic material. Traditionally, they grow in soil rich with bark in the tropical canopy.
Light: Your peace lily loves light to moderate shade. If your plants’ leaves look curled, pale or scorched, this is a sign that it may need to be moved to a location that offers more shade.
Water: The best ways to keep your peace lily happy are to give it weekly water and fertilise it with a slow-release fertiliser in spring to encourage growth. In summer, water and spritz the plant’s leaves every week to imitate the higher humidity of a rainforest. In winter, reduce watering but take care to avoid letting the soil dry out.
Climate and temperature: Hailing from rainforests in Central and South America, peace lilies are well-suited to a subtropical climate with moist warmth. Its ideal temperature range is between 18 to 27 degrees Celsius.
A word of warning: If eaten, peace lily leaves can irritate the stomach or cause extreme salivating. If you have children and pets, it’s best to keep your peace lily in a high location out of reach.
#2 Flamingo Lily (Anthurium Andaeanum)
The flamingo lily, with its striking flowers that bloom 300 out of 365 days of the year, is the perfect plant to add a pop of colour to any room. Comfortable in more humid conditions like your bathroom and kitchen, this indoor plant is one of the plants described in the NASA Clean Air Study as powerful in removing formaldehyde, xylene, toluene and ammonia from the air.
Appearance: The flamingo lily’s flowers range from scarlet, pink and orange to creamy white and deep purple, almost black. With large, glossy, deep green leaves, its height can reach up to 60-90 centimetres, depending on the variety and the size of its pot. You can keep your flamingo lily’s leaves looking shiny, dust-free and healthy by wiping them with a damp cloth every couple of months. For the best health and aesthetics, remove tired flower stalks and yellowing leaves when necessary.
Soil: Your flamingo lily appreciates moist but well-drained open mix soil with plenty of bark for nutrients.
Light: This plant loves bright, indirect sunlight and tolerates medium shade. It’s best to avoid placing them on windowsills where they can be exposed to too much direct sun through the glass. Avoid placing them in rooms near air conditioners or heater vents, as they do not react well to dry air.
Water: Give your flamingo lily a soak one to two times a week when the top five centimetres of potting mix feels dry to the touch. Provide enough water that excess water flows out of the base of the pot and don’t allow the pot to stand in a saucer of water. Use a long-term controlled-release fertiliser every six months. Daily misting with water will help to prolong its flowers.
Climate and temperature: Naturally suited to a subtropical or tropical climate, your flamingo lily is frost intolerant and likes high humidity. The best room temperature is between 18°C and 24°C.
#3 Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)
Considered one of the easiest indoor plants to grow, the spider plant makes a wonderful hanging plant. Its name originates from the little white flowers and small plantlets that hang down from the mother plant like spiders on a web. Spider plants cleanse formaldehyde and xylene from the air.
Appearance: The spider plant’s green and white variegated leaves arch and dangle gracefully, making it perfect for a hanging pot plant.
Soil: Your spider plant grows best in a well-draining, soil-based potting mix that provides even moisture.
Light: This indoor plant will thrive in bright, indirect sunlight and can tolerate extreme conditions such as bright sun and darkness.
Water: Spider plants can last a long time without water and prefer to dry out fully between waterings. When watering, do not let the plant become too soggy, as this can cause root rot.
Climate and temperature: Spider plants prefer a warm, tropical climate but can survive in almost any condition. The best temperatures range between 21°C and 32°C.
#4 Kimberly Queen Fern (Nephrolepis Obliterata)
The Kimberly Queen Fern is a striking native plant that is remarkably easy to grow. The straight, dark green narrow fronds are perfect for creating tropical texture in indoor living areas. The plant grows just as well in a hanging basket as on the ground, making it versatile as a decorative plant. As a bonus, it naturally purifies formaldehyde and benzene from the air!
Appearance: This Australian fern is unusual in that its unique straight, narrow upright fronds require little to no care. Kimberly Queen Ferns don’t need to be pruned and grow upright, rather than spreading outward, creating a neater appearance. To encourage healthy, rich and green growth, regularly remove any dead fronds.
Soil: When planting the fern in a pot, plant the roots in an equal mix of soil and peat moss.
Light: Your Kimberly Queen Fern prefers bright, indirect light, but can survive in the direct sun if it’s watered on a regular basis and the soil remains moist.
Water: Since this indoor plant likes to keep moist, it’s best to water your Kimberly Queen Fern once every two to three days and fertilise regularly in summer.
Climate and temperature: Your Kimberly Queen Fern is a resilient plant that prefers humidity and temperatures between 18°C and 24°C. Regularly spraying the plant with water will prevent the leaves from turning brown.
#5 Aloe Vera (Aloe Vera)
Renowned in Australia for its anti-inflammatory properties, repairing wounds and helping ease the sting of sunburn, aloe vera is an excellent indoor plant for air purification. This gorgeous succulent removes formaldehyde from the atmosphere.
Appearance: An evergreen succulent, aloe vera forms a cluster of leaves rising almost straight up from the base. Its distinctive thick, thorny leaves are mid-green to grey-green with small white spots and short stripes on the upper and lower surfaces. When aloe vera flowers, it appears as a cluster of yellow to orange flowers.
Soil: Aloe vera prefers well-drained soil. To achieve this, we recommend using cacti and succulent potting mix.
Light: If you are growing your aloe vera indoors, choose a bright, warm part of the house where the plant can bask in indirect sunlight.
Water: Since the aloe vera is well-adapted to dry climates, minimal watering is needed. To help it thrive, provide it with a balanced, controlled-release fertiliser once a year.
Climate and temperature: This tough, drought-resistant plant prefers a subtropical or tropical climate, thriving best in temperatures between 13°C and 27°C, but will grow happily indoors where it is protected from frosts.
Final Thoughts: Plants That Improve Indoor Air Quality
The best indoor plants will require little maintenance while purifying the air in your home and offering up a beautiful visual display. Decorating your home with indoor plants is one of the best ways to improve the mood and air quality in your home. Not only do house plants naturally enhance your mood, but if you’re looking to sell your home soon, they can also make your space feel much more inviting and homey to potential home buyers.