How to Make Your Own Air Purifier


  • Buy a pretty pot that matches your decor
  • Fill it with potting mix
  • Put a leafy green indoor plant in it
  • Voila!

Aspidistra or cast iron plant is so called because it is very hard to kill. (Photo

Most of us learned at school about photosynthesis, where a plant will take in carbon dioxide through its leaves and then release oxygen into the atmosphere.  NASA research has now proven that plants can absorb and eliminate more than carbon dioxide.  They can also remove toxins and pollutants – especially:

  • Benzine
  • Formaldehyde
  • Trichloroethylene
  • Toluene / Xylene
  • Ammonia

These toxic substances can be found in everything from cigarette smoke, plastics, paint, adhesives and most things synthetic, plus more.

Any plant with leaves will purify your indoor air, but the ones that remove the most toxins seem to be:

  • Peace Lily  (removes 5 of the 5 toxins)  A popular and easy care houseplant.
Peace lily

Peace Lily or Spath. The flowers have a delicate fragrance. Photo

  •  Chrysanthemum morifolium or florist’s chrysanthemum (removes 5 of the 5 toxins).  This plant will only last about 6 – 8 weeks indoors.  When spent, you will need to buy a new plant

Affectionately known as ‘mums’. Comes in a wide variety of shapes, colours and sizes. Photo from

  • Mother in law’s tongue or snake plant (removes 4 of the 5 toxins)  Also called the bedroom plant because it will continue to release oxygen at night.
Mother in laws tongue

Mother in law’s tongue or snake plant is virtually indestructible.  Photo

  • Red-edged dracaena (removes 4 of the 5 toxins)  Can grow up to 15 feet tall, but is slow growing.  It is sensitive to fluoride in the water.
Red edged dracanea

Red edged dracaena or dragon plant. Keep it dry and warm. Photo

  •  English ivy (removes 4 of the 5 toxins)   Prune regularly to prevent it from running amok and ‘sticking’ to furniture.  Not one of the easier houseplants to grow.
English ivy

English ivy or Hedera Helix. Does well in hanging baskets. Photo

Plants that removed 3 out of the 5 toxins were:

  • Lilyturf  (Liriope muscari) or Monkeygrass
  • Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum) or Money Plant
  • Flamingo Lily (Anthurium andraeanum) or Painted Tongue / Tail Flower
  • Broadleaf Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa) or Little Lady Palm
  • Cornstalk Dracaena (Dracaena fragrans) or Corn Plant
  • Barberton Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) or Gerbera / Transvaal Daisy

Use one potted plant per 100 square feet of space, around the size of a second bedroom.

Please note that some of these plants are poisonous if eaten or chewed by children or pets.  Please check with your local nursery.

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