Which air-purifying plant to get first?

Dracaena and ficus are two air-purifying plants, here filtering both light and air

As they breathe and grow, these plants purify pollutants out from the air… and they’re beautiful, too! Discover Ficus ginseng, Tillandsia and Anthurium, three plants that have what it takes to make your day!

Ficus ginseng cleans out ammonia, paint & glue

Ficus ginseng in a blue pot, focus on the air-purifying leavesIts ornamental trunk, typical of this variety, is definitely unique. Not many plants boast a thick, juicy-looking trunk like that! As a matter of fact, “ginseng” is the Chinese name for a type of ginger root known to have lots of medicinal properties. The green foliage, shiny and lustrous, is also very appealing. All in all, Ficus ginseng has a very good impact on the local environment and on people’s health.

The air-purifying capabilities target ammonia released by detergents, formaldehyde which wafts out from agglomerated wood panels typically found in recent furniture, paint, and glue. Ideally, you’d place this easy-to-care-for plant in the living room or in any other bright, well-lit room – especially if you’ve just moved in or redesigned it! Simply try to keep it out of windy, drafty areas, and never let water collect in the saucer underneath it.

Tillandsia: all-around purifier and moisture absorber

Tillandsia grows without soil, here in a small tin potThe most surprising particularity of this epiphyte plant is that it can thrive both with and without soil: a bed of lichen or moss is enough! Technically, it feeds off of the air around it. This explains why it’s so good at cleansing the air around it: it absorbs moisture from the air around it.

Whether you dangle it on a string or place it atop a piece of furniture, it’ll catch the eye with its one-of-a-kind appearance. This wild, simple and innovative plant also goes by the nickname “air plant”. Tillandsia will adapt to indoor living everywhere.

Anthurium: against volatile organic compounds and ammonia

Anthurium flower and leaf seeming to float in the airThe classic red anthurium, also called “tongue of fire”, symbolizes exotic beauty. Its elegance and craving for light lead this one to stay in the living room or in the kitchen, because it clears the air from ammonia very effectively. It’ll also feel right at home in the bathroom, where the high air moisture will suit it well.

Yup, that’s right: Anthurium doesn’t like dry air!

Many other plants also have pollution-cleaning properties. In no particular order, look into other ficus trees, ivy, azalea, chlorophytum, dracaena, sansevieria, pilea, aglaonema, ferns and philodendron.

Claire Lelong-Lehoang