My Favorite Things: Air Purifying Plants That Are Hard to Kill

Why Plants Are Awesome

With my science nerd background, it’s not surprising that I find plants to be really fascinating.  It’s estimated that plants have been around on Earth for approximately 700 million years and while there are roughly 400,000 different known types of plants out there (how many do you eat on a regular basis??), new ones are being discovered all the time.

Plants are hardworking little things. They turn carbon dioxide in the atmosphere into oxygen…which is where we presumably got the bright idea to use their by-product to our own evolutionary advantage (not the other way around).  Both in their living and dead form, plants replenish the soil and balance the insect/animal population in a lot of habitats (provided that we’re not messing up that habitat too much!).

Air Purifying Plants That Are Hard to Kill

Most people have also realized that plants make for some pretty beautiful and easy decoration material for the home.  Nothing turns a bland looking room around like a few well-placed, gorgeous plants.  And as far as cost goes, you can’t get much cheaper than a plant that continuously sprouts more plants for you to pot!

Plants Purify Air

What a lot of folks don’t realize, however, is that plants are incredibly powerful source of detoxification for the home.  Plants can use and neutralize hormone disrupting and liver detoxification pathway “clogging” chemicals such as benzene, formaldehydetrichloroethylene, and xylene which are found in a lot of carpets, upholstered furniture, mattresses, cleaning and paint products.

So that all being said, you’d think I’d have a green thumb or something. As in turns out, however, I’m actually a terrible florist…and I continuously marvel at the fact that I’ve had some of the the same plants for nearly a decade and they’ve managed to survive.

So when I filled my home with air purifying plants, I was extra careful to pick ones that could me neglecting them for long periods at a time (I once forgot to water my plants for 7 weeks! Eek!).  The list below includes the plants I’ve gotten and have personally tested for their Alex-related-resilience.  I’m happy to report that they are all alive, kicking, and helping me have a cleaner environment!

Toxic Home Makeover

If you’re looking to detoxify and clean up your home environment in an easy and un-stressful manner, make sure to get the Free Toxic Home Makeover e-book that Megan of GingerNewtrition and I put together.

Best Air Purifying Plants That Are Hard to Kill:

  1. Snake Plant
  2. Peace Lilies
  3. Aloe Vera Plants (you can also use these for hair care, homemade skin lotion, and for detoxification)
  4. Philodendrons
  5. Golden Pathos
  6. Dracaena

v i b e s



7 replies

  1. This is awesome! I have been looking for indoor plants that will help keep the air clean but I have kind of a black thumb. This is a long shot but do you have any idea which of these, if any, are non-toxic to cats? Thanks!

    • Good! I’m glad you’ve found it helpful!! I’m not totally sure (I’ll look into it) but we have two cats and they’ve never had a problem. (If you look in my IG feed, you can see pictures of them sitting in the potted plants…cats are such punks!)

  2. Thanks for the list. 🙂 The dracaena is the hardiest, most determined-to-live plant I’ve ever owned. I’ve found that spider plants do well under “low maintenance” conditions, too.

  3. This is a great way to clean the air in your home while having something nice to look at too – and hard to kill is essential for some of us for sure. Air scrubbers are also a great option. They remove over 99% of air impurities and odors.

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