16. Marginata or Dragon Tree (dracaena marginata)
Effective in cleaning the air of the big three: benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene, as well as xylene. Bright red-trimmed leaves are very attractive as a decorative accent.
Will tolerate negligence. Dry soil and irregular watering are okay. Partial light is okay. Fluoride is toxic to this plant as well as humans–use rainwater.
17. Moth Orchid (phalaenopsis)
Purifies air of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and formaldehyde. So, so pretty, too.
Loves it warm and humid, with bright (but not hot) sunlight. Soaking waterings with almost complete dry-out between.
18. Mum (chrysanthemum sp./chrysanthemum morifolium)
A hardy plant indoors and out, the mum comes in various colors to suit your taste. Removes ammonia plus the big three from the air.
Requires partial sun and regular watering. These are normally annuals, especially when grown indoors.
19. Peace Lily (spathiphyllum sp.)
Extracts mold spores (good for kitchens and bathrooms–anywhere there’s water), alcohols, acetone, plus the big three. A good choice for whatever room you polish your nails.
Easy care (we like this) with bright indirect light and regular watering.
20. Philodendron (P. cordatum/P. scandens/P. selloum)
NASA cites this plant as one of the best for sucking up formaldehyde, even at high concentrations.
Ridiculously easy to grow and supremely tolerant of gross negligence, this plant will expand as large as you allow it. Our friend Laurie grew a philodendron in the office that ended up sprawling over three cubicle walls–with only fluorescent light to live on! Ingestion is poisonous, however.
21. Snake Plant (also known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue–good for a giggle, sansevieria trifasciata)
Absorbs toxic formaldehyde and other contaminants like nitrogen oxide. Good for asthmatics and people with other respiratory conditions.
Needs only low light and infrequent watering, with even less in the winter.
22. Schefflera or Umbrella Tree (brassaia actinophylla)
Prefers bright, indirect sunlight, humidity, and frequent watering. Can be toxic when ingested.
23. Spider Plant (chlorophytum comosum)
One of NASA’s top three plants for cleaning the air of formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and other toxins.
Another easy-to-grow and prolific plant, its structure makes it decorative as well as practical–a fabulous hanging plant. Needs bright, indirect sunlight and regular watering.
24. Warneckii or Dracanaena Warneckei (dracaena deremeusis or dracanea deremensis warneckei)
With attractive variegated leaves, this plant absorbs benzene and trichloroethylene.
Doesn’t like fluoride–use rainwater. Requires only moderate sun and water.
25. Weeping Fig or Ficus Tree (ficus benjamina)
Absorbs various toxins and emits high oxygen volume.
Does best in bright light but will do well in partial shade. Requires only moderate watering.