10 Air-Purifying Plants According to Feng Shui

Ferns, Palms, and Lilies to Clean the Air

English Ivy


FeelPic / Getty Images

Whether you are a practitioner of feng shui or not, it is good practice to monitor the quality of your indoor air and do your best to improve it. Research shows that indoor pollution can often be much worse than outdoor pollution. Plants offer an easy and effective way to improve indoor air quality. Common airborne toxins and pollutants in the home that plants can scrub from the air include benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and ammonia. In feng shui, plants are a great way to combine both energetic and air-purifying techniques.  

These 10 plants were defined by NASA research during the early 1980s as species with good air-purifying qualities.


Most of these air-purifying plants require moist, well-drained soil. Keeping roots too damp can result in root-rot, shortening your plant's life.

  • 01 of 10

    Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)

    Areca Palm


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    Areca palm, scientifically called Chrysalidocarpus lutescens, is a very popular and easy-to-care-for plant that is actually a form of bamboo. Its leaves have a gracious flow that will soften the energy of any home or office space. It can remove all indoor air toxins.

    • Light: Bright, indirect light
    • Water: Allow it to dry out between waterings.
  • 02 of 10

    Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa)

    Broadleaf lady palm
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    Lady palm, or Rhapis excelsa, is one of the very best plants to improve indoor air quality as it removes most indoor pollutants. A small fan palm, it grows from multiple stems, each topped with upright fronds. It is a great plant for beginners since it is remarkably easy to grow. If you use lady palm for its Feng Shui benefits, be sure to place it in your wealth corner.

    • Light: Dappled light or partial shade
    • Water: Water regularly in spring and summer, occasionally in winter.
  • 03 of 10

    Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)

    Chamaedorea Plant


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    Bamboo palm, or Chamaedorea seifrizii, adds a peaceful, tropical feeling to any environment. It resists most insect infestations, though regular cleaning and pruning can help to keep it healthy. It has been found to clean the air of benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde. In feng shui, it is thought to bring positive energy, luck, and good fortune to any home or workspace where it grows.

    • Light: Indirect or filtered sunlight
    • Water: Keep soil moist but avoid overwatering.
  • 04 of 10

    Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

    Rubber fig leaves (Ficus elastica), Moraceae
    DEA / W. BUSS / Getty Images

    Rubber plant tolerates dim light and cool temperatures and has an excellent ability to remove air toxins, especially formaldehyde, from any indoor environment. These plants can become leggy, and are vulnerable to a variety of issues ranging from pests to overexposure to light. Place your rubber plant near the entrance of your house to introduce good chi to your home.

    • Light: Bright filtered light
    • Water: Keep soil moist but avoid overwatering.
    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Janet Craig Dragon Tree (Dracaena deremensis)

    Dracaena green


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    The Janet Craig dragon tree, also called Dracaena deremensis, is another attractive plant that does well in very little light. It is the best of the Dracaena family for removing home or office chemical toxins especially trichloroethylene. Used for its Feng Shui benefits, it can improve the mood of anyone who spends time near it.

    • Light: Low to moderate light
    • Water: Keep evenly moist but on the dry side; avoid fluoridated water.
  • 06 of 10

    English Ivy (Hedera helix)

    English Ivy


    FeelPic / Getty Images

    English Ivy is a hardy, popular plant that is a favorite for public spaces. It is very adaptable and easy to grow, although it does not thrive in higher temperatures. While it can be invasive outdoors, indoors it can become a beautiful trailing or hanging plant. It is known for removing most pollutants especially formaldehyde.

    • Light: Filtered sun or partial shade
    • Water: Keep soil moist and well-drained.


    English ivy is toxic, and should not be grown in a home with children or pets.

  • 07 of 10

    Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii)

    Dwarf Date plant
    (c) houstoninteriorplants.com

    Dwarf date palm is a slow grower that can reach heights of 5 to 6 feet. It can tolerate fairly low levels of light and is known for removing most pollutants, especially xylene. For good Feng Shui, place your date palm in the living room or at the entrance to your home.

    • Light: Full sun
    • Water: Water sparingly; ensure good drainage.
  • 08 of 10

    Ficus Alii

    Ficus ali plant
    (c) houstoninteriorplants.com

    Ficus maclellandii, or ficus alii, is one of the easier varieties to care for, though it can lose some leaves during its adjustment to a new space. There are three sub-varieties: the standard tree form, a bush form, and a braided form in which several trunks are entwined. It is known for removing most pollutants, especially formaldehyde.

    • Light: Bright indirect sunlight
    • Water: Keep soil moist but avoid overwatering.
    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)

    Hanging boston fern

    aon168 / Getty Images

    If formaldehyde is a particular problem, then a Boston fern is a beautiful, lush plant that is a favorite for home or office. It boasts small leaves and graceful fronds and can be displayed in a basket or on a pedestal or window ledge. Nephrolepis exaltata "Bostoniensis" is known to remove most pollutants, especially formaldehyde. Be aware that it requires attention in order to thrive. 

    • Light: Bright indirect light
    • Water: Keep soil moist at all times; provide good drainage.
  • 10 of 10

    Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum sp.)

    Peace lily


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    Peace lily is a beautiful plant with gentle white flowers. It is easy to care for, and it symbolizes prosperity, calm, peace, solitude, and purification. According to Feng Shiu, it balances energies to create a peaceful sanctuary. It is known to clean the air of alcohols, acetone, trichloroethylene, benzene, and formaldehyde.

    • Light: Moderate indirect light
    • Water: Water frequently; avoid chlorine
    • Color varieties: White and yellow