Which Indoor Plants Absorb the Most Carbon Dioxide?

Most interior designers consider indoor plants as a must in their overall designs. It adds more than just a splash color inside a room but also a much need life in a place. These designers not only see indoor plants as a way to give vibrancy in a space but also to promote better air quality. They are a great focal point and can grab attention when appropriately placed.

It is common knowledge that plants absorb carbon dioxide and then release oxygen as part of their photosynthesis cycle. Some of the best are dracaena, Gerber Daisies, and different types of palms. Read further and learn more about the positive effects of these plants.

Definition of an Indoor Plant

An indoor plant or houseplant are plants that are grown inside houses, offices or any indoor spaces. They are easy to maintain and are very pleasing to the eye when placed around strategically. Indoor plants are often used and grown for decorative purposes, but studies have shown that having indoor plants can increase air quality and have positive psychological effects to many.

Indoor plants can be easily purchased from your local florist or a gardening store. These plants are a great way to add some focal point in your house or office and also to increase humidity in the air especially during winter months.

Categories of Indoor Plants

There’s more than one type of indoor plants available to choose from. The wide variety helps many in designing their offices, homes, and spaces.

Common Indoor Plants

As the name implies, these are the plants are most commonly found inside anyone’ home or office. They are widely available and are sold in most stores which is why they are always the first choice. They are also easy to take care of and are highly recommended for first-time indoor plant owners.


The last few decades, flowering plants have grown in popularity. The aesthetic quality it gives to the room has pleased not just the interior designers but also the owners as well. It is a bit harder to maintain than the common houseplants, but all is worth it once you see them start to bloom.

Easy and Low Light Plants

Those who prefer plants that require very low maintenance go for these. The name says it all. They are easy to maintain and can survive in low light spaces. These plants are perfect for busy people who want to bring in plants in their space.


These plants are very popular for their excellent and amazing looking leaves. They are an easier more friendly alternative for flowering plants. They are not just good looking; they are also easy to take care of.


These plants require a minimal amount of water to survive. That is why they are a favorite of the “busy people” class. Two origins can be chosen from, the desert or the forest. They are also available in different shapes and sizes.

Indoor Palm

These plants are very appealing to look at. They are one of the many plants that most designers use to liven up a room. They can be quite expensive, but the cost is all worth it especially if you are planning to put it inside an office or any large areas of your home.

Indoor Tree

Yes, there are indoor trees. These plants are a bit tricky because you need to consider the growing conditions of the space before you purchase one. They are great as a focal point for large spaces and can be very aesthetic to many.

Large Houseplants

These plants are perfect for people who are looking for plants that would grow taller than the others. They add depth to indoor plant arrangements because of their large leaves and tall height. They can become a focal point in an otherwise dull space.


These plants are trendy lately because of their beautiful appearance. These plants survive well in drought because they have developed fleshy parts that store water. They grow well in temperate climates and requires a very little amount of watering. Also, these succulents became popular because of their ability to change color depending on the color of water you use. Some gardeners put food color in the water so that these plants change color accordingly.

Reasons for Having Indoor Plants

Indoor plants are a great way to decorate your home, office, room and any space that needs a splash of life. As mentioned before, these plants are usually grown for decoration purposes, but there are other great reasons why you should consider bringing an indoor plant into your space.

Indoor Air Quality

All plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air and in return releases oxygen. A study by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have researched how to clean air inside a space station through the use of indoor plants. They have discovered certain plant species that absorbs not just the carbon dioxide in the air but also toxins such as formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene.

Related: Here’s an article about plants that help with allergies.

Best House Plants that Absorbs Carbon Dioxide

Indoor plants that absorb the most carbon dioxide in the air helps in the promotion of better air quality. Here are some that you can consider bringing in your home:

  • Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens). This plant is very efficient in removing toxins inside your home. This plant also emits water vapors in the air which is why this is perfect for spaces that have dry air.
  • Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa). A type of palm plant that is easy to maintain and grow due to its high resistance in bugs. Place this inside your home and enjoy a better air quality due to its excellent carbon dioxide absorption.
  • Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii). Removes not just carbon dioxide in the air but also formaldehyde. Also known as “reed palm”. It likes moist soil and bright places with indirect sunlight.
  • Rubber Plant (Ficus robusta).  This plant prefers a semi-sunlit place and hates direct sunlight which makes it easy to place the plant. It is also a great absorber of formaldehyde in indoor air.
  • Dracaena “Janet Craig” (Dracaena deremensis). Scored high in NASA’s study in removing trichloroethylene in indoor rooms, which is another harmful toxin for us humans. Moderate watering is the key to keeping this plant alive.
  • Gerbera Daisies – This wonderful flowering plant continuously absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen throughout the night. It is perfect to have inside your room or your office to improve air quality and add a pop of color with its cheerful looking blooms.

There are many more included in the list, but these are the ones that have great results. Choose any one of these plants and place it inside your home or room to filter that carbon dioxide and toxins in the air. You enjoy the life these plants bring into your room and also better air quality.

House Plants that Help Remove Allergens in the Air

There are many things that cause allergies. Dust, trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, and benzene are the major allergens present indoors. It is fortunate that there are plants that help you conquer those runny nose, watery eyes and sneezing. Place any of the following inside your room, office or home and enjoy a more allergen-free air.

  • Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)These are low maintenance plants that have attractive variegated leaves. They are very well suited for tropical climates and are very tough. It absorbs formaldehyde from the air which is why it is a perfect plant to bring in your home.
  • Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) – Due to the long lasting of its flowers. This plant has become one of the indoor plants that are used for aesthetic purposes. Apart from that it also is a great air purifier because it absorbs benzene from the air.
  • Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens) – Since this plant releases vapor in the air, the dust and pollens that usually thrive in dry air are trapped, therefore, minimizing your allergy attacks.
  • Female Dragon (Draceana reflexa) – This plant is a great dust trapper. The leaves of this plant have the ability to trap dust from the air and prevent your allergies from acting up.
  • Philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum) – This plant also absorbs formaldehyde from the air. This is a famous plant because of how easy it is to maintain. It prefers shaded areas and are originally from tropical forests.

Good Mood Promotion

That is correct! Having indoor plants can give you good mood. It can drastically elevate the air quality in your room and therefore improve your aura and environment. Place these plants in your office to promote better working environment and promote higher productivity rate. You will not only enjoy the good mood you are in, your boss will praise you for a job well done too. Do I hear a promotion coming?


This is actually the first reason why indoor plants were grown. They add beauty and life into an otherwise dull space. Flowering ones gives a burst of color that can really tie up the design of the whole room. Large ones that are strategically placed inside a room can help to capture attention to a certain place.

Easy to Maintain Indoor Plants

People who consider themselves as having a black thumb would really love this section. There are indoor plants that easy to grow and maintain.

  • Pothos – The reason why you would want this plant in your home is that it can purify your air. It means that it absorbs toxins from your indoor environment. It is fine with any kind of lighting but low light can affect how the leaves grow.
  • Aloe Vera – You’ll love this plant because of the medicinal properties it possesses. It is more likely to thrive in dry soil so water less often for this one.
  • Spider Plant – This is a very interesting looking plant because of its light green, long, thin leaves. They are a perfect plant to be hanged and requires moderately wet soil. Place this on a well-lighted area for the best result.
  • Rubber Tree – Easy to plant and grow, can grow up to eight feet tall. It has attractively shiny, large, dark green leaves that are really beautiful.
  • Jade Plant – This one is part of the succulent family of indoor plants. It is very easy to take care of and is a very beautiful plant that can add vibrancy in your room.
  • Dieffenbachia – The foot-long leaves of this plant provides a very summery vibe in your room. Medium to low-lighting is the preferred area of this plant with moderate watering.
  • Bamboo palm – Very easy to maintain and likes moist and not wet soil. All you need to do is place this in an area where there is indirect light.

Organizing Indoor Plants

If you plan to bring more than one indoor plant in your space then the proper placing and arranging of these plants plays a vital role in making it look presentable. We don’t want your plants to look like it was haphazardly discarded in your office or home. You can ask for interior designer help too, but if you are more of a DIY kind of guy then here are some tips for you.

Large Plants are for Open Areas

Arrange those large plants in open areas. This gives them more breathing space and can serve as a backdrop of a large space. Putting them inside will take up precious space and can attract unnecessary attention.

Color Coordinate or use supplemental color pattern.

Arrange your indoor plants in a way that the eyes flow seamlessly into the whole design. Use contrasting colors in places where you want the space to look bigger. Use supplemental colors and plants to tie up the whole look of the space.

Create Depth

Vary the height of the plants that you arrange in a group. Tall ones should go behind and the smaller ones in front. You can use boxes, stools, and tables to create depth in your arrangement.

Consider Accent Plants

Accent plants are a great way to draw attention to a certain area of your design. Make your large plants as the center of attention and then work your way out. Use varying degrees of height so that your accent peice stands out from the rest.

Proper Amount of Indoor Plants

The research NASA made has suggested that there should be at least one plant per 100 square foot of space for the air to be successfully purified. Some experts in indoor plants have suggested two for the same amount of space.

Here is a simple guide for you to follow if you are planning to bring in indoor plants in your home.

A single plant can purify the air of a four by five-meter room by 25 percent. Five plants put your air quality 75 percent cleaner. It was shown that for the optimal result to be achieved, ten plants must be present within a four by five-meter room.

For a three by three-meter space, one plant can purify your air by 45 percent, two plants move you up to 75 percent and five plants would give you the best result.

An eight by eight-meter room benefits 75 percent cleaner air with sixteen plants present and for the maximum result to be achieved a total amount of thirty-two plants should be planted.

Note: In the ratio given above, medium plants are considered. Smaller plants would equal to only ⅓ of a medium plant and one large plant is equivalent to 1 ½ times of a medium plant.

House Plants That Are Perfect Inside Bedrooms

There are houseplants that promote better rest, deeper sleep and a more relaxing vibe inside your bedroom. Some of these plants have been infused in oil and are used in aromatherapy sessions.

  • Jasmine – This plant is great in reducing anxiety levels. It is an exotic plant that thrives in well-lighted areas and is considered as one of the many plants that have a gentle and soothing effect on both body and mind.
  • Lavender – Chances are you’ve encountered this plant before and have also experienced its soothing effects. The scent of this flower induces deep and better sleep.
  • Snake Plant (Mother-in-Law’s Tongue) – Don’t let the name scare you. This is a wonderful indoor plant to have. It is very tough, hardy and easy to maintain. This plant absorbs oxygen and emits oxygen not just during the day but also at night. Better air-quality means healthier sleeping time.
  • Aloe Vera – It is one of the many plants included in NASA’s list of top air purifying plants. Just like snake plant, this thorny looking succulent emits oxygen at night which helps you get a more restful sleep.
  • Gardenia – This plant has been one of the most suggested plants because it promotes deep sleep. This, however, needs a lot of maintenance and therefore can be very tedious for some.
  • Valerian – This perennial plant produces a sweet smelling white or pink blooms. Its roots are used to relax the mind and induce sleep. It needs about 6 hours of direct sunlight a day, so put it in a window sill where the sun shines the most.
  • Peace Lily – This another plant that made it to the NASA list of air-purifying plants for filtering out benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde in the air. It can give your room a much need humidity boost due to the moisture it gives off. This moisture boost helps in trapping allergens in the air. This plant loves shady areas where it can quietly sit and thrive.
  • English Ivy – American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology have conducted a study that showed English Ivy to remove seventy-eight percent of airborne mold in just twelve hours. No wonder why this plant is also present in NASA’s list.

Care Tips for Indoor Plants

There different types of indoor plants and it is best to know which type they are first to know how to take care of them properly.

Water Accordingly

The amount of water your plant needs depends on what type your plant is. Some need less water than others while others prefer soil that are neither wet nor dry. Succulents and cactuses are plants that thrive in dry soil. They need very little water to survive. Palm plants require a moist, not wet soil for them to grow.

Don’t overwater your indoor plants. One of the best ways to know if you’ve overwatered your plants is if there is standing water in the bottom of the container. Don’t dehydrate your plant either. When you see the soil pulling from the pot then your plant is already dehydrated and the roots might have suffered damages.

Learn the proper amount of water your plant requires to avoid overwatering and dehydration

Where to place your indoor plant

Sunlight plays a big role in indoor plants survival. The type of plant also determines how much light your plant needs. There are plants that thrive in the shade and requires a very little amount of sunlight, others require moderate amount while there are some that prefer a well-lighted area to achieve optimal growth.

Flowering plants require moderate sunlight. The east and west facing window would be a great place for them. Foliage plants, on the other hand, are divided into low, moderate and high light requirements. Shaded areas or dimly lit rooms would be perfect for the low light foliage. Windows facing the north are the perfect place for moderate light ones and the high sunlight requirements would be best placed in a south-facing wall or use artificial growing light.


Determine your plant’s origin and from here you will be able to know the proper temperature your plant will best thrive in. Most indoor plants are okay with sixty-five to seventy-five degrees during the day and fifty-five to sixty degrees during the night.


Plants survive and thrive in eighty percent humidity but indoor areas are much drier than that especially during the winter months when heaters dry up the air much more. Placing a tray with water and pebbles can help increase the humidity inside your room, you can also mist your plant leaves with some water. Others often buy a humidifier to help them increase the moisture level in the air.


Know when you should fertilize your plants. Your constant watering helps the plant grow but it also washes out the nutrient in the soil. So, in order to keep your plants alive, you have to put nutrients back into the soil.

During the growth period or flowering stage of your plant, fertilize them once every month. Winter is a different story. You can withhold the fertilizer during this season because plants usually are in a dormant state during this time.

When you notice that your plant’s leaves start to turn yellow and the lower leaves began to droop, your plant may need more fertilizer. This may also be a sign that your plant needs more light or less water. Study your plant before pouring on fertilizer.


There are indoor plants that can outgrow the pot that you bought them into. If this happens, you will need to re-pot them to give them room to grow and reach their optimal stage.

Make sure that you carefully handle the roots of your plant when you’re re-potting to avoid stressing the plant more and giving it more chance to thrive.

Do your homework, research about your plant

It is important to know your plant so that you can take proper care of it. The plant you buy may or may not contain a tag that has its name together with its scientific name on it. If for some reason you don’t know the name of your plant, consult your local florist or a gardening expert in your area. This will not only help you care for your plants but also help you not get discouraged in purchasing other indoor plants.

Typically, vendors label the indoor plants they sell to have a lifespan of eight weeks and four weeks for flowering ones. But with proper care and maintenance, a houseplant can last longer than the eight or four weeks that the vendor says.

In a nutshell

Just a quick run-down of this article.

We’ve defined what an indoor plant is and also enumerated a few of its types. We also gave you the reasons why you should consider having indoor plants. A list of easy to maintain and grow plants are here too and how to organize them. Plus, much more information regarding indoor plants.

From here you can decide if having indoor plants and taking care of them in exchange for better air quality, positive vibes and design is a direction you want to take. You can ask your local florist which ones are best for first-timers if you are one or ask your gardening expert to give you a guided visual tour of different indoor plants available in their shop.

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