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It’s Clean Air Day – which indoor plants are best for air purifying?

It’s Clean Air Day today – the UK’s largest campaign to reduce air pollution. We love getting outside, amongst nature and in the fresh air, so we’re big supporters of the campaign. According to the organisers, air pollution causes up to 36,000 deaths in the UK each year. It makes some health conditions like asthma and heart disease worse and can even contribute to mental health issues. This is something that impacts us all.

Indoor air pollution can be three times worse than outdoor air pollution, so improving the air inside buildings is one of the key focus areas of the campaign. One way you can help to purify the air indoors in your home or workplace is with indoor plants, which remove CO2 and other volatile organic compounds. According to the RHS, indoor plants can also improve mood, reduce stress, increase productivity and reduce fatigue and headaches.

We’ve seen a huge increase in interest in indoor plants this year, especially as more people are working from home. Here are our top four air purifying plants that are easy to care for:


  1. Snake plant - also called mother-in-law’s tongue (check out its sword-like leaves!) This is a low-maintenance, hardy houseplant that’s known for its night-time oxygen production, making it perfect for a bedroom or a bathroom. It also filters formaldehyde, common in cleaning products. Keep in window light and don’t water it too often.
  2. Dracaena - otherwise known as dragon tree, this plant fights pollutants and is one of the most efficient plants at removing formaldehyde and carbon dioxide from the air. It adds a tropical touch to a room and some variations have vibrant yellow or red-edged leaves. Needs good sunlight and can grow to 8ft, so works well as a home office floor plant or in a front room.
  3. Areca Palm - this elegant plant, with narrow fronds, purifies air and removes dangerous chemicals and toxins while releasing moisture into the air. This statement plant works well in a living room or hallway and looks great in a cluster of different sized plants. It needs to be watered often and likes filtered light. The Areca Palm was also the number one top purifying plant in a NASA study.
  4. Aloe Vera - famed for its healing properties, Aloe also helps clear formaldehyde and benzene from the air, so is a bit of a wonder-plant! It continuously releases oxygen throughout the night, while taking in carbon dioxide. A stemless plant, with fleshy leaves, it's a great house plant for a desk, bedroom or sunny windowsill and looks great in a colourful pot.

If you’re inspired to take action, take a look at the Clean Air Day website and follow #CleanAirDay.

Catkin & Pussywillow has a wide range of indoor plants to help purify air, along with pots to brighten up your indoor home or office space. Check out our online store Over the Hedge!