12/23/2021 | By Seniors Guide Staff

All year-round – but especially during the cold winter months – houseplants add cheer to our homes. But their benefits extend beyond simply adding to our décor, including cleaning the air. We bring you eight pet-friendly air-cleaning houseplants that will really pull their weight!

You might not have given much thought to the air quality inside your house. However, a host of pollutants are hidden within the typical home, some of which can threaten our health. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) inhabit most homes, coming from some seemingly innocuous sources: furniture, cosmetics, cleaning solutions, even cooking processes!

Fortunately, in 1989, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) discovered that “the leaves, roots, soil, and associated microorganisms of plants have been evaluated as a possible means of reducing indoor air pollutants.”

Not only can houseplants clean the air, but they are also known to increase mood and productivity, enhance concentration and memory, and reduce stress and fatigue, especially in enclosed spaces with little airflow.

Understandably, pet owners worry about the toxic threat that some houseplants pose for their beloved furry friends. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the following eight air-purifying plants are non-toxic to both dogs and cats.

Pet-friendly air-cleaning houseplants

1. Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea Elegans)

bamboo palm plant, by Taeya18 Dreamstime. A pet-friendly air-cleaning houseplant
Bamboo palm

There is no need to worry about overgrowth with these detoxifying houseplants since they only grow as large as their container. These elegant plants improve air quality while providing beautiful home décor. Relatively low maintenance, bamboo palms want a bright environment but not direct sunlight. Because they send moisture into the air, these plants are perfect during the dry winter months.

2. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata)

pet-friendly boston fern Photo by Dianarebenciuc Dreamstime
Boston fern

Like the bamboo palm, Boston ferns humidify the air in winter, helping sinuses and allergies. Other than an occasional misting, these lush pet-friendly air-cleaning houseplants require little maintenance when placed in indirect light. The plant’s love of humidity and air-purifying qualities make it ideal in the bathroom or a screened-in porch where your pet goes to enjoy a piece of the outdoors.

3. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)

spider plant Photo by Punporn Aphaithong Dreamstime. air-cleaning houseplant
Spider plant

The spider plant is another pet-safe, air-purifying plant. Since it’s easy to maintain, it’s an excellent choice for beginners who have not yet developed a green thumb. This houseplant likes bright-to-moderate indirect light, sprouting offshoots that are easy to clip, and clusters of small white flowers.

4. Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica)

Money tree

The money tree reduces toxins like formaldehyde from the air, making it the best choice for those with lung issues and asthma or anyone living in a smoggy city. It enjoys bright light and is said to invite good luck and prosperity. It won’t harm your four-legged family members, so what’s not to love about it?

5. Prayer Plant (Maranta Leuconeura)

Prayer plant. photo by Maritxu22 Dreamstime
Prayer plant

The prayer plant derives its name from the green-and-yellow variegated leaves that fold together like hands in prayer. This pet-friendly air-cleaning houseplant requires minimum care and prefer little indirect sunlight. Because of this and the fact that they are pet-safe, prayer plants are ideal for cleaning the air in your pet’s favorite rooms.

6. Wax Plant (Hoya Carnosa)

wax plant. photo by maritxu22, dreamstime
Wax plant

This pet-friendly plant is excellent at improving overall air quality. It can help those with emphysema or asthma or those exposed to potentially harmful gasoline fumes, paint fumes, or industrial or city smog. Wax plants are especially adept at removing benzene and formaldehyde’s cancer-causing toxins from the air.

7. Gerber Daisy (Gerbera Jamesonii)

Gerber daisy. Ken Cole, Dreamstime
Gerber daisy

Gerber daisies are cheery air-purifying plants that produce beautiful, long-lasting flowers. The plants require good drainage, and overwatering them could cause root rot. Gerbers prefer morning sunshine and afternoon shade, making them a welcome addition to your pet’s favorite sleeping spot.

8. Lily turf (Liriope Muscari)

lily turf plant, Yorozu Kitamura, Dreamstime

Related: 5 indoor plants for your laundry room + The best plants for a windowsill

This hardy plant, frequently cultivated outdoors, is known to help remove ammonia, toluene, xylene, and formaldehyde from the air. It also increases oxygen levels while it improves airs quality. It’s the perfect plant for households exposed to smog, cleaning products, or various types of fumes.

Seniors Guide Staff

Seniors Guide has been addressing traditional topics and upcoming trends in the senior living industry since 1999. We strive to educate seniors and their loved ones in an approachable manner, and aim to provide them with the right information to make the best decisions possible.

Seniors Guide Staff