Skip to main content

This is how oxygen-releasing plants can benefit your health

Did you know there are added health benefits to keeping houseplants in your space? Aside from brightening your space and giving you a chance to bring the outdoors in — which has saved our sanity over the last year and a half — our little indoor friends have the ability to produce oxygen and improve the air quality in our homes.

Still not convinced? Read on to learn exactly what your houseplant collection can do for your health — and why that might just be an excuse to add to your collection every now and then.

A small houseplant collection
Ksenia Chernaya / Pexels

Benefits to keeping plants in your home

According to Treehugger, there are five major benefits to having oxygen-producing plants in your home. These include improving your workflow, deterring colds and coughs, cleaning the air (which subsequently benefits your breathing), and encouraging healing.

A study that surveyed groups of office workers showed that, with the presence of plants, those in the office reported less fatigue, headaches, problems concentrating, coughs, and dry throatss. The same decrease of symptoms was also reported when this study was replicated with hospital workers.

The study concluded that, “there should not be any doubt regarding the ability of indoor plants to act as an interesting tool in the effort to improve the indoor environment in such a way that may affect productivity, work satisfaction, or even sick-leave absence.”

A pothos grown in a jar
Shakhawat1937 / Shutterstock

NASA-approved plants for the best air quality — yes, really!

NASA has also spent some time researching types of plants that help improve the air quality of indoor environments. Their study, “Foliage Plants for Improving Air Quality,” has shown that quite a few plants have the capability of not only introducing oxygen to your home but removing harmful toxins like formaldehyde in the process.

NASA found that “low levels of chemicals such as carbon monoxide and formaldehyde can be removed from indoor environments by plant leaves alone, while higher concentrations of numerous toxic chemicals can be removed by filtering indoor air through the plant roots surrounded by activated carbon.”

The list of plants they researched includes golden pothos, philodendrons, spider plants, aloe vera plants, peace lilies, peperomias, corn plants, and oyster plants, among others. Each of these plants is able to remove formaldehyde from the air.

Golden pothos

The golden pothos, along with other pothos varieties, are not only beautiful trailing vine plants but they’re hardy, too! If you haven’t had a lot of experience growing houseplants but want to experience the benefits they can bring, a golden pothos is a good first step. While they love bright, indirect lighting, they can thrive in low-light environments as well so long as they’re being watered regularly (when the top part of the soil is dry). The golden pothos is also one of many plants that produce oxygen at night.

Philodendrons

Philodendrons are another vine plant that can help reduce formaldehyde and improve air quality while being absolutely stunning. Like the pothos, they’re relatively easy to care for and love bright indirect lighting the most. This plant doesn’t like to be too hot or exposed to too much sunlight, so you’re better off keeping it in lower lighting than you are in direct sunlight. There are many varieties of philodendrons to choose from, and they all bring the same benefits to your home.

If you’re interested specifically in plants that can help improve the air quality of your space, it’s always best to make sure you can meet the care requirements! Research their preferred types of lighting, watering schedules, temperatures, etc., and you’re sure to have a thriving, oxygen-producing houseplant collection. It’s good for you and for the environment — what could be better?

Editors' Recommendations

Kiera Baron
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kiera Baron is a freelance writer and editor, as well as a budding digital artist, based in Upstate NY. She is currently one…
Now that it’s more common, here’s how to care for your sought-after Thai Constellation Monstera
How to grow one of these coveted houseplants
Thai Constellation Monstera

During the early pandemic days, the Thai Constellation Monstera was one of the most coveted cultivars of the humble Monstera deliciosa. Now, houseplant enthusiasts can more readily find this striking plant at lower costs, whether it's at a grocery store or a local nursery. Despite its gaining popularity, you might still have questions about the Thai Constellation Monstera plant. Not to worry — here's all that you need to know about what this plant is and how you can grow it in your lush indoor garden.

What is the Thai Constellation Monstera, and what makes it so special?
Along with the Monstera deliciosa's eye-catching fenestrations, the Thai Constellation plant features gorgeous mottled leaves with a touch of creamy variegation. The Thai Constellation cultivar is relatively difficult to grow, which was why it was such a rare and expensive plant for so long — just a few years ago, a handful of cuttings could go for hundreds of dollars.

Read more
Can you grow plants in water beads? Here’s what you need to know
Find out what common houseplants you can grow this way
A tulip in a vase with water beads

Keeping your plants healthy includes keeping them hydrated, but what is the best way to do that? There’s traditional watering, automated watering systems for when you’re out of town, and even water globes. One option you may have heard about is growing plants in water beads. Is this really an effective way to keep your plants hydrated, though, or are the potential risks more troublesome than they’re worth? This guide to gardening with water beads will answer all your questions.

What are water beads?
Water beads are gel spheres that come in a variety of sizes and colors. They absorb water and slowly release it over time, which is why some gardeners use them to keep their plants watered. Water beads can be made from a variety of materials, including both naturally occurring and manufactured substances.

Read more
5 easy indoor plants anyone can grow
Simple indoor plants for anyone, especially beginner gardeners
Top down view of several potted plants together in a box

Gardening and caring for houseplants is a hobby stretching back thousands of years, and most people want to give it a try at some point in their lives. If you have a green thumb or experience, then you can grow practically any plant your heart desires, but what if you’re just starting out or have tried and failed to keep plants alive in the past? Not to worry.

These five plants aren’t just beautiful, but they’re also easy to grow. Any beginner can care for these easy indoor plants, so start with this list and work your way up to more difficult plants.

Read more