Top 10 Best Houseplants for Allergy Sufferers
Dracaena, Areca Palm, English Ivy, Spider Plant, Golden Pothos, Philodendron, Snake Plant, Rubber Tree, and Dieffenbachia filter air pollutants and are low in pollen, so they will not aggravate allergy symptoms.
Here are the best plants to care for in your home, including how to grow them. I selected easy-to-grow plants that reduce allergies.
It is easy to care for and grows rapidly, making it one of the best indoor plants for purifying the air. Peace lilies break down and neutralize toxic gases, and also remove mold from the air.
If you’re sensitive to pollen, a Peace Lily is an ideal flower because its pollen is stickier and heavier than other flowers, making it less likely to stay in the air and cause irritation.
Light. If the light level is low, the plant may not bloom, and yellowing leaves indicate excessive light. The best light is indirect medium light.
Temperature. Peace lily is a tropical plant, so you should not expose it to too much cold. It can withstand a minimum temperature of 55 degrees F.
Humidity. When possible, maintain a high humidity level. Use a humidifier or a humidifier tray (a shallow tray filled with pebbles and water). Misting can be helpful in very dry conditions.
Water. The soil should be moist, but never wet. The soil should be watered on a regular basis to maintain consistency. Plants will require more water in winter when the air inside is drier. Peace lilies droop when they need water.
Fertilizer. Feed your houseplants balanced fertilizers such as 20-20-20 that have been diluted to half strength. Disperse roots with water after feeding. Fertilize only during the summer months.
The Dracaena plant is widely known for helping to remove allergens from indoor air and exacerbate allergies.
According to NASA’s Clean Air Study, Dracaena traps benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene, along with carbon monoxide, as well as allergens in its leaves.
Dracaena reflexa is a terrific choice for allergy sufferers, thanks to its superior air-cleaning quality. There are several cultivars to choose from, including varieties with cream and yellow margins. Song of India makes a wonderful low-maintenance houseplant.
Light. Plant will become spindly without enough light. Bright light without direct sun exposure. Can also grow under artificial lights for 12 – 14 hours per day if a bright light isn’t available.
Temperature. Dracaena is a tropical plant that requires temperatures between 64 and 77 degrees F. It cannot tolerate extremely low or high temperatures.
Humidity. High Humidity. Please place your room near a humidifier or in a humidity tray. Mist regularly.
Water. For best results, only water when the top half of the soil becomes dry. A hardy houseplant, it tolerates infrequent watering.
Fertilizer. Plants that are actively growing should be fertilized biweekly with an organic houseplant fertilizer diluted to 1/4 the recommended strength.
Areca Palm is the number one best indoor air purifying plant according to the National Institute of Health’s 2011 study. Its natural humidifier improves allergy symptoms, like nasal congestion and irritation, by increasing the amount of water vapor in the air.
As discussed in the NASA Clean Air Study, the Areca palm is among the best purifiers for formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, xylene, and toluene removal from the air. The large leaves help to remove allergens and toxins.
Light. Bright, indirect light. The plants need to be in direct sunlight for 14 to 16 hours a day, or underneath artificial light, to prevent scorching.
Temperature. It is best to keep the Areca Palm at a constant temperature of 65 to 75 degrees F. Keep away from cold windows, air conditioners, and heating/cooling vents.
Humidity. High Humidity. The vase should be placed near a humidifier or on a humidity tray filled with pebbles and water. Mist the vase daily, and keep an eye out for heat sources, drafts, and vents.
Water. Moist, but never wet soil. Ensure the soil drains well and avoid the plant sitting in water between waterings. Allow 1 inch of soil to dry between waterings.
Fertilizer. Use a time-released houseplant fertilizer on Areca Palm only once in the spring, summer, and fall. Spray fronds with micronutrient spray in the summer for best results.
Hedera helix is said to ease allergies by removing irritants and reducing airborne mold spores. This plant has helped us tremendously so we have several pots in our home.
Remember that this plant can be poisonous to humans and animals, so be sure to keep it away from children and pets. Place it up high on a shelf and let it trail down for an elegant display, but trim it back before it gets long enough for your kids to reach.
Light. Bright, indirect light. Ideally plants should be grown under a bright window for 14 to 16 hours a day or under artificial lighting. Low light, however, may slow growth.
Temperature. A temperature range of 50-70 degrees F is ideal during the day, while colder temperatures at night shouldn’t exceed 10 degrees F.
Humidity. Humidity should be moderate, but ivy will tolerate normal home levels. Good air circulation is necessary. Avoid crowding. If possible, place next to a humidifier.
Water. Water thoroughly once the soil is about 1/2 inch deep and whenever possible keep Ivy out of water.
Fertilizer. If Ivy is actively growing, fertilize it with foliage houseplant fertilizer until it stops growing. Don’t fertilize Ivy when the heat of summer or the temperatures are too cool.
It is almost impossible to kill Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum), a hardy houseplant that is excellent for beginners. It also helps to reduce dust allergies.
The Spider Plant also filters out toxins like benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and xylene, which is used in the rubber, leather, and printing industries. An attractive plant, allergy sufferers cannot go wrong with Spider Plants.
Light. Bright, indirect light. Place them in a sunny east or west facing window or in artificial lighting for 14 to 16 hours per day. Direct sun will scorch the leaves. Don’t place them in west facing windows as there will be too much afternoon sun.
Temperature. If you’re growing spider plants in the winter, move them away from cold windows so they do not succumb to the cold. Spider plants prefer temperature ranges from 65 to 75 degrees F.
Humidity. High Humidity. Keep these plants near humidifiers and mist them regularly. These plants are at their best in bathrooms with high humidity.
Water. In general, overwatering is a problem with these plants, so err on the side of caution. Water when the top 2 centimeters of soil are dry to the touch.
Fertilizer. Fertilize only three times a year with a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer at half strength. Make sure the fertilizer is fluoride-free and low in boron.
It has been listed among NASA’s top three plants for reducing formaldehyde indoors, alongside the philodendron, spider plant, and golden pothos. Formaldehyde causes irritation to the mouth, nose, and throat, which makes allergies worse.
Goldpothos is my absolute favorite houseplant. It was the first plant I ever successfully grew on my own, and I always have a few around the house. It is very easy to grow and has air-purifying properties, which makes it an excellent addition to any room.
Light. Bright, indirect light. Under 14-16 hours of light daily, either in the shade or in an east- or west-facing window. Low light conditions can cause leaf variegation to fade.
Temperature. The Golden Pothos prefer warm temperatures of at least 70 degrees F in the daytime and 65 degrees F at night. They can be injured if the temperature drops below 50 degrees F.
Humidity. Medium Humidity. Misting regularly and keeping the soil moist is usually sufficient.
Water. Pothos should be watered thoroughly when the top two inches of soil feel dry to the touch. If it stands in water, root decay may occur.
Fertilizer. When the plant is growing, feed it with a foliage houseplant fertilizer at half strength every six to eight weeks. Avoid feeding during the winter months when the plant is dormant.
Heartleaf philodendrons (Philodendron scandens) are excellent for improving indoor air quality, but they often increase allergies. If you have allergies, this gorgeous foliage plant can help eliminate them. It also provides a source of ornamental flowers and colorful foliage.
You might want to place it around furniture that emits irritating formaldehyde since philodendrons are particularly effective at tackling sources like particleboard.
Light. While not as sensitive as the philodendron to direct sunlight, the leaf can be burnt in direct sunlight. Variegated types need more light.
Temperature. A typical home’s average temperature is ideal for this plant, but temperatures below 50 degrees F can harm it.
Humidity. In most homes, low humidity levels will not harm these plants, but a humidifier or humidity tray will ensure good results. For optimal results, place near a humidifier or place on a tray filled with pebbles and water.
Water. If the soil around your plants feels dry, water until it feels moist. Make sure not to over-water, as this can cause leaves to yellow.
Fertilizer. Plants that require in-season fertilizer will benefit from fertilizing every 3 to 4 months.
While making the list, I selected the easiest-to-maintain plants that are most significant in reducing allergies and improving air quality.
A Snake Plant (Sansevieria) is easy to grow and one of my favorite plants; it can survive being neglected for weeks, even months. It is a good choice for people who think they will be incapable of growing anything.
This plant can be grown in the home at any time of year, whether for ease of care or to reduce ozone levels in closed rooms. It converts carbon dioxide into oxygen at night, making it a good choice for allergy sufferers.
Light. Snake plants grow well at very bright light levels, but may not grow much at very dim levels. Moderate light levels encourage more growth.
Temperature. In order to prevent injury, temperatures should not fall below 50 degrees F. Avoid temperatures below 55 degrees F.
Humidity. Low humidity. It will do well in a typical home without any additional intervention, unlike many other plants on this list that prefer high humidity.
Water. The snake plant does not tolerate overwatering. Water once every two to four weeks, only when the soil has dried out. In the winter, once a month is plenty.
Fertilizer. Fertilize your Cactus with a mild fertilizer once or twice during its active growing season (spring and summer).
The NASA studies recommend two rubber trees growing in 8- to 10-inch pots in every 100 square feet of your home for allergies sufferers. The rubber tree has been recommended as one of the best houseplants for beginners and is a top clean air plant.
Among rubber trees, formaldehyde is particularly effective at removing it, which causes eye, nose, and throat irritation when off-gassed by furniture, gas stoves, fireplaces, and even certain building materials. It can even trigger asthma attacks if concentrations are high enough.
Light. Bright, indirect light. It tolerates low light, but leaves will become inky. Place in a sunny east- or west-facing window, or under artificial lighting, for 14 to 16 hours per day.
Temperature. In the ideal climate, 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit at night. The plants will grow in temperatures higher than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Humidity. High Humidity. In cases of low indoor humidity, place on a humidity tray (a shallow tray filled with pebbles and water) or near a humidifier.
Water. It’s always better to underwater than overwater a plant during the spring and summer, when the plant is actively growing. Let soil dry completely between waterings.
Fertilizer. The package directions suggest feeding your houseplants water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks during spring and summer.
Dumb cane, also known as Dieffenbachia, works to clean the air of pollutants such as toluene and xylene. These irritants harm allergies and respiratory health. Choose a variety with large leaves as much as possible.
As its common name suggests, dumb cane makes people (or animals) “dumb” after consumption. It also causes stinging and burning in the mouth and throat. It is an easy-to-grow plant with beautiful foliage that adds beauty even in low light environments.
Light. In low light, the growth will be slowed, but the plant will still survive just fine. Bright, indirect light is preferred, but the plant will tolerate low lighting.
Temperature. Dieffenbachia grows best between 65 and 75 degrees F. Avoid temperatures below 50 degrees F to prevent injury.
Humidity. Places near humidifiers or humid trays (small trays filled with pebbles and water) encourage rapid growth.
Water. Make sure the soil is moist, but not soggy. Water thoroughly when the top of the soil is dry to the touch. Make sure the soil doesn’t become waterlogged.
Fertilizer. Dieffenbachia require plenty of fertilizer, so once every four to six weeks during active growth, apply a balanced fertilizer such as 20-20-20.
How to Improve Air Quality with Indoor Plants
According to NASA clean air studies, 15 to 18 houseplants placed in containers between 6 and 8 inches in diameter will help improve air quality in an 1800 square foot home; the more foliage the plants contain, the better air quality will be.
If you don’t have much of a budget, you can try something like a spider plant. When it releases pups, you can plant them in separate containers and you’ll have multiple allergy-fighting plants for the cost of one.
In addition, it’s important to remember that the healthier the plants are, the better the air quality will be. Use a good plant care guide to ensure they’re growing optimally.