Plants & Pollution

In the past few decades, dramatic changes have occurred in the materials around us. Thousands of everyday products now contain chemicals harmful to humans.

Energy conservation has made the problem worse. We have become more efficient in heating and cooling the indoors by reducing ventilation in our homes and offices. A consequence of this is the trapping of harmful chemicals indoors - where they can build up and become more dangerous to our health.

Common Chemical Pollutants found indoors

Common chemical pollutants found in homes and offices may include formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides.

Formaldehyde is used to make pressed wood and fiberboard, which builders now use instead of natural wood. Formaldehyde is also used in carpeting and paneling, in furniture and clothing, in fire retardants and household cleaners, in facial tissues and hair spray - literally everywhere from throwaway paper bags to the sub-flooring under our feet.

Benzene is a solvent present in everyday items such as gasoline, paint, inks, oils, plastics and rubber.Nitrogen oxides become present in the atmosphere due to burning tobacco and wood products.

Houseplants that Improve Air Quality


Bamboo Palm

Chinese Evergreen

Corn Plant


English Ivy


Gerbera Daisy

Peace Lily



Pot Mum


Snake Plant

Spider Plant

Plants help remove benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides from the air in our homes and offices. Plants with large leaves are particularly useful at removing formaldehyde. For maximum effectiveness, it is recommended to place plants in areas where air is circulating. Situate plants so that circulating air makes good contact with the top of the root/soil ball in the plant pot. Effective plants to use for the improvement of air quality include, but are not limited to:

Outdoor Plants Tolerant of Air Impurities

There are certain species of outdoor trees, shrubs and perennials that are more resistant to pollution than the average outdoor plant. These varieties should be considered for utilization in areas that are frequented by heavy traffic, or in areas with concentrated industrialization.

Trees and shrubs suitable for this purpose include:

Balsam Fir


Gray Dogwood

Winged Burning Bush


Perennials that resist pollution include:


Coral Bells


Lily of the Nile

Oriental Lily



The aforementioned trees and shrubs along with the perennials listed above will display fewer or none of the visual symptoms associated with pollution damage. Please consult the information counter for further information regarding pollution damage on ornamental plants.