Peace Lily And Pollution – Do Peace Lilies Help With Air Quality

peace lily air
peace lily air
(Image credit: nalinratphi)

It makes sense that indoor plants should improve air quality. After all, plants convert the carbon dioxide we breathe out into the oxygen we breathe in. It goes way beyond that, though. NASA (which has a pretty good reason to care about air quality in enclosed spaces) has conducted a study on how plants improve air quality. The study focuses on 19 plants that thrive indoors in low light and actively remove pollutants from the air. Way at the top of that list of plants is the peace lily. Keep reading to learn more about using peace lily plants for air purification.

Peace Lilies and Pollution

The NASA study focuses on common air pollutants that tend to be given off by manmade materials. These are chemicals that become trapped in the air in enclosed spaces and can be bad for your health if breathed in too much.

  • One of these chemicals is Benzene, which can be naturally given off by gasoline, paint, rubber, tobacco smoke, detergent, and a variety of synthetic fibers.
  • Another is Trichloroethylene, which can be found in paint, lacquer, glue, and varnish. In other words, it’s commonly given off by furniture.

Peace lilies have been found to be very good at removing these two chemicals from the air. They absorb the pollutants from the air through their leaves, then send them to their roots, where they’re broken down by microbes in the soil. So, this makes using peace lily plants for air purification in the home a definite plus. Do peace lilies help with air quality in any other ways? Yes, they do. In addition to help with air pollutants in the home, they also give off a lot of moisture in the air. Getting clean air with peace lilies can be even more effective if a lot of the pot’s topsoil is exposed to the air. Pollutants can be absorbed straight into the soil and broken down this way. Trim away the lowest leaves on your peace lily to allow lots of direct contact between the soil and the air. If you want to get clean air with peace lilies, simply add these plants to your home.

Liz Baessler
Senior Editor

The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.