Want to know the best indoor plants for asthma or the plants good for asthma? Here we have listed down the 10 best indoor plants for asthma and allergies. Keep reading to know the house plants good for asthma.
Here is the list of the top 10 plans good for asthma. They are Peace Lilly, Florist’s Chrysanthemum, Devil’s Ivy, Red-Edged Dracaena, Snake Plant, Lady Palm, Flamingo Lily, English Ivy, Areca Palm, Spider Plants, etc.
If you suffer from allergies or breathing conditions such as asthma, the benefits of fresh air cannot be underestimated. Unfortunately, the air you receive indoors is usually contaminated with pollutants that aggravate asthmatic symptoms.
To improve the quality of the air you breathe, indoor plants are a simple and affordable way to do just that. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing for interior spaces, they also rid the air of its toxins and freshen up the atmosphere.
Moreover, indoor plants also boost oxygen levels in the air – a study researched and proven by scientists at NASA.
However, plants can also have negative effects on asthma as well. Due to this reason, it is important to understand the type of plants that would best suit your condition and purchase the right ones accordingly.
Read on to find some plants that are good for asthma, and others that are not:
Plants and the Air You Breathe
Wherever a plant is situated, they have direct interactions with the surrounding environment. They alter some factors in the environment that may or may not be beneficial for asthmatic patients.
Plants grow and survive due to photosynthesis, i.e., a biochemical process that allows plants to take in carbohydrates and release oxygen, naturally improving air quality. They also engage in phytoremediation, a process by which plants clean soil, air, and water contaminated with harmful substances.
Some of the pollutants that detoxify aggravate symptoms of asthma. Furthermore, plants also alter the composition of bacteria in the air. This helps to clear certain microorganisms that are known to be harmful to asthma.
Causes of Allergies Due to House Plants
While plants rejuvenate surrounding air, some household plants also cause the symptoms of asthma to aggravate. The two biggest factors of such aggravations are mold and pollen.
Many houseplants allergies occur from mold. If the soil is too moist, molds tend to grow. They have the ability to grow in the soil, inside the pot, or around it – showcasing their problematic abilities, especially during humid months of the year.
You can check soil moisture simply by sticking your finger one inch into the surface of the plant pot. The topsoil should feel dry, but the soil underneath should remain moist. Often times, people notice the topsoil is dry just by looking at the pot and end up overwatering the plant to create molds.
Houseplant allergies also emerge from pollen. This is a power dry substance that carries male reproductive cells of seed plants. Some plant species self-pollinate when the pollen moves from the stamen to the pistil, i.e., the male part of the plant to the female part of the plant.
However, cross-pollination also occurs when pollen travels to the pistils of other plants through wind or tiny insects.
Pollen is also known as ‘allergen’ since it produces asthmatic symptoms through the means of allergy. Essentially, pollens are harmless but they do tend to trigger specific reactions in people susceptible to asthma.
If you fear the presence of pollen in houseplants that may trigger your asthma, purchasing an air humidifier helps the air to stay clean.
Furthermore, ‘male plants’ are known to produce more pollen than ‘female plants’ that actually help to remove the power dry substance from surrounding areas. Thus, keeping female houseplants is automatically beneficial for asthma.
10 Best Indoor Plants for Asthma
As mentioned above, to clean the air there are some plants that are good for asthma. Some of them are listed below:
1. Peace Lily
The Peace Lily is an evergreen plant that requires minimal light and water to remain healthy. Due to their easy caring process, Peace Lilies are the most sought after plants that survive well indoors and act as a great groundcover around the house, especially in areas where it is difficult to grow grass.
According to NASA’s analysis of indoor plants, Peace Lilies are the most efficient way to remove airborne Volatile Organic Compounds. Some of these compounds include formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene.
The plant only requires it to be placed in a dark corner, watered once a week and its air purification properties will begin as it grows.
The major downside of Peace Lilies is that they are mildly toxic to humans and pets. If by mistake, the plant is ingested, a person or animal may feel nauseous and find it difficult to swallow food.
Furthermore, they may even feel a burning sensation in the mouth or surrounding skin. In case of any such symptoms, medical help should be sought immediately.
So peace lilly is one of the best indoor plants for asthma or house plants good for asthma.
Read Is Peace lily poisonous to cats?
2. Florist’s Chrysanthemum
Also called Florist’s Daisy or Hardy Garden Mum, this houseplant is another popular indoor plant that people like to keep in their homes. It requires direct sunlight and a fair amount of water, compared to Peace Lilies that require minimal quantities of both.
With appropriate care, Florist’s Chrysanthemums blossom into colorful flowers that add to the aesthetics of the room they are placed in.
Other than just adding color, they help clean the air of chemicals such as formaldehyde, xylene, ammonia, benzene, toluene and trichloroethylene that are present in most homes.
While these houseplants are beneficial for humans, they are equally harmful to animals. If a house pet has ingested any plants of the Florist’s Daisy, they are likely to experience symptoms of diarrhea, dermatitis, vomiting, and incoherency. A vet needs to be contacted on an immediate basis for appropriate care and regulation.
Florist’s Chrysanthemum plants are the best indoor plants for allergies and asthma.
3. Devil’s Ivy
Untrue to its devil-like name, this popular houseplant is sold in decorative hanging baskets at florists’. They comprise of long green vines and small green heart-shaped leaves that are sometimes shadowed by light yellow color.
The plant is native to the Solomon Islands, but it is planted and sold in most parts of the world.
Not only are such plants easy to care for, but they also clear the air of toxins such as benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene, and formaldehyde. With all these benefits, Devil’s Ivy plants can be placed on the ground or as wall hangers – adding to the aesthetics of the area.
So you can keep Devil’s Ivy in your house as it is one of the best plants good for asthma.
4. Red-Edged Dracaena
Also known as Dracaena Reflexa or Pleomele, this plant comprises an upright shrub, along with green or yellow-green narrow leaves. In its mature and healthy state, the plant blooms white flowers followed by red-orange berries.
This plant is popular in the United States because of its easy maintenance and the amount of space it occupies. All it requires is direct sunlight and minimal water to keep the soil moist and the plant healthy.
Red-Edged Dracaena is another plant thoroughly researched about and known to absorb toxins such as formaldehyde from the air in your home. However, it is required to keep animals away from this plant to avoid triggers of vomiting and diarrhea.
You should keep Red-Edged Dracaena as a house plant as it is one of the best house plants good for asthma.
5. Snake Plant
Native to Western Africa, Sansevieria trifasciatahas or Snake Plant, is popular for its evergreen and perennial nature. This plant can consume low sunlight for long durations and is good at absorbing toxins such as formaldehyde, nitrogen oxide, benzene, xylene, and trichloroethylene.
It is crucial not to overwater this plant as extra moisture might absorb the plants’ nutrients, resulting in them becoming weak and diminishing their lifespan.
Snake Plants can be placed inside the house and outside and, like many other houseplants, require little maintenance. Some people choose this houseplant as their first pick and decorate it at home entrances, porches, or on balconies.
So Snake plants are another plants good for asthma.
6. Lady Palm
Also called Rhapis Excelsa or Broad Leaf Lady, this houseplant grows as tall as six feet. They require a low amount of sunlight, but high quantities of water and different storing temperatures for healthy growth.
This houseplant lives in moist soil, but also does not have sufficient drainage characteristics to avoid root rot.
According to NASA’s study on indoor plants, Lady Palms absorb specific toxins such as formaldehyde, ammonia, xylene, and toluene. They detoxify environments inside and outside the house, wherever they are placed, and also work as great groundcovers.
So Lady palms are the best indoor plants for allergies and asthma.
7. Flamingo Lily
Flamingo Lily, also called Anthurium Andraeanum, is a luscious evergreen plant that blossoms bright red flowers as it grows.
Even though the plant is effective in removing harmful toxins from the air, it isn’t the easiest to place indoors. It requires high amounts of sunlight for long periods of time.
Furthermore, it prefers high-humidity locations. If humidity levels in the plant’s environment fall below 50%, the plant may begin to die. It also needs consistently moist soil so the flowers can bloom sufficiently.
Small children and animals can find the contents of this plant poisonous. If ingested, symptoms of difficulty in swallowing and blisters around the mouth or throat are widely noted. Immediate medical care at this point is a must.
You should keep Flamingo Lily plants in your house as it is useful house plants good for asthma.
8. English Ivy
English Ivy or European Ivy plants reduce air toxins such as formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene from surrounding environments. Their beneficial properties also include the reduction of molds in the house and an everlasting evergreen effect due to their physical characteristics.
Many urban gardeners and horticulturalists avoid growing this plant indoors due to its ability to expand very quickly. It can still be planted outside, without disrupting the growth of other plants next to it.
In fact, it is highly recommended to include English Ivy in your collection of plants only so you can receive the maximum benefits from it.
Even though the plant grows very quickly, it does not require much maintenance. As long as they receive constant temperatures with generous water and well-drained soil, they can thrive in such environments.
So you should keep English Ivy indoor as it is one of the best plants for asthma.
9. Areca Palm
The Areca Palm plant is one of the highest-ranked indoor plants according to NASA’s study. They act as natural humidifiers in dry winter and summer weather as they relieve moisture from their leaves.
On a regular basis, a mature Areca Palm can transpire up to 1 liter of water per day, leaving the air fresh, moist, and easier to breathe.
The plant originated in the tropics, but works well indoors since outdoor temperatures in the United States can negatively harm it.
The Areca Palm plant requires mild sunlight and sufficient water that allow it to grow up to 7 feet tall. Larger plants will require more storage space, so make sure it is pruned on a regular basis.
Areca Palm is an indoor plants good for asthma.
Check Brown Spots on Areca Palm Leaves
10. Spider Plants
These plants have long, thin leaves that are usually green in color with white stripes. They remove air toxins such as formaldehyde and have a 95% removal rate of harmful substances.
The plant can be placed on the ground or hung on the wall using basket containers. They require minimal sunlight and a medium amount of water on a daily basis, allowing for easy maintenance of spider plant.
So Spider Plant is one of the best indoor plants for asthma.
Check How to prune a spider plant
Plants to Avoid for for allergies and asthma
As mentioned above, some plants cause strong reactions and triggers to asthmatic patients because their leaves are fuzzy instead of smooth. This allows dust to cling onto them, making it harder to clean off and causing the environment to be filled with toxins and pollutants.
Many plants that are hazardous to asthma are mostly trees, shrubs, grasses and weed. By knowing their names and types, you will be able to distant your daily contact with them and reduce the symptoms of deterring asthma.
The examples of such plants include:
- Cedar trees
- Ash trees
- Cyprus trees
- Maple trees
- Oak trees
- Pine trees
- Timothy grass
Other pollen producing plants that are harmful include:
- African violets
- Bonsai trees
Check out 20 worst indoor plants for allergies.
Taking Care of Your Plants
Now that you know what plants are good for asthma, and those that are not, it is important to take care of them consistently. Even if they require minimal maintenance, they should not be left alone before they start to brittle and eventually die.
If your plant is not well maintained, it can develop diseases or begin to rot, ultimately worsening your asthma. Some people also opt for chemically induced substances such as fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides that have detrimental side effects on asthma when inhaled.
Some smart care techniques are:
- Avoid overwatering to avoid molds to form.
- Trim and clear dead molds. Use fresh soil and replace them with worn out, overused soil.
- Use a sufficient pot for adequate drainage. It is best to engage your florist or research online before buying a container for your plant.
- Understand your plant and its needs. They should receive the appropriate amount of sunlight, water and shade for sufficient growth.
- Consider natural ways to fertilize your plants such as eggshells to minimize the use of chemical substances.
Other Ways to Improve Air Quality
Other than storing plants to clean the air inside your home and reduce the risk of allergies and asthma, there are a number of other solutions you can adopt for better quality air.
Your primary aim is to reduce toxins and dust particles that trigger asthmatic symptoms, and once that’s done right, you’ll begin to inhale fresh air.
Some recommendations for better air quality include:
HVAC Allergy Filters
Cheap air conditioning filters do not necessarily get rid of microscopic organisms present in the air. Dust mites, pollens, molds are some of the common toxins that need necessary removal, so the air remains clean.
HVAC Allergy filters trap allergens and circulate clean air. Moreover, they include activated carbon that removes strong chemicals and odor from the air.
Such types of filters with a carbon facility work well for those households that have smokers or those who use harsh chemical substances for cleaning purposes.
As technology advances, the development of air purifiers has also increased. Some of the good quality ones use HEPA filters that remove allergens and toxins from the air.
They target tiny particles in the air through their highly-efficient systems and work best for those people who are allergic and prone to asthma.
Air purifiers are meant to run 24 hours a day so the air around you remains clean at all times. Investing in one, especially those with HEPA filters, maybe a good decision if you continue to have trouble with allergies.
FAQs on plants good for asthma
Can indoor plants make asthma worse?
Some plants may make asthma worse. For example, plants that produce large amounts of pollen or dust may increase the symptoms of asthma.
However, other plants may actually help to improve the symptoms of asthma. For example, plants that produce oxygen may help to open up the airways and improve breathing. Additionally, indoor plants can also help to improve air quality by removing toxins from the air.
So it is important to figure out which plants are best for you and your home. If you are not sure which plants are safe for people with asthma, it is best to consult with a doctor or an allergist.
Are plants in bedroom good for asthma?
Some plants are great for asthma, while others may not be as beneficial.
Plants that help improve air quality include the peace lily, English ivy, and Boston fern. These plants remove harmful toxins from the air, such as benzene and formaldehyde. They also release oxygen into the air, which is helpful for asthma sufferers.
Other plants that help improve air quality include chrysanthemums, gerberas, and spider plants.
What plants trigger asthma?
There are many plants that can trigger asthma, but the most common offenders are those that release pollen. Pollen is a powder released by flowers to fertilize other flowers, and it’s the main cause of seasonal allergies and asthma.
Some of the most common plants that trigger asthma include ragweed, oak, birch, cedar, and cypress. However, any plant that releases pollen can potentially cause an asthma attack. If you have asthma and are unsure about which plants might trigger your symptoms, it’s best to avoid all outdoor plants during allergy season.
What plant is good for breathing?
Some plants are good for breathing because they improve air quality. For example, the snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) is often used in offices and homes because it releases oxygen at night, which helps to improve the air quality while you sleep.
Other plants that are known for improving air quality include the Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum), English Ivy (Hedera helix), Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Bostoniensis’), and Chrysanthemum.
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The Key Takeaway
If you or someone in your household has asthma, it is essential to keep the air you breathe clean and fresh. Without doing so, you will notice signs of your allergies and asthma that are unavoidable due to a polluted environment.
Do your research and purchase plants that are good for asthma. Remember, while it may be impossible to filter out all the allergens, you can still make your best effort to clean the air as much as you can.
I’m Elsa, and I love gardening. I started GardeningElsa.com as a resource for other gardeners, and I offer expert advice on gardening topics such as plants, flowers, herbs, and vegetable gardening. On my website, I share my latest tips and tricks for creating beautiful gardens. When I’m not working on my website, you can find me in my own garden, tending to my plants and flowers. Read more about me.