The Best Air- Purifying Trees and Plants

Nicely manicured air-purifying trees in a large yard

If you want to breathe cleaner, fresher air, here’s how. We’ve put together a list of the best species of trees and plants that purify our air.

Did you know that trees and plants are constantly cleaning the air around us?

They act as our filtration system to take out toxic chemicals in the air.

But with all the hype surrounding greenery, how do you know which plants are the most effective?

Read on for the best air-purifying trees and plants.

Air-Purifying Trees

Red Cedar

Red cedar trees, also known as the Eastern Juniper, are native to the United States. Their native region travels from Canada to Florida and out to Texas.

Red cedar trees can tolerate hot, dry weather, and grow in hardiness zones from 2-19. These trees can even grow in poor soil conditions which means they are suited for any type of landscape.

A Douglas fir tree in a yard

Douglas Fir

Pine trees are known to purify the air around us. Even their scent is helpful in reducing inflammation for people with asthma or allergies.

Famous as the Christmas tree, Douglas fir pine trees are a great addition to any yard. They are medium-sized to large evergreen trees that grow up to 30-70 feet. Douglas fir pine trees have soft, flat needles that reach up to 4 centimeters long.

Pine trees prefer acidic or neutral soils and thrive in dry sites with little moisture. Caring for your soil is the best way to keep your trees and plants healthy.

Silver Maple

Silver maple trees are native to North America from Canada to South Carolina. They are actually the most common trees in the United States.

Their leaves, which have green tops and silver bottoms, coin their given name.

Silver Maple trees grow very rapidly and tend to provide shade earlier than most trees. These trees prefer slightly acidic soil and can grow up to 50 feet.

When planting a silver maple tree, it’s important to water it daily until it has taken root. Once rooted, you can begin to water it weekly.

A grove of cherry birch trees

Cherry Birch

Cherry birch trees are native to the eastern part of the U.S. from Maine to Georgia. These trees thrive in hardiness zones 3-8 and grow 40 to 70 feet tall.

These large trees grow from a single main trunk that reveals vertical cracks in the bark. Cherry birch trees are famous for their gorgeous blooms that flower in late April to May.

They need full sun to part shade for optimal growth.

Honey Locust

It’s likely you’ve seen honey locust trees alongside rivers or lakes. They can grow in a wide range of soils but prefer moisture-rich areas.

Honey locusts grow in hardiness zones of 3-9 reaching an average height of about 30 feet tall. They make great shade trees as their leaves form a large canopy.

For optimal growth, these trees need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day.

a variety of indoor plants in pots

House Plants

Did you know in urban areas, people spend up to 90% of their time indoors? You may get outside more often than that but having clean, fresh air when you get home is definitely a plus.

For some choosing an indoor tree or plant and caring for it may seem like a lot of time and effort. But we can help you choose one that is right for you.

Here’s are some of the best indoor plants for your home:

Areca Palm

An areca palm is a perennial plant that can grow up to 10-30 feet tall. The plant blooms in the summer season to reveal small, pale, yellow flowers.

Areca palms need full or at least partial sun for optimal growth. This plant can be particular about moisture. Be sure to use a pot with drainage holes so that your palm can hold the proper amount of water.

Bamboo Palm

A bamboo plant is a great houseplant for homes that may not get a lot of sunlight. Although this plant will grow taller with more sunlight, it can still thrive in low-light conditions.

Mature bamboo plants will grow from 4-12 feet tall with a span of 3-5 feet. Provide ample space in your flowerpot for their growth.

Bamboo palms also need high-quality potting soil to thrive. Similar to the areca plant, bamboo plants also need ideal drainage to thrive.

Although these plants grow like weeds, they tend to have sensitive roots. When watering, don’t use cold water as it will shock the roots. Instead, offer your bamboo plants room temperature water.


Rubber Plant

Rubber plants are very common houseplants due to their interesting wavy leaves. These beauties are a species of evergreen tropical tree native to China, Asia, and Indonesia.

Rubber plants need the right balance of water to survive. Watering too much will cause its leaves to turn yellow and fall off.

During the growing season, try to keep the soil moist. For months not during the growing season, water only when topsoil looks dry.

Rubber plants need bright light but prefer indirect light. Some people chose to place rubber plants in front of windows with sheer curtains for this reason.

English Ivy

English-ivy plants add a whimsical touch to any room in your house. They have similar care tips to the rubber plant when it comes to watering.

English ivy tends to grow very rapidly and can extend to long lengths. Try adding a vertical stake to your plant. Or grow it in a hanging basket so it has room to tumble over the edges.

Snake Plant

Snake plants are popular for their unique look. Their sharp, pointy leaves differ from standard “soft” houseplants.

The average snake plant grows up to 7-8 inches tall. They are slow to moderate growing plants and require at least part sun for optimal growth.

Snake plants grow faster and larger with natural light but can still grow slowly in low light conditions.

Water balance is essential to the health of snake plants. This means you’ll have to be careful not to overwater it. Overwatering snake plants often result in the plant rotting out.

Instead, water this plant every 2-8 weeks. Check to make sure the soil is completely dry before watering the plant again.


Trees and plants are the earth’s natural air filtration system. Whether you choose to plant trees in your yard, or add houseplants in your home, you can improve the air around you.

When planting new trees, it’s important to know helpful tips for optimal growth. Trees Unlimited offers a variety of residential tree services to help maintain beautiful, healthy trees and shrubs. For more on our services, please contact us today.


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