Can Indoor Plants Reduce Dust? Yes, But Not Every Plant Can!

Indoor plants can pep up the living room by giving it some color, fresh air or a pleasant smell but can they actually help in reducing dust in your home? And if they do, how do they reduce it? In this article, I will explain exactly that!

So can indoor plants reduce dust? To make it short, yes they can. How exactly they reduce dust in unknown and not every plant does reduce dust. Especially plants like the Rubber Plant, Dripping Guanyin, Ivy, and the Date Palm Tree are known to reduce Dust indoors.

NASA Studied the Purifying Effects, That Plants Have On The Air.

Contrary to many beliefs, the study, that Nasa made on the purifying effects of plants have not a lot to do with the removal or reduction of dust. They were mainly interested in how plants can purify the air from some organic chemicals.

Here is a link to the NASA-Study.

As I said, I couldn’t find any definite information about plants reducing the amount of dust but most of the organic matter mentioned in the study can be part of dirt or dust. So indirectly the study would suggest, that plants do indeed reduce the amount of dust indoors.

How Can Indoor Plants Help Reduce Dust Formation?

Most indoor plants have extensive foliage that provides a large surface area to capture dust.

The plants would filter out these dust particles through an explicit process, that also releases fresh air as a byproduct. Most households that have houseplants lined up around their homes would find a significant decrease in dust formation in their living space.

How exactly plants reduce dust in unknown though.

Can All Indoor Plants Reduce Dust?

You would think all indoor plants would be able to filter out air and reduce dust formation but that is simply not the case.

Some houseplants are able to do so, but some, like the African violets, may actually be the cause of dust formation itself, so a careful selection must be made when choosing which plant to grow for your home.

Which Indoor Plants Help Reduce Dust the Most?

There are a number of houseplants that could effectively keep your living space dust-free, namely the rubber plant, ivy, the dripping Guanyin, etc.

1) Rubber Plant

The Ficus elastica or more commonly known as the rubber tree plant is a type of indoor tree that could grow up to 50 ft in height.

It has to be pruned regularly in order to fit into an indoor setting, but aside from that, it’s a highly versatile and hardy plant to have to fights against dust formation in your home.

2) Dripping Guanyin

The dripping Guanyin is a type bonsai plant that has droopy leaves similar to that of the lotus leaves, hence its other name, the dripping lotus.

This particular indoor plant grows and works in capturing dust better when in a moist environment, so it is recommended to mist it once or twice a day for optimal growth as well as functionality.

3) Ivy

Indoor ivy is a great plant to have to tackle dust formation.

Indoor ivy, like the English, tend to thrive in drier soil compared to wet ones and occasional fertilization are also required from time to time.

Tending to the ivy requires a bit more attention compared to other houseplants, but is it highly rewarding because aside from removing dust, ivy is also great at removing air pollutants.

4) Date Palm Tree

Date palm trees are one of the many variety of the Arecaceae palm tree family.

This particular indoor plant is one of the easiest houseplants to take care of as it only requires a weekly watering routine and almost nothing else.

Date palm trees are effective when collecting and exterminating dust, but they work wonders when put together with other air purifying plants in the same vicinity.

Which Indoor Plants Do Not Help to Reduce Dust?

Here are a few indoor plants to avoid if you want to prevent more dust from forming around your house.

1) African violet

The African violet, or the Saintpaulia, is a flowering indoor plant that blooms beautiful red or purple flowers.

Though the flowers may seem nice, the surrounding leaves prove to be quite the problem as it catches dust all too well due to their shape. The dust will continue to remain there and accumulate if not manually wiped away.

2) Pine

Pine trees are great for Christmas, but not so much as a day-to-day indoor plant.

They’re one of the worse, if not the worst, indoor plant to have in your home because not only do they attract dust particles in the air onto themselves, they could also form even more dust from their own bark and branches as well.

3) Ficus

A Ficus or a Weeping fig is one of the most common choices for anyone to grow an indoor plant, but it actually has a really bad reputation for collecting dust and causing allergies to act up.

The plant’s sap is known to trap indoor dust well and if not tended to correctly, it will accumulate along with allergens that would trigger anyone with allergies.

How Many Indoor Plants Should I Have to Significantly Reduce Dust?

For scale, an 1800 sq ft home would need about 15 to 18 houseplants lined around the house in order to reach the optimum level of air quality you need.

If you live in an apartment building, you can scale it down and have around 5 to 10 houseplants scattered around your living space instead. Side note, sizes don’t matter as much as functionality does, so you could actually grow small indoor plants that fight dust well in large numbers instead of crowding your space with bulky plants.

Some plants, like the date palm trees, would absorb dust better when put together with other air-purifying houseplants. The best step to take is to grow several batches of indoor plans that are known to work well together in countering dust formation and place them together as a group throughout your home.

Where Should I Place My Indoor Plants in My Home?

You could place different sizes all throughout your home according to your own tastes. It is also recommended for you to put at least one houseplant in the bedrooms of your home, preferably more, so you’d have a good night’s rest without having to worry dust, air pollutants or allergens.

A number of indoor plants also have slightly hazardous qualities to it. If children or pets make up a part of your household, you should place your houseplants out of their reach.

Secure some hanging pots around your house or place them on high shelves as a precaution.

Are There Other Benefits to Having Indoor Plants?

Aside from reducing dust formation, indoor plants can help purify your air and get rid of unwanted air pollutants, like formaldehyde, microbial pathogens, benzene, etc.

which could be super harmful, especially for people with allergies. Houseplants come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors too so they’re great for decorating and brightening up your space.

These indoor plants could also be a great conversation starter when you have guests coming over for a visit or a party.

If you have constant dust piling up around your house and you’re looking to solve this issue, pick up a couple of indoor plants like rubber trees or ivy plants and place them around your home.

You’ll be surprised at how much these plants could do in exterminating dust particles and cleaning the air that you breathe around your home.


I enjoy all things outdoors and I love plants! I've never considered myself to be one with a green thumb, but it's my mission to learn, so I figured I would bring you along for the ride. :) Happy planting!

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