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Do Pothos Plants Clean the Air? (Explained)

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Last updated on September 26th, 2022 at 12:04 pm

Who doesn’t enjoy the fresh air? We all know that most plants can absorb carbon dioxide from the environment and convert it to oxygen.

Nonetheless, how efficient they are at doing this differs and could affect how clean the air is around them. So, you may wonder whether the pothos plant can convert enough carbon dioxide to oxygen to clean the air.

Pothos plants can cleanse the air. A pothos plant can absorb a reasonable amount of carbon dioxide and convert it to oxygen through photosynthesis. Even in low light, some varieties of pothos, such as golden pothos, tend to still be efficient in cleaning the air.

Do all Pothos Plants Clean the Air?

Yes, all pothos varieties clean the air. They can do this because of their ability to photosynthesize even in low light conditions. This feature makes pothos a perfect indoor plant.

Nonetheless, some pothos varieties, as aforementioned, are more efficient at cleaning the air than others. For instance, golden pothos, marble queen pothos, and the neon pothos varieties are much better air purifiers than other varieties of the species.

How Many Plants does it Take to Purify the Air in a Room?

In an average-sized room, two potted pothos plants are enough to purify the air. In a smaller room, one is capable of doing the trick. But in a very large room it would be best to have at least three potted pothos plants.

Getting to know the exact number of plants to grow in a room may be quite challenging because several factors are considered.

For instance, in determining the number of plants, you would need to carefully consider the room’s size and the growing nature and size of the plant in question.

In recommending the appropriate number of plants to grow in a room, no one can guess how many plants would clean the contaminants in the room. But I recommend two good-sized plants per 100 feet of space in the house.

Furthermore, even just a plant is okay in a room of 13 by 16 feet and improves the air quality by 25 percent. In addition, two plants would improve the air by 75 percent.

Apart from the room size, there is also the growing nature and size of the plant to consider. Typically, the amount of leaf surface influences the rate of air purification. So, in effect, the bigger and leafier your pothos, the better.

Lastly, because of the nature of pothos, I can say that you can grow even just one in a room for most rooms because pothos plants have broad leaves and can spread.

However, if you are growing young pothos plants, I’d advise you to have two plants in strategic corners of the house.

Is Pothos a Good Indoor Plant?

Pothos is a good plant to keep indoors. Apart from being an excellent air purifier, pothos adds aesthetic value to your house’s interior. Furthermore, because it thrives well in low light conditions, pothos will not die quickly indoors like most other plants.

Furthermore, pothos is a plant that most people grow in their homes to purify and remove toxins from the air. And also, judging by the conditions needed for growth, we can say that pothos is indeed best grown as an indoor plant.

However, it can only perform very well when you provide it with the required conditions it needs. So, the following conditions are required for your pothos plant to do well.

1. Light

Pothos thrives best with access to an indirect bright light (filtered light) or a fluorescent light since direct sunlight will only result in foliage burn or discoloration. Furthermore, just opening the windows and putting your plant in an area where the sun’s rays aren’t hitting it directly will suffice.

2. Humidity

Pothos also does very well under high humidity but is tolerant to average or dry air. So, it tends to do well even in supplemental air moisture such as misting or a room humidifier where indoor air is a bit dry.

3. Temperature

It is an excellent decision for you not to grow your pothos at a temperature less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit since it performs best in the temperature range between 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Soil type

It would help if you grew your pothos in a well-drained potting mix of high quality with a pH of 6.1 to 6.5, and the pot or basket should be well aerated.

5. Watering

It would be best if you allowed the soil’s surface to dry out before watering again since excess water will only result in root rot.

6. Fertilizing

Because pothos is a light feeder, you can apply liquid household fertilizer every one to three months to maintain the healthiness of the plant. In conclusion, the above conditions highlight how to take care of your indoors pothos.

What Toxins Does Pothos Purify?

Pothos purifies the air from carbon dioxide, toluene, xylene, benzene, and formaldehyde, among other plants.

Apart from its ornamental function, pothos is also grown indoors because it is very good in removing air toxins which include the following:

1. Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide levels rise in the indoor space because of gas heaters, wood fires, clogged chimneys, electrical appliances, and blocked vents.

Excess carbon monoxide in the air poses high risks to unborn babies and infants, and the elderly and can lead to unconsciousness and death. Pothos helps to convert this gas into oxygen.

2. Toluene

When evaporated from nail polish, gasoline, paints, and paint thinner into the atmosphere in an indoor space, toluene tends to affect the central nervous system leading to headaches, dizziness, or unconsciousness.

But after long-term exposure, toluene can lead to incoordination, cognitive impairment, and loss of vision and hearing. Thus, pothos helping to clean out toluene is crucial.

3. Formaldehyde

Burning appliances like wood-burning stoves, gas stoves, and kerosene heaters without vents release formaldehyde.

Also, pressed wood products, cigarette smoke, and carpets produce the toxic gas that causes watery eyes, a burning sensation in the eyes, nose, and throat.

Furthermore, long exposure can lead to cancer and leukemia. Luckily, pothos helps to reduce the amount of formaldehyde in the air.

4. Xylene

Xylene is present in adhesives, nail paint, and gasoline. It affects the central nervous system if it is inhaled. Sadly, continuous exposure will cause the effects to become more noticeable and lethal. Luckily, it is one of the gases that pothos helps to get rid of.

5. Benzene

Furniture wax, detergents, glues, paints, tobacco smoke, vehicle exhausts can raise the levels of benzene in an indoor space. If you inhale this gas for extended periods, it will cause damage to your cells and bone marrow, leading to anemia.

Sadly, long-term exposure will weaken your immune system making you more susceptible to various diseases. Fortunately, pothos helps to get rid of benzene in your home.


Pothos is a great plant to grow indoors. One reason it has gained prominence as a home plant is its ability to purify the air.

Although it requires little maintenance, providing the right conditions for your pothos to grow will enable you to have a healthy yield. So, pothos is a really good addition to your home decor.


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