My grandpa lives in a retirement home. I visit him on every Friday, so after browsing on this site, I was thinking to buy a plant or two for his room. Do you have any recommendations? Which is the most recommended plant for a bed room in order to purify the air, which doesn't require too much care? Of course I can ask some of the nurses to water his plants. If the weekly schedule is not good maybe I can buy an automated system.

He lives in South Poland and his room has a window to the west side. Because he is living in a retirement home, I don't think that climbing plants are a good choice. Can you recommend to me the names of some plants that will filter his room air? I'm interested about filtration, because care problem can be solved (I think).

  • Research study on plants removing ozone from the air: link
    – ejderuby
    Aug 1, 2019 at 18:00
  • It concluded Golden Pothos was best for this purpose, with more plants being more effective, obviously.
    – ejderuby
    Aug 1, 2019 at 18:07

2 Answers 2


There are plants that improve air quality - some remove chemicals from the air, formaldehyde for example, but as for removing smells, I can't say I've noticed they're too good at that, though claims are made that some do. There is a list of 19 plants I know about from research done by NASA, but some of those have barbs or thorns, or are very fussy about their growing conditions, or have toxic sap or leaves, or get too large, so the following are ones I would recommend which are worth a try:

  1. Dracaena fragrans
  2. English Ivy (Hedera helix varieties)
  3. Spathiphyllum (though this does require quite frequent watering)
  4. Golden pothos (Epipremnum varieties)

All these tolerate low light conditions, although golden pothos, if it is variegated, does require some sunlight to keep its colour. Given your grandpa's room faces west, it's likely to get sun in the afternoons, and that should be fine. Spathiphyllum though, does best without direct sun, but likes a bright position.

You should maybe check with his care home that they will allow you to place plants in his room first though - and that they're prepared to water once a week or more if you cannot visit yourself occasionally. Note that plants should not be left standing in water for longer than 30 minutes, so that means someone will need to check and empty any outer pot or tray of water after this time.


In response to a request for a link to the NASA study - I found something else recently which sort of negates that, but here's the NASA results via Wikipedia https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Clean_Air_Study. And here's the other thing I found recently regarding how effective (or not) plants actually are at cleaning the air in the average home https://www.gardenmyths.com/garden-myth-born-plants-dont-purify-air/

  • Do you have link to the NASA study?
    – Fatmajk
    Aug 1, 2019 at 9:55
  • @Fatmajk: see updated answer
    – Bamboo
    Aug 1, 2019 at 12:43

SPIDER PLANT!! They are reputed to remove stinky room air (every 13 year old boy should be given one to love until he leaves for college!) The fun part is they will make many "baby spiders" that can be easily rooted in water, and shared with others. These are best displayed in a hanging container; advise repotting into a next-size-up hanging container before giving it to him, as this will give it many months of growing space before needing to be tended to. Grow in sunny room probably not in direct sunlight.

  • I can confirm not direct sunlight. My spider plant is slowly dying right now due to this. It doesn't seem to handle too much direct sun. I will move it to another location!
    – Fatmajk
    Aug 1, 2019 at 9:58
  • My spider plant gets plenty of direct sunlight and grows like a weed! It guzzles up water, too.
    – ejderuby
    Aug 1, 2019 at 18:21

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