With fall just around the corner, it means time for students to go back to school – and back to college! A houseplant can be the perfect addition to any college dorm or apartment for their beauty, calming effect, and air purifying properties. Today we’ll look at a few houseplants that make for the easiest maintenance, all of which can make your indoor air cleaner!

According to the EPA, indoor air pollution can be up to 10 times higher than outdoor air, coming from common household objects like carpets and ink in the form of volatile organic compounds, but the plants on this list can absorb many of these compounds from the air around them. To maximize these benefits, NASA recommends at least one houseplant for every 100 square feet.

Most of the houseplants we’ll be looking at today are on NASA’s list of the 18 best naturally air filtering plants, and they’re great for beginners!


Peperomia plants are wonderful to grow indoors with a great variety of foliage. Each plant is so unique so no matter how many you own, no two will look alike. Most varieties prefer medium to bright indirect light, but can tolerate low light. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings. These tend to be smaller and slower growing plants, so they’re ideal in small spaces. 

Snake Plant

This is the ideal choice for beginner gardeners, easy to take care of and difficult to kill. Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Lean to the side of underwatering, overwatering can harm your plant. This plant thrives on neglect, so don’t worry if you get too caught up in school to care for it. Only water the plant if the soil feels dry. These plants can go two months between waterings in the winter months. In warmer months, water no more than every two weeks.


Caring for pothos can be very simple as they enjoy a wide range of environments. They thrive in bright, indirect sunlight but can also tolerate low light conditions. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. Be careful not to overwater. Be aware that Pothos plants are toxic to pets. 

Spider Plant

Spider plants are known to be very adaptable and easy to grow. These plants can tolerate a lot of neglect, which makes them perfect for ones without a green thumb. They prefer bright, indirect light. Water once a week in spring and summer; in winter, allow the soil to dry a bit more between waterings. Spider plants are sensitive to fluoride in tap water. Consider using distilled water or rainwater for the plants. You always want to be cautious when bringing plants into a home with pets. Although, according to both the ASPCA and the National Capital Poison Center, (aka Poison Control) spider plants are non-toxic to both cats and dogs. They’re moderately fast growing plants, which is exciting for new plant parents.