Fighting Air Pollution One Plant at a Time

According to London Air, London had already breached the air pollution limits for 2019 by March. If it wasn’t already apparent enough, low air quality is one of the biggest issues we face today, especially in built-up areas. Something must be done to tackle it. Anything, small or large, that we can do to tackle this problem will make a great difference. With the current yearly pollution-related death toll hitting around the 40,000 mark, it is more important than ever that we make some big changes.

It is easy to feel small and insignificant in the face of such a big problem. However, even the smallest changes that we make to tackle air pollution are of incredible importance. If you’re a keen gardener, then you can help! Your green thumb can help maintain the health of your garden and your local area. With the help of some air-cleaning plants, you’ll be one more step towards improving your local air quality. Read on the find out the very best plants that will help you on your way to cleaner air.


Although all hedge plants are good for combatting pollution, conifers come most highly recommended. Homes & Property name the western red cedar hedge as your very best bet. Because of its easy maintenance and evergreen nature, the yew tree comes in at a close second place — ideal for those who have slightly less space to work with.

English ivy

English ivy also does an amazing job of purifying the air. According to scientist at Goldsmiths, University of London, the wide leaves that are characteristic of ivy plants, trap particulates, making them perfect air-purifying machines!

Although some reduce ivy to the status of ‘weed’, they are charming plants that really add character to a garden.


Also known as Erysimum, bright and beautiful wallflowers add a splash of colour to your garden, while purifying the air! These lovely flowers also featured in the Goldsmiths study. They were placed up there with ivy as the plants with the best purifying powers. The most popular colour choices for wallflowers are yellow and purple, but you can get them in a wide variety of colours! They showcase a beautiful display of petals for the first half of the year which are guaranteed to brighten up your garden.

Gerbera daisies

Gerbera daisies come NASA recommended. What more could you want? In a recent study regarding clean air, NASA named many colourful plants, such as these gorgeous daisies. These bright little flowers specialise in cleansing the air of damaging toxins, such as benzene.

These helpful plants come in a great variety of colours, so they will suit every garden. You can get your hands on white, orange, red, and pink varieties, all of which provide a pop of colour while cleaning up your garden air. One final tip about these little flowers: they love the bright light and some open space, so don’t hide them away in a corner!

Other helpful tips

There are many other aspects of green gardening that you should consider. Planting purifying plants is just the starting point!

Take some of SmilingGardener’s advice and implement the following tips and tricks:

  • Start composting.You can turn many waste products into compost to stop it going to the landfill. Compost can also improve your growing abilities, especially if you use growbags.
  • Avoid corn gluten meal. SmilingGardener notes this meal is made up from genetically modified corn, so best to stay away from using it, if possible.
  • Quiet equipment. This one’s more for noise pollution, but it’s certainly an added bonus for the pollution-conscious gardener to take note of!
  • Stay away from using pesticides. This one is probably a given, but if you can avoid using chemicals on your garden, please do.
  • Consider indoors as well as outdoors. As well as planting outdoor plants to combat air toxicity, consider bringing in some houseplants to cleanse the air in your home.