Pothos plant (Epipremnum aureum) : health benefits & indoor air purifying plant

Pothos plant benefits

Pothos plant scientifically known as Epipremnum aureum is an evergreen vine and is a popular houseplant. Other common names of pothos plant are money plant, silver vine, and devil’s vine. The plant can survive in a wide range of environments and with or without soil. Proper watering is important for this plant.
Pothos plants are widely used as indoor plants in houses and offices because of their large attractive leaves. These plants can be grown in pots and in water, therefore, are very low maintaining plants that add beauty to the interior. The plant is very efficient in removing many indoor air pollutants like formaldehyde, xylene, toluene and benzene (1).

Pothos plant as an air purifier

According to NASA studies for indoor plants, Pothos plants can be efficient removes following indoor air pollutants

1. Removes formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is one of the major indoor pollutants. The main source of formaldehyde in indoor are facial tissue papers, paints, synthetic fibers, wooden flooring, wooden furniture, waxed paper, shoe polish other makeup items (3). Planting pothos plants in pots or simply in water helps in absorbing formaldehyde thus reduces the level of pollutants from the interior environment.

2. Eliminate xylene

Along with formaldehyde, paints, tobacco smoke, rubbers, vehicle exhaust also emits xylene (3). This xylene gets accumulates in the houses and offices due to poor ventilation in the buildings. Therefore planting Pothos plants helps in reducing the xylene pollution.

3. Removes toluene

Toluene is another harmful air pollutant causes central nervous system dysfunction, necrosis, Irritation of upper respiratory tract and eyes. Children’s exposes to this harmful pollutants also suffers developmental problems and reproductive problems in females. The major source of toluene pollution is gasoline, solvents in paints, plastic and soda bottles, paint cosmetics and other organic chemicals (4). Pothos plants indoor thus results in removing toluene from the air and thus give a clean and fresh air to respire.

4. Absorbs benzene

According to WHO major source of benzene are automobiles from attached garage, heating and cooking systems, solvents. Exposure to benzene causes nausea, headache and vomiting, have low but non-negligible carcinogenic risk. Source of benzene are tools and attached garages, gas and charcoal cooking, solvents etc (5) (6). Pothos plants help in absorption of benzene in indoor conditions.


Propagation of Pothos plant is very easy and can survive a wide range of temperature requires very little care. The main mode of propagation of pothos plant is via cutting. Simple precaution should be taken before cutting there should be 4 or 5 leaves in the stem.


Pothos plant contains calcium oxalate crystals, therefore, are poisonous. Before handling this plans it will be recommended to wear gloves and keep the plant out of reach from children and pets (2). Excessive contact with this plants also causes skin irritation.


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Clean_Air_Study
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epipremnum_aureum#cite_note-aspca_site-14
  3. http://www.sandowngardenclub.org/air-filtering-plants/?print=pdf
  4. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-09/documents/toluene.pdf
  5. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/publications/healthy-living/guidance-benzene-residential-indoor-air.html
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK138708/



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