Healthy Houseplants

Discover the secret to good health and happiness: fill your home with happy and healthy houseplants

Houseplants brighten up a room by bringing colour, shape and sometimes even fragrance to a living space. But did you know plants can also brighten your day by making you feel better and supporting fitness and general health?

Over the years, plenty of research has looked into the health benefits of plants, with organisations ranging from Harvard to NASA, as well as experts from the Royal Horticultural Society, investigating how indoor plants can improve health and wellbeing. Every piece of research reaches the same conclusion – that living with plants in a room reduces headaches, fatigue, heart and circulation problems and decreases the number of common colds suffered. That's why space shuttles often take off with plants on board.

While all plants have some health benefits, a few are particularly good for you. Keep an eye out for the following plants: Areca palm, Boston fern, Dracaena, Dwarf date palm, Peace Lily, Reed palm, Rubber plant, Sword fern, and Weeping fig.

Decorating a room with the right plants will also help to keep the air clean. Indoor air quality is essential to our general health, so the NASA discovery that houseplants removed up to 87 per cent of toxins from the air in just 24 hours is one to keep in mind. Mind you, to achieve these sorts of results; it would take plenty of green-fingered dedication, with 15 to 18 plants in 15cm diameter pots to keep a house free from toxins, including carbon monoxide and benzene. A few plants here and there will help, however.

Happy and healthy houseplants

With houseplants around the house, you'll feel calmer and more optimistic, according to other research results. A study in Chicago showed that hospital patients who faced a window with a garden view recovered more quickly than those who had to look at a wall.

Other research includes a Norwegian study that showed indoor plants can reduce fatigue, coughs, sore throats and other cold-related illnesses by more than 30 per cent, partially by increasing humidity levels and decreasing dust.

With the bright colours of flowering plants making you smile, and foliage plants bringing nature's almost architectural shapes to living rooms, no house should be without plants – especially given the added health benefits.

Like this? Then read how flowers are proven to elevate moods. Click here to read our article.

By Austin Clark 16 August 2023