Houseplants may seem like a small addition to your home, but they can have a significant impact on your mood and environment.
This guide features advice on caring for indoor plants and information about the benefits they bring.
How houseplants can improve your moodThe ability of plants to boost your mood isn’t rooted in one study. There are lots of contributing factors, from the addition of bright colours to the mental benefits of being in a space with clean air. Research even claims that being around plants can improve your concentration and productivity by up to 15%1, which can indirectly reduce stress. There’s also the case for aromatherapy and being around naturally calming scents like lavender plants, which can turn any space into a zen sanctum when paired with essential oils.
Natural air purifiers – keeping plants in your homeBeyond bringing nature into your home, there are lots of practical reasons to invest in a few indoor plants. The most well-known of these is to do with air purification. Plants naturally absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, which can make the air around you cleaner2. Some plants even go a step further, as we’ll explain later.
Which plants to look out for
Are you feeling inspired? We’ve listed some of the most popular easy-care plants below.
SucculentsSucculents are thick, fleshy and come in various sizes. We recommend Haworthias and Gasterias, which respond well to low light and can go longer without water3. Water these once a month or when their soil feels dry4.
Aloe veraAnother succulent, aloe vera plants prefer indirect sunlight and thrive best when they’re watered deeply but not very often. Every three weeks is usually enough, but you’ll want to make sure the first two inches of soil to be dry before watering5.
Peace liliesPeace lilies are renowned for sucking up excess moisture and damp, but NASA tests have also found these unique plants to be professionals at absorbing the toxins given off by paints and furniture lacquer6. They thrive when placed in well-lit rooms, away from direct sunlight, in moist soil – just don’t overwater them.
Devil’s ivyIts name sounds menacing, but Devil’s Ivy is a beautiful addition to any home. Like peace lilies, NASA also recommends Devil’s Ivy for its air-purifying qualities. As for care, mist your plant from time to time, keep it well fed, and make sure the soil is moist but not soaked. Like many plants, Devil’s Ivy also prefers indirect sunlight7.
CactiThese unique plants are perfect companions, but they do need a little care contrary to common belief. While their soil should mostly stay dry and not moist, RHS recommends watering most cacti more in the summer and less so in winter8.
Last updated: 21 April 2020