Indoor plants have experienced a resurgence in popularity over the last few years, and it's not just for their aesthetic appeal.
Having a plant nearby, whether at home or at work, has the ability to relieve stress and help us concentrate, as well as promoting feelings of calm. Psychologically, this might be a reflection of our evolutionary history of depending on plants for shelter and security - but they're also doing a very important physical job.
Most people would be familiar with the fact that plants use carbon dioxide for photosynthesis and produce oxygen, freshening the air. On top of this, they are acting as a filter for a wide range of indoor pollutants that you may not even be aware of!
These pollutants are actually found in higher levels indoors than outdoors, because their sources are the objects we surround ourselves with every day - plastic and synthetic materials like furniture, computers, paint, carpet, even adhesives. Generally referred to as VOCs (volatile organic compounds), these pollutants can reach levels indoors anywhere from twice as high to five times higher than outdoor spaces.
Indoor plants are a very effective natural filter, removing as much as 87% of toxins in the air every 24 hours. Toxins are stored in the roots where they are converted to food for the plant, while fresh oxygen is released into the indoor environment.
A number of studies, including one conducted by Sydney's University of Technology, has found that introducing plants into indoor spaces, particularly office spaces, has had a marked impact on the wellbeing of the people using those spaces. Study participants reported feeling less stressed or anxious, less negative, and generally felt better. The workplaces that introduced plants also reported a reduction in employee sick leave, as well as improved productivity, air quality and a reduction of noise.
Some of our favourites include Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum), Syngonium, Burgundy Ficus (Rubber Plant), Dracaena Colourama, Peperomia, Philodendron Rojo Congo and Helxine (Baby Tears).