Why astronauts and apartments need house plants

Why are we all falling in love with plants?

Interior landscaping undoubtedly looks great and styling your home with plants has become one of the top trends for interiors, but as people realise that they are also good for you, they become everyone’s must-have! Plants not only look great but have been scientifically proven to be good for your overall health and wellbeing.

How has plant wellness been studied?

One of the unintended consequences of having energy-efficient, airtight buildings is that trace chemicals from modern furnishings, computers, paint and carpets can create a phenomenon called the “sick building syndrome”. NASA realised that astronauts in space were subject to the same sort of problems, so they did some extensive studies and found that the best antidotes and the simplest solutions were plants!

What plants stood up to the test?

Of the dozen plants NASA tested, they all cleaned the air. These included mother-in-law’s tongues, spider plant, devil’s ivy, Boston ferns, dracaenas, philodendrons and peace lilies. Luckily, all of these options are really easy to grow at home, too. It’s obviously no coincidence that some plants have names like “peace lily” and “happy plants” — looks like they are trying to tell us something!

What else can plants do for us?

Apart from cleaning the air, did you know that indoor plants can also help clear your head? Green spaces have a positive effect on mental health and being exposed to vegetation lowers your risk of some headaches and illness. Amazingly, indoor plants also improve our alertness, concentration and communication skills, so it makes sense to add them to your workspace as well.

Do you have any styling tips for plants in our homes?

While the jungle look can be one some aspire to, most of us like our greenery to be better-trained house plants! So here are a few things to inspire you:

  1. Hanging plants. Getting plants up off the ground and into the air has two benefits. Not only are plants taking up less floor space this way, but they are also more likely to be intersecting a good light source, meaning they will be healthier, too. Staggering the heights of the hangers can make more impact as well as lead your eyes up to the ceiling, creating a sense of space.
  2. Bookshelf. Plants on your bookshelf or home office library can bring the space to life! You can choose a lush-trailing and low-light-loving plant such as devil’s ivy (also known as Pothos or Epipremnum) or utilise the top shelf for more variety.
  3. Statement plant. Discover the power of one with a statement large plant. Sometimes they are much easier to look after as they don’t dry out as easily and have better access to light. The other great thing about a large plant is that often the foliage is up and out of the way, creating a canopy above furnishings. Look for fabulous large figs, wonderful arching palms such as Kentias or elegant Rhaphis to create impact and ambience.
  4. Clustered companions. Grouping is also a way of creating “plant families” and playing different textures and colours off each other. The other great thing about clustering indoor plants is that they create their own little ecosystem, adding to the humidity of the atmosphere and their overall health. Styling-wise, use the opportunity to contrast different textures in your containers and pick up a colour theme throughout. Group in odd numbers for the best effect.

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