Why you should have at least 5 indoor plants in your home

Indoor plants aren't just an interior trend, this study proves greenery is good for productivity, mental health, sleep and allergies.
Loading the player...

Is your house contributing to bad health? According to researchers, the air quality we breathe indoors contains up to 10 times higher concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOC) than outdoors.

Volatile Organic Compounds have been attributed to poor health outcomes including restless sleep, poor productivity, depression, bad moods and increased allergies.

A new RMIT and The University of Melbourne study has found that adding one medium-sized plant (of up to 50cm) to a medium-sized room (of about 4×5 metres) the interior air quality can increase by up to 25 percent.

Five plants can improve air quality by 75 percent and wellbeing by 60 percent, and by adding ten plants you can reach maximum health and wellness.

“Our aim was to take the world of research and synthesise the knowledge into a scale of benefits provided by plants by grouping them into two categories: air quality and wellbeing,” said lead researcher, Dominique Hes, Director of the Thrive Research Hub at the University of Melbourne and part of the Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub.

“We gathered over 100 global studies and collated them to a major research piece and worked out how many plants we need in indoor environments to improve our plant life balance.”

“We found that indoor plants improve air quality by filtering out particulate matter, or air pollution and other airborne toxins caused by organic chemicals in things like paints and furniture finishes.”

“Plants, both indoors and out, can benefit our wellbeing too as they have the ability to both relax and energise us. Being relaxed, your mood improves, you can concentrate longer and you are more productive.”

This research was released alongside an augmented reality app, Plant Life Balance app, that asks Aussies to rate their space, then improve their health score by choosing a look for their room or outdoor area, grabbing a plant list and hitting the nursery.

Popping some plants indoors to make us healthier, sounds all very easy, but it’s also very easy to be a notorious plant killer. Hess told Tripple J’s Hack program a Mother-in-Law’s Tongue is a hardy choice for those who struggle to keep plants alive.

This article first appeared on Balance By Deborah Hutton.

Related stories

Unwind and relax with your favourite magazine!

Huge savings plus FREE home delivery