But have you ever wondered which houseplants do the most for improving health?
An interesting study from the RHS and the University of Reading took eight types of houseplants and asked participants which ones they felt were best for their well-being. They also had to say what they thought was most comfortable or depressing, healthy or unhealthy, and best in terms of air quality.
Results? Smooth, rounded shapes were seen as better for health. Lush, dense leaves were considered best for air quality; While low-maintenance plants were seen as less stressful to care for, people pointed to the health benefits of caring for the plant and watching it grow.
Dr. Tijana Planosa, who supervised the study, said: “This research shows the psychological value of simple houseplants.”
The best houseplants to improve health
We spoke to gardening experts to find out the exact houseplants they would recommend for health. Because this word means so many things to so many people, we asked them to identify the houseplants that are most beneficial for various tasks, from soothing anxiety to improving mood.
According to the RHS study, caring for plants, as well as simply watching them, provides additional wellbeing benefits for some people, who enjoy the reward of caring for their houseplants and watching them flourish. So we discovered which plants help us feel good when we take care of them.
Best Houseplants for Mindfulness – Viola Fig
The fiddle leaf fig tree is considered one of the best houseplants for creating a peaceful environment, due to its appearance and care system.
“This has a majestic appearance with its large, glossy leaves. However, to maintain its pristine condition, it is necessary to dust regularly, and this repetitive task can be transformed into a meditative and soothing practice, providing an opportunity to create a deeper connection with the plant’s presence while making it shine,” says Julien Palframand. “Focusing on each leaf can enhance awareness and appreciation of the beauty of nature.”, Head of Plants at British Garden Centres.
Best Houseplants for Calming – Peace Lily
Do you want a cozy and comfortable atmosphere for your home, so you can relax in your own space? Then peace lily could be your choice. It is a great plant for your bedroom to help you sleep better.
“For a calm, tranquil atmosphere, the peace lily is sure to reign supreme. The clue is in its common name,” says Henry Davenport of houseplant experts at Horticulturist Henry Davenport. “Their elegant white flowers and lush green foliage not only add visual appeal; They also help purify the air and reduce stress levels. Plus, the peace lily thrives in low light conditions and is relatively low maintenance, so you don’t have to worry about its care – just enjoy the peaceful feelings it brings.’
The best soothing aromatic plant is jasmine
If scent is something that gives you instant calm, look for a fragrant houseplant like jasmine.
“Nothing is more tranquil than jasmine indoors,” says Julian Palframand of British Garden Centres. “Jasmine emits a sweet scent that can promote relaxation, improve sleep quality and can be therapeutic for anxious minds. Requires bright light and moderate watering.
Best Houseplants for Upgrading – Bromeliads and Prayer Plants
Our brains respond to bright colors by releasing the feel-good chemical dopamine, giving us a natural high. So it makes sense that colorful houseplants can help us feel happier.
Bromeliad is a great choice with a tropical shimmer of pink. “If you’re looking for a plant that can add a touch of color and tropical ambiance to your home, consider purchasing bromeliads. “These plants feature gorgeous foliage in vibrant colors such as red, orange, yellow, pink, and purple,” says Julian Palframand. “In addition, they often Bromeliads produce brightly colored flowers that can last for several weeks.”
A prayer plant is another option to add a splash of color and energy to your space. “With its strikingly patterned leaves that fold at night to resemble hands in prayer, this prayer station adds liveliness and dynamism to any room,” says Henry Davenport. “The unique foliage and its wonderful movements throughout the day can lift the spirits and bring joy to your surroundings.”
Best Houseplants to Reduce Stress – Snake Plant and Pothos
If you’re not naturally an environmentalist, caring for a high-maintenance plant may increase your anxiety rather than decrease it. But you don’t need to miss a little vital treatment. Instead, choose an easy-care, non-killable plant such as the snake plant. Snake plant care is very easy.
“The snake plant, also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, is a stunning addition to your plant collection and requires little attention,” explains Patti Willem of sustainable plant pot company Elho. “They can tolerate low light and only need watering every two weeks when the soil is almost completely dry, making them ideal for first-time gardening parents or those with busy lifestyles who still want to add some nature into their lives.” It will also remove toxins and pollutants from the environment, providing some air purification benefits as well.
Pothos is another anti-anxiety plant recommended by Patti. “It’s famous for being practically unkillable, thanks to its drought-tolerant roots and ability to thrive in even the darkest rooms, so this is a great choice for most people.” It also provides a dramatic effect perfect for a shelf or bookcase, a hanging pot, or you can place it with a moss pole and watch it climb.’
The best houseplant for nostalgia is the spider plant
Psychologists say that a sense of familiarity can help us feel comfortable and secure — which is why nostalgia has been such a hit for those seeking relief from exhaustion and uncertainty. For plant lovers, the good news is that your favorite houseplant can bring the same feeling of well-being.
Spider plants are a timeless indoor plant that has been very popular for decades. You probably remember that your parents or grandparents owned one. These plants are easily recognized by their arching leaves and small, spider-like plants hanging from long stems. “For many, spider plants evoke fond memories of seeing them in their childhood homes or schools, making them an emotional choice for some,” says Julian Palframand of British Garden Centres.
Horticulture’s Henry Davenport also chooses the spider plant as a safe bet for evoking nostalgia. But he advises that the experience is inherently personal, so you’ll need to think back to the plants that filled your childhood home, or that you associated with a happy tie in your life.
“I remember the huge, dust-covered leaves of the rubber plant that used to stand in the foyer of my primary school, and the particularly impressive tropical expanse of Monstera deliciosa in the greenhouse at the local botanical gardens,” says Henry.
The best houseplants for rest – philodendron and peperomia
The weeping fig tree may have ranked first for promoting feelings of comfort and security in the RHS study, but it didn’t get Henry Davenport’s vote. “The idea was that plants with rounded leaves would look prettier, be more comfortable, and be comforting to the greatest number of people. But if you’ve ever owned a weeping fig, you know that the rate of leaf loss often leaves you feeling insecure and uncomfortable. Instead, He recommends philodendron and peperomia.
‘Species like Philodendron and Peperomia are a much better choice because they have rounded green leaves, but more importantly, they are easy to care for. Feel secure and comfortable knowing that your houseplants will still look lush without a large amount of input.’
Best Houseplants for Air Quality – Aloe Vera, Nightshade, Pothos
All houseplants will play a role in improving the atmosphere in your home, but there are some plants that are known to be the best indoor plants for air purification including Aloe Vera, Peace Lilly and Pothos.
“Aloe plants are also great for improving air quality,” says Patti Willems of ElHo. “It releases oxygen into the atmosphere and absorbs carbon dioxide, as well as filtering out a range of other toxins such as carbon monoxide, making it another great plant for improving air quality in the home.”
Peace Lily is another Patti pick. “The peace lily is one of the best houseplants for removing harsh chemicals from the air, absorbing airborne toxins through its leaves, before sending them up the plant to the roots, where they are broken down and absorbed back into the soil.”
Henry Davenport is a fan of Boothus. “This resilient vine is excellent at removing toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene and xylene from the air, helps capture dust particles and is good at regulating humidity,” says Hortology’s Henry Davenport. “Easy to grow, propagate and style in so many ways, they are truly a must-have in any home.
“If air purification is at the top of your bucket list, it’s a good idea to think about what kind of problems you have to choose the most suitable plants,” Henry continues.
“If it’s very dry or humid, look for plants that regulate humidity, such as ferns, palms, and ivy. If it’s dusty, choose plants that reduce dust levels, such as Zamioculcas zamifolia or rubber plant, which have large surface areas to capture dust that can Clears easily.If polluted or stale air is the problem, look for plants that remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that naturally accumulate in modern homes from furniture, car exhaust, and breathing without proper ventilation.
If there’s one thing better than just a single plant for boosting your health, it’s an entire houseplant collection.
“Take the time to collect and organize your favorite species, find the perfect plant pots, design them, water them, clean them, and maintain them,” says Henry Davenport.
‘Nothing immerses you in the conscious, meditative practice of houseplant ownership quite like committing to multiple species. Start with a few easy-to-care-for varieties, and as your confidence increases, you can start adding more and more.’