We’re all indoors for the foreseeable future. Let’s just get that bit out of the way. But instead of wallowing at home in sweaty pyjamas and crumb-ridden duvets, we’re suggesting an alternative way to spend free time - let’s get well into house plants!
Stick with us… we promise it will be worth it. Houseplants are good for the air, we are all aware of that. They’re also proven to be great for your mental health and productivity. But did you know they have specific benefits for your skin, too?
A study by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and Reading University has been studying the benefits of houseplants, and the findings are unbe-leaf-able (sorry).
The RHS' chief horticultural scientist Dr Tijana Blanusa found that houseplants can alleviate the dry indoor air caused by central heating, and add humidity to the air which can benefit skin immensely. Dr Blanusa's study also found houseplants can be good for allergies by removing dust, germs and toxins from the air.
“Plants with high transpiration rates – that is ‘thirstier’ plants that require more water to grow well - and large canopies, are able to provide good humidity benefits," says Dr Blanusa. The study looked at some common houseplants and ranked them, so we’ve broken down the findings of the top five below.
Coming in first was the Peace Lily. An 11 inch by 20 inch Peace Lily can release a teacup of water into the air every single day. It’s also ideal for those with less-than-green fingers as it’s hard to overwater, one of the more common issues among houseplant newbies. They not only love drinking water, but they can actually live in water alone.
Next up, the classic English Ivy. It can grow inside and outside, but inside brings some great hydration to the air. It’s really easy to grow from a cutting and they grow incredibly quickly, trailing down and adding some dimension to a pot, even if you’ve got no idea what you’re really doing.
Slightly harder to grow but with an excellent transpiration rate, these plants are a beautiful way of bringing some tropical vibes to your home (and we could all do with a bit of that right now). They can be expensive if you opt for a large plant, but the smaller ones will grow up to 10 inches a year if you give it enough light and water.
These come with some serious support - NASA’s Clean Air study found that Spider Plants were the best toxin-fighting plants and decided that they should be used in space travel. You can get one of these intergalactic fauna from any plant shop, and keep it in your bathroom - they love to live in humidity and give it back in spades.
The easiest to care for of all - philodendron houseplants thrive indoors year round without complaint, and enjoy an occasional stay outdoors in a shady spot when the weather permits. Just a little occasional water - that’s about it. They’re usually reasonably priced, and have thick, tough leaves which help humidify the air well. A good all-rounder.
This article is not meant to treat or diagnose. Please visit your doctor for advice about any health concerns you may have.