Purify your air with indoor plants Design trend

Grow your air clean!

As you may have noticed when strolling through interior shops lately, nature is a huge 2019 design trend. Increased interest in biophilia – the tendency of humans to seek connections with nature – has resulted in a wave of organic design elements appearing in shops across the country. A vital part of this trend is indoor plants, and for good reason. The science behind indoor plants shows how living decor can greatly benefit your mental health and wellbeing.

The Benefits

Air quality

In an industrialised world, completely clean air is becoming a luxury. Indoor plants assist in removing from the air toxins related to air pollution, paints or cleaning products. Volatile organic compounds (or VOC’s) can reach a concentration up to 10 times higher indoors than outdoors because of the harsh chemicals we use. These can have a negative effect on health, but just one indoor plant can help by improving your air quality.

  • One indoor plant can improve air quality by 25%.
  • Five indoor plants can improve air quality by 75%.
  • 10 indoor plants provide the maximum benefits in an average sized room (4m x 5m).


The impact of plants on overall wellbeing is well documented. Indoor plants can create a positive and relaxed space, improving mood, concentration and productivity. The saying ‘less is more’ definitely does not apply to the benefits of plants indoors, though. One indoor plant has a minor impact on wellbeing, with the benefits increasing exponentially with the number of plants. Five plants can improve wellbeing by up to 60%, but ten plants can help you reap the maximum health benefits. More complexity in size and species also leads to more wellbeing benefits (and design benefits too).

How many plants do you need?

Different rooms have different requirements. By spreading your indoor plants throughout your home, you can achieve clean air and positive benefits in all rooms rather than concentrating them in one. These amounts are based on medium sized plants of about 30cm in height. The general rule of thumb is the bigger the leaves and roots, the greater the benefits.


Small rooms (3m x 3m):

1 Plant: 10% wellbeing, 45% clean air

2 Plants: 50% wellbeing, 75% clean air

5 Plants: Maximum

Medium rooms (4m x 5m):

1 Plant: 10% wellbeing, 25% clean air

5 Plants: 60% wellbeing, 75% clean air

10 Plants: Maximum

Large rooms (8m x 8m):

1 Plant: 10% wellbeing, 25% clean air

16 Plants: 60% wellbeing, 75% clean air

32 Plants: Maximum

What to choose?

While all indoor plants provide benefits, some are more adept at removing toxins than others. There is a plant to match every indoor space and indoor gardener.

  • Spathiphyllum (peace lily): declared the best living air filter in the world by the NASA Clean Air study!
  • Chrysalidocarpus lutescens (bamboo palm): an indoor plant staple and immediately catch your eye, especially tall specimens.
  • Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii' (variegated snake plant): can provide a structural contrast to the softer indoor plants.
  • Peperomia ‘Zorro: a deep red colour on the underside of the leaves and tall flower spikes for something a little different.
  • Kalanchoe blossfeldiana ‘Calandiva’: can quickly brighten a room or even be used as a quirky accent colour.
  • Ficus lyrata (fiddle leaf fig): giant glossy leaves can really bring the outdoors in as they grow super tall.
  • Bromeliad species: exotic textures and colours in your indoor space.
  • Philodendron scandens (sweetheart creeper): good in a hanging basket, as it is easy to care for and grows quickly.

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