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  • Ellen Mary

Houseplants for Wellbeing

I love houseplants, I have many which I am sure you aren't surprised to know! There are so many reasons to have houseplants and here are my top picks for any new houseplant owner.

The NASA Clean Air study found that many houseplants can clean the air of toxins such as Formaldehyde, Benzene, Trichloroethylene, Xylene and Ammonia.

So the more plants the merrier, as long as you have the time and space to care for them. To clean the air you can have less plants if they have larger foliage as they can be more efficient at reducing toxins.

Studies into the wellbeing benefits of houseplant ownership showed that even just being in the presence of indoor plants can improve wellbeing, so not just softening aesthetics but also feeling a connection to the natural world. For those working in rooms with plants, they performed better on cognitive tasks and lower levels of physiological stress.

Arranging them depends on your home, the light and where you find them to be positioned to make you happy. You might also like to consider using the principles of

Vastu an ancient Indian science that combines the benefits of the five elements –Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Space helping to create a balance between the five elements and humans. It is said that following Vastu guidance by positioning your plants in the home (much like Feng Shui for arranging your home furniture and accessories) you can bring harmony and prosperity to your life.

Pothos (Devil's Ivy)

  • Trendy

  • Bushy vines

  • Easy to grow

  • Thrives on low light and neglect

  • Purifies the air of toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide.

  • Helps to eliminate odors and said to relieve tired screen eyes

  • Great for any room, especially in an home office.


  • Holds great symbolism -brings positive energy, prosperity, and growth.

  • Easy to care for (don’t over water)

  • Can improve sleep, promote relaxation, and enhance feelings of calmness and peace.

  • They can flower over and over again (with patience)

  • Perfect for most rooms, but since they flower so beautifully I would say anywhere you can see them often!

Sansevieria (Mother in laws tongue)

  • Easy to grow

  • Thrives in low light

  • Doesn’t need much water

  • Photosynthesizes even at night

  • Great to have in the bedroom as they continue to photosynthesise overnight

Crassula ovata (Money Plant)

  • Easy to grow

  • Needs little water

  • Might bring you good luck, growth, prosperity, wealth, and positive energy.

  • Releases a lot of oxygen

  • Easy to propagate

  • Keep in a living space with plenty of light

Hedera helix (English Ivy)

  • Grows in part shade

  • Long vines so great for shelves and mantlepieces

  • Purifies the air including mold

  • Can improve breathing issues

  • All time low care plant

  • A shelf or mantlepiece is perfect for the training vines

Aloe vera

  • Easy to care for with low water requirements

  • Gel inside the foliage is medicinal, and can be used on minor cuts, burns and sunburn along with many other skin conditions

  • Keep in the kitchen so you can reach for a leaf if you get burnt when cooking

  • Or in the bedroom as it will photosynthesise overnight

I provide talks about plants and gardening, including a more in depth session about houseplants for wellbeing. Please see my talk page for more info.


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