As we have previously reported, people who are exposed to green spaces are happier, have better self-esteem and experience greater life satisfaction. But that space doesn’t have to be a sprawling park or glistening rainforest, it can be as simple as being surrounded by a few indoor plants.
RMIT University and University of Melbourne looked at half a century’s worth of research about plants to scientifically showcase the health benefits of flora. The result is the Plant Life Balance home plant trend report for 2020.
Dr Dominique Hess, a researcher from Melbourne University, believes humans are “hardwired to appreciate our natural world.”
“Anecdotal and qualitative evidence suggests biophilia – a love of life and the living world – is rooted in the history of human existence… This connection is increasingly being explored and confirmed by scientific research, with studies pointing towards the same conclusion – plants make people happy and healthy,” she says.
The research showed one medium-sized plant can improve the air quality in a medium-sized room by up to 25%. And having five or more plants can make people feel healthier and happier.
Plant Life Balance predicts that 2020 will bring a rise in the use of gardening as a tool for mindfulness.
“Gardening activities like digging, shovelling and playing with soil can provide instant gratification for your mind. Focusing on an activity like this can be a great distraction from feelings of anxiety and can produce a rewarding end result. It helps to ‘stay in the moment’ and appreciate the process,” says horticultural therapist, Toni Salter.
“Gardening is something that is non-threatening, non-clinical and immediately brings you into an engaging space and surroundings. There’s evidence that both passive and active involvement in garden activities helps reduce stress, increase positive feelings and brings a sense of fun and hopefulness to participants.”
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If you want to add more greenery to your life in the new year, but don’t know where to start then do what everyone else does for inspiration and stalk social media.
“Social media has given plants an aspirational platform that didn’t really exist for previous generations.Following a plant-based Instagram account can give snippets of inspiration and advice in an accessible way,” says Jason Chongue of The Plant Society.
Plant Life Balance has identified the top 10 Plant-fluencers to follow.
Top low maintenance plants for 2020
- Philodendron — try the philodendron red emerald for a tall climber.
- Devil’s ivy — the popular climbing house plant that has gained its common name from its remarkable survival skills.
- Peace lily — one of the few houseplants that will bloom in low interior lighting conditions.
- Rhaphidophora tetrasperma — the “mini monstera” that’s easy to grow and propagate.
- Pilea — easy going and good natured houseplant that grows fast.
- Hoya — commonly well-known as wax flower, it is an aromatic indoor species.