Houseplants that boost your mood

They say that once you start collecting houseplants you can’t stop. I’ll be the first one to admit I have a problem. If a room doesn’t have greenery in it, it feels like something is missing.

Although you might share my love of nature, the reality is that for many of us our modern lifestyles have largely removed us from the natural environment, often finding us indoors for much of our day.

In fact it is estimated that people in many developed countries spend more than 90 per cent of their time indoors, with air that contains a host of toxins.

Luckily there’s a simple way to combat this, in the form of green leafy friends.

Plants have all kinds of superpowers: releasing oxygen into the air; filtering out toxins such as benzene and formaldehyde; and releasing phytochemicals, which suppress mould spores and bacteria in the air.

Through their leaves, plants break down toxic chemicals into non-toxic components that can then be used by the plant. What a perfect design.

Cohabiting with plants also does wonders for your mental and emotional health, making us feel happier, calmer, and improving our overall wellbeing.

Apparently houseplants can even help you make new friends, with numerous plant appreciating groups on social media and in the community that bond over their gorgeous flora collections.

English Ivy

Removes mould, benzene and formaldehyde. In fact, a single ivy plant can reduce benzene levels in a room by nearly 90 per cent within just 24 hours.

Likes cool, moist air and evenly moist soil. Protect from draughs and give plenty of bright light but no direct sun.

Prune it back to keep at desired length. Native to most of Europe and Western Asia.

Rubber Plant

Rubber plants can grow up to 100 feet in their native home and of South East Asia. As a house plant, they can grow anywhere between six to ten feet tall.

They need lots of bright, indirect light. Require more water during their growing season in the summer. Keep the soil moist, but not drowning.

Wipe the leaves down with a damp cloth to keep them moist and to help your plant absorbe more sunlight. Keep your rubber plant in well-draining soil to combat rootrot.

Removes xylene, benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.

Desert Cacti

Native to the arid regions of the Americas and surrounding islands, there are hundreds of varieties of desert cacti.

These plants enjoy lots of sunlight and warmth but not humidity (keep them out of the bathroom). Allow the soil to dry out between waterings: little watering is required during winter to give them a cool, formant period to flower.

Cacti are excellent at eliminating bacteria as well as reducing radiation. They absorb carbon dioxide at night and release oxygen, making them a good choice for your bedroom.


This plant is native to the tropics and prefer a humid environment and filtered, indirect lighting.

They often benefit from a support pole as they can grow very large. Water moderately and evenly, about once a week.

Wait until the soil is fairly dry before watering again. To curb excessive growth, avoid re-potting too often.

Aloe Vera

Like most succulents, this one thrives on minimal care and requires little moisture to survive. Helps clear formaldehyde and benzene from the air and also produces a sap that has medicinal properties.

Let soil dry out between waterings. Place aloe vera on a sunny windowsill where it can receive bright, direct sunlight.

Rotate the pot occasionally so that all sides receive equal lighting. Known as “the plant of immortality” in early Egyptian times. Native to African regions.

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