When I was working long un-happy hours in a grey office, I started to surround myself with plants. It was a combination of being inspired by photographs of immaculate zen-like interiors on Pinterest and Instagram, all of which were finished off by a beautiful lush green plant, and the need to escape my city life and be surrounded by nature.
I’ve since learned that the innate human need to be around nature is a thing, and it is called Biophillia. At the time, however, I couldn’t put my finger on why, I just knew that having plants in my home was making me happy, and, keeping them alive was making me feel accomplished!
I started my collection off with one focus. Plants that cleaned the air. I was convinced that my windowless seat in my stuffy office was the cause of me constantly catching colds, bugs and anything else that was going around. I wanted my home air to feel fresh and airy, and I was freaked out by the idea that in London we have some of the most polluted air in Europe.
NASA conducted a clean-air study in the 70’s and there are plenty of low maintenance plants on the list which get rid of toxins from the air. I made it my mission to find which of the plants on the list needed as little care as possible, and which would be easy to keep alive. I mostly found this out using google, social media and by making a few mistakes along the way!
If you are looking for some plants for your home to improve your health and mood, then I would recommend the two most easy-to-care for plants on the list, which have to be Snake Plant (Sanserveria) and Devils Ivy.
Snake Plant needs watering when the soil runs out, I usually advise customers to water them about once a fortnight. They are also great for office spaces as they are tolerant of a whole mix of light levels, you just have to water the ones getting more light more regularly than the ones in lower light levels! They also release oxygen at night so are nicknamed the bedroom plant. You should give the stems of the plants a wipe down from time to time so that they are clear of dust. This is pretty therapeutic too!
Devils Ivy are a trailing plant and look great on bookshelves, in bathrooms and anywhere they can be facing a window. I usually suggest giving them a water once a week, but they will let you know when they need a drink as the leaves droop. They like a mist from time to time too. As they start to grow you can take cuttings from the stems and try propagating them to gift to friends.
Getting to know your plants, and what they need from you is a great feeling and a watering session and leaf shining session can really boost your mood!